Target, Wal-Mart Top Holiday Survey

NEW YORK Target, Wal-Mart and Macy’s have topped the list of consumers’ favorite retail holiday TV ads, a new study shows.

And according to the survey conducted for the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association by BIGresearch, Worthington, Ohio, Best Buy, Sears, Kohl’s, Kmart, JC Penney, Publix and Meijer round out the top 10.

Mike Gatti, executive director of RAMA, Washington, D.C., said in a statement that though TV ads are not the only way retailers are advertising, it is interesting to see how quickly consumers can point to their favorite commercials. “Great advertising can quickly set one company apart from another in the eyes of consumers,” he said.

Some shoppers admit that holiday ads send them to certain stores and Web sites. The survey found that 17 percent of consumers said that their favorite holiday advertisement persuaded them to shop with a specific retailer. However, 31.5 percent said they had already planned to shop there anyway.

Overall, though, it’s a tough holiday season for retail. Many forecasters are predicting only a 2 percent increase in retail sales—some even lower. “It’s a difficult period because consumers are still overextended with credit, and gas and energy prices are still high,” said Britt Beemer, founder and chairman of America’s Research Group, Charleston, S.C. According to ARG, about three-fourths of Americans have 75 percent or more of their Christmas shopping completed. But more shoppers than ever (54 percent) are waiting to get bigger discounts, up from 40 percent in 2006.

ARG reported that the top five stores for shopping this past weekend were Wal-Mart, at 33 percent, followed by JC Penney, Sears, Target and Best Buy.

The BIGresearch survey polled 8,135 consumers from Dec. 4-11, asking respondents to write in their favorite retail holiday TV advertisements.