It is not easy for a department store to stand out from the clutter and still advertise its wares without being boring. But Kohl’s’ new ad is not only innovative, it also turns the 30-second commercial to showcase the active-wear range around the store. The ad by Energy BBDO, Chicago, sees a drone capturing the inside of the store and highlights its loyalty programme as well. After Kohl’s announced the appointment of its new CMO, Greg Revelle, in 2017, it has been trying out new and innovative marketing strategies. Last year, the Wisconsin-based retailer released a cinematic-level campaign — Give Joy, Get Joy — on November 1, which also marked the beginning of the holiday season. The company typically spends between $300 million and $400 million on its holiday budget with 40% of that devoted to digital, Revelle had said during the launch of the campaign. The chain reported Q4 sales of $6.8 billion, a 9.2% rise y-o-y. Revelle is, incidentally, the first person to hold the title of CMO at Kohl’s since 2012. “We are trying to be original and different and innovative in how we do everything,” Revelle said while announcing the recent drone ad, while acknowledging that the ad was different than anything that the retailer had tried ever in terms of cinematography. The retailer has also announced a tie-up with Amazon and Aldi supermarkets in a bid to stay ahead of the competition. Aldi will open in up to 10 Kohl stores of its current 1,100 stores across the US to compete with Target and Walmart. A handful of Kohl’s stores currently feature Amazon shops and more than 80 of its stores accept Amazon returns. Michelle Gass, chief merchandising and customer officer had hinted last year on bridging the gap between online and bricks-and-mortars, with all its stores fulfilling online orders. Revelle, meanwhile is, keen that the retailer stays aggressive and tries things that customers ‘have not seen from us before’. Maybe the drone is a step in the right direction then.
— Ananya Saha