Target and Neiman Marcus sought out Revenge–and got it. The two brands were the only sponsors for the November 11 “Penance” episode of the hit ABC drama. In an attempt to display the Target + Neiman Marcus Holiday collection, the retail ringleaders produced a five-part mini commercial series entitled “The Gift of Revenge” that complemented the episode and featured characters from the show.
Creating a plot within a plot is an attractive, yet deceptive way to capture viewers’ attention. The ads build suspense as viewers watch actor after actor curiously open a mysterious present from an unknown giver—not exactly my idea of Secret Santa.
In a way, “The Gift of Revenge” series mirrors a high-end fashion advertorial—an enticing blend of editorial content and advertising that disguises the ad content as an editorial piece.In a show that’s all about pretending to be someone you’re not in the Hamptons,it makes sense for the retailers to portray clothes consumers would die for in this light.
Consumers are sharpening their creative shopping senses, including traveling online and offline to make a single purchase, and they expect brands to do the same. With consumers fast-forwarding through TV commercials and retreating to online streaming to avoid televised ads, it’s imperative for brands to capture the viewer’s attention. Companies can look to what’s trending on social media or simply ask their consumers what they’re interested in to identify what will keep customers engaged. As the lines between advertising and content blur—editorial and print ads, online and mobile, offline and online—marketers must ask themselves what’s next and how can they be ready.