OKRP Shares the Joy for Big Lots

By Erik Oster 

If you’ve seen any of Big Lots holiday spots over the course of the past few years, it should come as no surprise that the brand gets musical in its latest effort.

After winning agency of record duties for Big Lots in early 2014, the Chicago-based agency’s first holiday campaign for the brand centered around a “Nailing It” anthem featuring America’s Got Talent finalist Deanna DellaCioppa. OKRP brought DellaCioppa back for the following year’s “Black Friday Woman” and proceeded to release another musical holiday anthem last year.

This year’s effort centers around a 60-second anthem ad that represents an evolution for the brand. Rather than really solely on music performed by the ad’s actors, the spot blends singing from enthusiastic amateur performances with Three Dog Night‘s version of “Joy to the World.”

The overly enthusiastic performances by coworker and dad alike are played for laughs, while the more varied approach allows the brand to showcase a variety of families and situations (not to mention products), which according to a press release were inspired by real stories from OKRP employees.

“Holiday spots usually paint a picture of how things should be—aspirational and often times unattainable. For Big Lots, we sought to embrace the beauty of the holidays for what they really are — perfectly imperfect moments of joy and togetherness,” OKRP creative director Marian Williams explained in a statement . “As a new holiday anthem, Joy to the World has a universal, inclusive quality that feels right for our time.”

“Our goal was to connect more emotionally with our core customer, who we refer to as ‘Jennifer.’ We believe the stories we are telling within the campaign really touch the heartstrings while showing the small ways Big Lots helps bring the holidays home,” added Big Lots executive vice president, chief merchandising and operating officer Lisa Bachmann. “The music has become a signature for our brand, enabling us to instantly connect with Jennifer and to stand out from competitors.”

In addition to the 60-second anthem ad, which will run in cinemas and online in 60 the campaign also includes 30 and 15-second versions, running on broadcast and online, as well as radio ads and an iHeart Radio across its holiday channels.

Agency – O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul
CEO – Tom O’Keefe
CCO – Matt Reinhard
Head of Production – Scott Mitchell
Producer – Mallory Sohmer
Creative Director – Marian Williams
Designer – Justine Massa
Director of Account Services – Natasha Kesaji
Director, Production Business Affairs – Katie Johnson

Production – SKUNK
Director – Greg Brunkalla

Editorial – Whitehouse Post
Editor – Sam Puglise-Kipley

Editorial – Whiskey & Bananas

Color – Nolo

Animation – The Mill