It’s blog confession time: Publix holiday commercials make me cry.
Maybe it’s because I’m already in the holiday spirit. Maybe it’s the music. Maybe it’s those little salt and pepper shakers that are just so damn cute. Whatever it is, it’s great marketing and it gives me all the feels. I spent my holiday in sunny Florida, avoiding the 4 degree weather in Chicago (and if I’m completely honest, briefly wondering why I ever left), and while I was there I had a chance to see this year’s ad spot on tv. Good thing I brought my water-proof mascara, because once again Publix served up a pull-on-your-heartstrings mini-movie meant to remind us what the holidays are supposed to be all about.
This year’s ad campaign, developed with agency 22squared, is titled “A Toast to Traditions” and, through the use of live, in-store events, traditional TV spots and social media, is designed to encourage shoppers to engage with each other, and in the process, Publix. The 60 second ad spot, which you can view below, celebrates diversity and our differences and portrays several personal, multicultural and diverse seasonal traditions. Publix says of the commercial, “We’re celebrating traditions this Christmas. The serious and sweet, the silly, and the wonderfully weird. We love them all. Whether your traditions are big or small, decades old or brand new, each one is a gift worth sharing. So we’re sharing our commercial to say thank you. Because whatever your tradition may be, we’re grateful to be part of it.”
I'm not crying, you're crying.
Publix is America’s favorite grocer. While those who voted for it as their favorite cited things like cleanliness, navigability, item availability and fast checkouts as key factors in their vote, it’s arguable that the brand equity Publix has built by being a good community citizen, encouraging the best in its customers and employees and being in tune with the times plays a more important role. It’s becoming increasingly important to differentiate outside of pricing alone, and Publix has created a good formula for providing value to their customers beyond low price points and a good product assortment – by resonating with customers on a personal and emotional level, offering in-store events (like their “Getting Creative with Cauliflower” tasting event), and through their “A Toast to Traditions” holiday webpage devoted to holiday recipes and DIY crafting projects. In an age where consumers crave authenticity from the places they shop and the products they purchase, other brands and retailers would do well to take a page from Publix’s book.