Humperdinck Brings Holiday Cheer to Staples

NEW YORK Engelbert Humperdinck, who has conquered stage and the big screen, will make his U.S. small screen debut this weekend when he stars in a series of spots for office supply retailer Staples.

The campaign, focused on “The Department of Unexpected Gifts,” casts Humperdinck as a gift-giving “expert” who advices shoppers on what to buy for the holidays beyond the traditional sweaters and perfume, aided by a team of quirky gift-giving helpers. Support will include print, radio and online advertising. Spending was not disclosed.

Interpublic Group’s McCann Erickson in New York crafted the ads.

Five 30-second spots will begin to air on Sunday with “Oath,” which shows Humperdinck and his helpers being sworn in.

Subsequent spots will also feature such characters as Holiday Dancer, who is giving shredders to her friends and family; Taste Maker, a style-obsessed fashionista whose expertise is office furniture and organization; Sweater Lady, a holiday stocking stuffer expert; Arctic Nomad, who favors mobile technology and is recommending GPS systems this year; and Mr. Nibbles, a reindeer whose gift list is topped by notebook computers. In each spot, the group sits at a podium like a Senate subcommittee as consumers explain their holiday problems. Humperdinck hits the company’s “Easy Button” and a new, unexpected gift appears. The tag remains, “That was easy.”

“With ‘The Department of Unexpected Gifts’ marketing campaign, Staples stakes out a unique retailer positioning this holiday season,” Shira Goodman, evp, marketing at Staples, Framingham, Mass., said in a statement. “The collection of characters we’ve assembled brings our marketing strategy to life in a bold and fun way.”

—Brandweek staff report