Sears Hurries Holiday Message

Sears Roebuck & Co.’s two agencies plan to produce 34 TV spots for the retailer’s holiday campaign, set to break on Thanksgiving with a hurry-up theme suggesting there’s “No time to fool around.”

The marketing blitz for the Hoffman Estates, Ill., retailer employs a variation of Sears’ tag: “Giving the good life at a great price, guaranteed.” The avalanche of ads, slightly more than Sears put out last year, is “designed to recognize and celebrate the breadth and assortment of Sears’ products,” said David Selby, Sears’ vice president of retail marketing.

Ogilvy & Mather and Young & Rubicam, both in Chicago, split the work on the spots. Eight break over the Thanksgiving weekend, but most are still in production. Sears plans to air more spots earlier in the season this year than it did last, Selby said.

Ogilvy’s spots urge customers to shop early in the holiday season by pushing four- and 72-hour sales promotions. “You might think Christmas is already here,” a voiceover says in several spots that show people giving gifts weeks before Christmas.

“The difference with last year is a shifting from individual price spots to a more promotional event focus,” said Linda Garrison, Ogilvy’s managing director.

Y&R creatives employed a “count down-calender,” said group creative di-rector Betsy Erickson. The spots show shoppers carrying Sears products in different squares that resemble dates on a calender.

Selby declined to reveal holiday spending, but said it would be similar to last year. Sears spent $690 million on advertising last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting.