Nordstrom Gets Musical With Holiday Marketing

·4 min read

On a high note for gift-giving, Seattle-based Nordstrom Inc. has tapped local musical talent and bought a song for its holiday marketing.

The song “represents who we are – essentially how Nordstrom sounds,” said Red Godfrey, Nordstrom’s vice president of creative. “It was produced with Seattle-based artists from our local community and we’ve been using it across a variety of work. For holiday, we were thrilled to include the talented Seattle-based vocalist Shaina Shepherd in our campaign and to support our community of artists in a new way.”

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Nordstrom’s holiday campaign starts today and along with its song, involves print ads, video, social media, digital, as well as billboards in and around Columbus Circle and in subway stations near Nordstrom’s Manhattan flagship on Broadway and 57th Street.

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The holiday campaign marks the first time that the retailer has its own song to accompany marketing efforts. It’s actually a remix of the song ”Never Be Another You” originally released by Lee Fields and The Expressions in 2016. Shepherd, an emerging artist, is backed up by a band composed of Seattle-based musicians, and the song was recorded at the Avast Recording Co. and ExEx Studio, which is in Seattle.

“We hope to enhance our brand experience and create deeper connections to our customers through the music in our marketing,” said a spokeswoman. “Through repetition of this song in our marketing efforts, we hope to create recognition and connection in an experiential and powerful way.” She said the song will continue to be integrated into marketing efforts after the holiday campaign. “We believe the song conveys the ease and calm of how Nordstrom can make you feel by taking care of you, appreciating you, helping to make you feel good and we hope to create closer connections to our customers through this song,” the spokeswoman said.

An ad from Nordstrom’s “Make Merry” holiday campaign.
An ad from Nordstrom’s “Make Merry” holiday campaign.

Nordstrom’s holiday campaign is titled “Make Merry.” It shows a range of people enjoying the holiday season, from a multi-generational family to moms and daughters, friends and partners. The campaign mixes styles from cast members’ own wardrobes with Nordstrom merchandise to showcase each individual’s style. Snapshots from Nordstrom employees and “friends of the brand” are also part of the campaign.

This year, holiday marketing is the earliest it’s ever been. Macy’s, Amazon, Target and Walmart are already into the holiday groove, along with many other major retailers, Nordstrom started promoting holiday gifts much earlier this year. On Oct. 4, the retailer launched gifts on nordstrom.com and nordstromrack.com. The same day, the company began selling Balsam Hill artificial Christmas trees at 30 of its locations. Today, holiday launches on nordstrom.ca in Canada and there will be holiday gift shops in select stores in Canada and the U.S. Last year, Nordstrom launched holiday on Oct. 19, both in-store and online.

Nordstrom’s support of singer Shepherd extends to a partnership with Seattle-based Sub Pop Records, which will release and promote a digital single of “Never Be Another You.” Proceeds from the single will benefit Shepherd’s nonprofit of choice, Africatown. Nordstrom underwrote a photo and video shoot to promote the single, which will be released Nov. 18, and she has a singing cameo at the end of the campaign video.

Additionally, Shepherd is scheduled to perform at the Nordstrom block party Oct. 23, being held on Broadway from 57th Street to Columbus Circle, in between the retailer’s men’s store and women’s flagship.

Last year the block party was canceled due to COVID-19 but one was held in October 2019 when the women’s flagship first opened. The event will have games and activations from brands including Adidas, Basecoat, Boss, Charlotte Tilbury, Dior Beauty, Dr. Dennis Gross Faherty, Ganni, HydraFacial, Kiehl’s Since 1851, Levi’s Kids, Malin + Goetz, Nike and Nuna.

There will also be vogueing lessons and demonstrations by The Hetrick-Martin Institute, a diaper drive with Good+Foundation, storytelling with the New York Public Library, pet adoption and fostering with the NYC ACC and the Brooklyn Kitty Committee and Greenpoint Cats, and free bites provided by Nordstrom.

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