Sears Takes Competitive Tone for Holiday Spots

Shoppers go through competitive drills in TV spots for Sears Roebuck & Co. that put as much focus on humor as product shots in an effort to draw people in for post-holiday sales.

Eight 15- and 30-second spots by Ogilvy & Mather in Chicago broke after Christmas and ran through last week’s college football Bowl Championship Series, where Sears presents a trophy to the winning team.

The spots depict women taking an athletic approach toward shopping, with talk about staying focused and in shape to handle the crowds.

One spot has a woman with shopping bags weaving around mannequin busts on a Sears parking lot. Others show women speaking about the importance of competition. “When the awards are twice as big, the competition is twice as tough” a woman says.

“We tried to reveal some of the fun of shopping after Christmas,” said Linda Garrison, O&M’s managing director.

While the spots are part of Sears’ storewide promotional events typically tied into holidays, they have a different flare and feel than past efforts, a Searsrepresentative said. “These are nontraditional spots with a new feel that does not just focus on store items,” the representative said.

The recent spots were “pretty much wrapped up,” Garrison said, before new arrivals at Sears and the agency. Rebecca Case joined Sears in October as vice president of advertising and creative services. Joe Sciarrotta, a founding partner of the Leap Partnership, joined Ogilvy as chief creative and co-head of the agency.

Case and Sciarrotta were not in-volved in these spots, Garrison said.

Sears’ $700 million account is split between Ogilvy, which handles Sears promotional events and the majority of hardware, and Young & Rubicam in Chicago, which works on the company’s apparel and other soft goods.