Ad of the Day: Macy’s

Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and other stars align for JWT's sitcom-style 'What's in Store?' campaign

Macy's has assembled a cast of … sure, let's call them celebrities, including Donald Trump, Sean Combs, Martha Stewart, Justin Bieber and others (I like Carlos Santana, to be fair) as part of JWT's cute, '50s-style campaign about how working at the Herald Square store in New York City is just like working with a bunch of celebs. And presumably, if you want to feel even more like you know a celebrity, you should buy a Trump tie or something from the Martha Stewart collection. (First 10 consumers get a lock of the Donald's hair! Act fast!)

It's fun. The dream-sequence idea is nice, and the actor who plays Harold (get it?)—a character who has supposedly recently transferred to the NYC flagship store from Twin Falls, Idaho—looks enough like Ryan Gosling to be an acceptable holding-hands-and-swinging partner for Taylor Swift, who always looks to me like she's from a higher species, like the Elves in The Lord of the Rings.

"Life Could Be a Dream" is always a good song choice, and the modern-meets-retro feel is nicely accentuated by the title card at the end and fresh-facedness of pretty much everyone here. Combs, by the way, is really funny. He was funny in Get Him to the Greek, and he will be funny in the future. And actually, all the non-famous actors look like they're just about to be famous, which is how everyone, especially me, feels.

This is a "pilot" spot of sorts, kicking off a whole sitcom-style "What's in Store?" campaign of TV spots and online content. Future ads, we're told, will "highlight Harold interacting with several Macy's celebrity designers, showcasing the store's unusual Levi's denim assortment to customers, and managing his new team of employees including Ted (Al Thompson), the quick-witted, self-proclaimed top salesman, and Carolina (Chloe Wepper), the sardonic visual merchandiser who plays foil to Ted's antics."

Is the pilot, though, supposed to take place at 4 a.m. on Christmas morning? I have never seen this few people in the Herald Square Macy's. My suggestion would be for at least one spot to take place on Black Friday, and that Harold, his cute assistant from the other ads, and everybody with a branded fragrance get involved in an awesome stroller derby as they race toward the last two $6.99 Ralph Lauren pillows and one Lacoste bathrobe that's on sale for the next six minutes.

That would probably work less well as a dream sequence, but I could imagine it with synchronized dancers.


Client: Macy's

Senior Vice President, Innovation, Integration and Broadcast: Joe Feczko

Vice President, Marketing Integration: Betsy Spence

Agency: JWT, New York

Chief Creative Officer, North America: Jeff Benjamin

Co-Chief Creative Officers, New York: Matt MacDonald, Ryan Kutscher                          

Chief Integration Officer, President, N.A.: Mike Geiger                          

Executive Creative Director: Ben James

Creative Director: Donnell Johnson

Art Directors: Chad Baker, Raihana Halim

Copywriters: Justine Cotter, Justin Chen

Planner: Jonathan Fletcher

Head of Production: Sergio Lopez

Director of Digital Production: Paul Sutton

Executive Producer: Robin Feldman

Senior Producers: Holly Otto, Andrea Curtin

Associate Producer: Loretta Rae

Director of Music: Paul Greco

Account Team: Claire Capeci (Business Director), James Cuff (Account Director), Kate Reaves (Account Manager)

Director: Hank Perlman

Production Company: Hungry Man

Postproduction: Framestore

Editing House: Cut + Run

Music House: Amber Music for "Dream"

Publisher and Master for "Sitcom" :60 (Song: "Sh-Boom"): Warner/Chappell

Media Agency: MEC