Annoying ads are more brilliant than you think

10:09 AM, Nov 23, 2011   |    comments
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Walmart Black Friday commercial

MINNEAPOLIS -- Get ready to get bombarded. The holiday shopping season officially kicks off with Black Friday and retailers are ready to pounce with ads aimed to get your attention.

Some commercials even border on annoying but it's all absolutely intentional.

"Advertising is one of the most sophisticated businesses on the face of the earth," says John Eighmey, University of Minnesota Mithun Chair in Advertising.

Though brand and likeability are very important to retailers, they are willing to trade-off a bit of that just to get your attention and get you in the door.

"Being attention-getting, breaking through the clutter, being a bit intrusive, is very, very important because if they don't come in your store, moments are forgone, sales are forgone," says Eighmey.

How important is it? For some stores, the holidays are a make or break time of year.

"This is their Super Bowl. It's their biggest time of year," says Mike Caguin with advertising agency Colle McVoy.

They are the creators of the very memorable Explore Minnesota Tourism ad. Caguin says being memorable, even disruptive, is the key to getting noticed and the key to getting customers.

Take the Target "Christmas Champ". The blonde, red jump-suit wearing, super-shopper that is making another appearance this year. You might find her annoying, but she's back this season for a reason.

"Obviously she's connected with people on some level. She's creating conversations, so that's a good thing. I'm sure Target has seen a rise in sales over the years," says Caguin.

It's all about social media too. Retailers are hitting customers anywhere they know they'll reach them. You can follow the Target Christmas Champ on Twitter as she navigates the Black Friday deals.

Colle McVoy also created a facebook app for client Caribou. There you can create pictures of yourself or others in ugly Christmas sweaters. For every sweater shared, Caribou will donate a real sweater to the Salvation Army.

Caguin says it goes beyond a good commercial, retailers need to create good experiences for customers too.

(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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