BBH New York Celebrates the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

By Erik Oster 

BBH New York launched its first holiday ad for the Macy’s, after winning creative duties along with Figliulo & Partners back in May, following a review.

The spot, “Old Friends” is also the first celebrating the department store’s famous annual parade, celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. It opens on a young boy taking in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as the Santa float drifts by and appears to wink at him. He returns year after year, always saying hello to his old friend as he ages into an adult and eventually an older man. When he can’t make the parade one year, Santa has a surprise in store for him.

It’s kind of hard to believe that Macy’s hasn’t turned to its recognizable yearly holiday celebration for advertising before, but the treacly spot manages to touch on what people find comforting about the event. By focusing on one man taking in the parade every year from young boy to old man, it displays the timelessness of Macy’s annual event, which is watched by millions every Thanksgiving.

In addition to the 90-second online version, the spot will run on broadcast in 30 and 60-second versions, beginning November 24, including during covereage of the Macy’s Day Parade itself. There’s also a Macy’s Parade Time Traveler app as part of the campaign, which allows shoppers to view floats from parades of yesteryear. According to Kantar Media, Macy’s spent $220.3 million during November and December in 2015. 


“Everyone you meet has a parade story, it’s intimate and emotional for them,” vice president, Macy’s parade and entertainment group Amy Kule told AdAge. “The spot we created does tell that story and an individual story of how the parade is so meaningful to absolutely everyone who’s watched it.”