- Sam’s Club launched its holiday campaign on Monday (Nov. 6), per information shared with Marketing Dive. The effort, made with Arnold Worldwide, is meant to promote togetherness over materialism.
- The campaign includes a 30-second and 60-second spot, both titled “Gift,” that showcase the joys of time spent together, even amidst the chaos of the holiday season. The minute-long version of the ad will not have paid placements but will be shared on YouTube.
- The campaign marks a strategic pivot by Arnold to focus on shared connections versus encouraging purchases, per the release, arriving amid ongoing economic uncertainties and societal tensions, a move that could fare well as consumers indicate a desire to spend.
As social tensions persist and consumers continue to be weary of economic uncertainty, Sam’s Club is hoping that a focus on sentiment over purchases will strike a chord with shoppers seeking comfort around the holidays. The move, an intentional pivot by Arnold away from more traditional holiday marketing ploys, is meant to highlight themes of resilience, budget-focused adaptability and sentiment, per the release, while putting themes like purchasing and materialism on the backburner.
The “Gift” ads key-in on the typical nuances tied to the holiday season, including the rush to get the car loaded and the trip underway or the last-minute details associated with hosting a holiday gathering. The ads highlight a family driving together to their destination, with each twist and turn of the road, and subsequently the shifts back and forth of a gift box in the vehicle, creating similar movements at the home they are traveling to, causing a set table to shift and chairs to glide across the room. When the family arrives, the joys of togetherness subdue the feelings of chaos, and a wrapped present is opened to reveal a top view of the family seated together.
The choice by Sam’s Club to focus on emotions could fare well for consumers as they continue to remain on-edge about the impacts of inflation. While inflation is moderating, 72% of consumers expect higher prices this season, according to Deloitte’s 2023 Holiday Retail Survey. However, there are bright spots, with shoppers also intending to spend an average of $1,652 this holiday season, surpassing pre-pandemic levels for the first time, per Deloitte. Sam’s Club’s decision to focus on enduring themes such as togetherness could help the brand win consumers’ dollars as they seek comfort.
Sam’s Club’s holiday campaign arrives as other marketers similarly begin to roll out seasonal efforts. Among them, JCPenney at the end of October announced a savings-heavy marketing push focused around reaching working families. At the start of November, Target announced a similar holiday strategy with a campaign guided by the mantra, “However You Holiday, Do It For Less.”