Viral Spiral: Macy’s Jewelry Commercial

This Macy’s video artfully demonstrates that old jewelry
sales adage, “We’re in the people business, not the product business.” During the
opening moments of the video, the words love, devotion, and amore (for a
little international flavor) appear in the center of the screen, followed by
the words tennis bracelet, pearls, and diamond earrings, lending the
video a pleasing momentum.

Jewelry is visible in this video but not in an obvious way. In
a series of shots, jewelry is shown being given and received as a gift,
casually worn in an active lifestyle, and quickly checked in the reflection of
a building. These moments cleverly convey how jewelry comfortably fits not only
on our bodies but also in our daily lives.    

Connecting images of jewels to the reasons for giving them establishes
age, lifestyle, and demographic associations, which is a very powerful message that
relies on subtle video production methods.

What’s interesting about this commercial is that the 20 percent
to 40 percent off sale advertised at the end gets the least amount of attention.
Only a momentary in-and-out dissolve mentions the sale. For the folks at Macy’s,
the sales discount message was secondary to showing the jewelry and the moments
that serve as visual backdrops when giving it. For retail jewelers who compete mainly
by price, this is a message they should consider.

The ad closes by reinforcing the product types and words
associated with giving jewelry that can only be found at Macy’s. This sends
home the message that when jewelry is sold at the renowned department store,
certain emotions associated with these product purchases are also taken home in
its signature red box.

This Macy’s jewelry department
video has received nearly 16,000 unique views in the four years it has been on
YouTube. See what industry
video marketing guru Nick Failla says about the video:

“Bill Blass is
quoted as saying, ‘Red is the ultimate cure for sadness.’ The judicious use of
red in this Macy’s spot accomplishes many things for this very stylish ad. It
uses a process called ‘selective color’ to really emphasize key messages Macy’s
wants to convey to their audience.

Consider the
following:

  • Red
    is Macy’s primary branding color and you will find it used strategically
    throughout their advertising campaigns. Notice in this spot that the Macy’s
    gift box and the Macy’s star logo stand out prominently with their bold red
    color being highlighted against the black-and-white background. You will even
    see the color red more subtly used as it is brought out in the man’s shirt in
    the tennis bracelet scene, in the woman’s dress in the pearl scene, and the
    table napkin of the diamond earrings scene. Then, of course, the explosion of
    red in the final shot of the spot featuring the Macy’s logo.
  • Red
    is associated with passionate love.
  • Red
    is associated with Christmas and gift giving.
  • Red
    is said to inspire action. (From a jewelry retailer’s standpoint, hopefully an
    action involving a purchase of jewelry!)

How can smaller
jewelry retailers apply this to their own advertising? The first step might be
to research different colors and then choose one as your primary branding
color. Once you have done so, ensure that you use this color consistently
throughout your advertising. Remember, your store decor, gift boxes, wrapping
paper, name badges, website, and e-mails to your customers are all a reflection
of your brand.