Kohl's embraces DM for holiday marketing campaign

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Kohl's Department Stores has increased its investment in direct mail, digital advertising and e-mail for its holiday marketing program this year. The far-reaching campaign also includes aggressive promotions, TV, radio ads, gift card kiosks and advertising targeting the Hispanic market.

“We have increased our overall marketing budget compared with last year and have strategically invested in new promotions, aggressive consumer incentives and have optimized our lead traffic driving promotional events,” said Julie Gardner, EVP and CMO for Kohl's Department Stores, in a statement.

The campaign is designed to showcase Kohl's as a one-stop shopping destination for shoppers looking to get the most for their money during a challenging economic environment. Gifts are highlighted throughout via brightly wrapped boxes and taglines such as “Gifts that fit your budget beautifully.”

One strategy in this year's holiday program is the use of frequent sales events beginning in November and aggressive discounts on popular merchandise earlier in the season.

“Our entire holiday program is designed to help customers stretch their budget during an especially difficult holiday season,” said Kevin Mansell, president and CEO at Kohl's, in a statement.

Online, Kohl's will take over the home pages of popular online sites including AOL, MSN and Yahoo. Kohl's has eight takeovers planned throughout the holiday season with the first promoting a pre-Thanksgiving sale event.

Kohl's will more than double the amount of e-mail it sends customers throughout the season offering gift ideas, sneak peeks at upcoming sales and shipping offers.

Kohls.com will feature a series of special buys that will be available only online. On October 15, Kohl's online Holiday Gift Shop went live. Online shoppers also can enter a holiday gift sweepstakes on the site and take advantage of a gift finder tool, starting November 1. 

Via the mail, Kohl's will increase its promotions offered to charge card holders and offer 23 special savings days this year, considerably more than last year. Charge card customers as well as other selected shoppers will receive a two-day shopping pass providing additional discounts during November and December. A gift guide also will be distributed to charge customers via the mail.

The holiday program includes efforts specifically targeting the Hispanic market, such as a TV spot and print ads in popular Hispanic magazines.

There's also a greater emphasis on gift cards this year. Kohl's recently implemented a Gift Card Center featuring two kiosks. For the first time, customers will be able to redeem e-gift cards — gift cards that can be bought, given and printed online — in Kohl's stores and online at Kohls.com. Also, customers will be able to purchase gift cards from other retailers, including Best Buy, Apple iTunes and Barnes & Noble.

Kohl's TV campaign will feature three 30-second brand spots, compared with two last year. The first spot will run on Monday, November 3. All three spots include an adaptation of the song “Beautiful Things.”


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