What a difference a year makes.

Last October, luxury retailer Neiman Marcus unveiled its 2019 Christmas Book, a curated selection of nearly 800 Christmas gifts. Among them were the legendary Fantasy Gifts, a franchise company whose 60th anniversary was celebrated with gifts like a Daniel Craig-designed 007 Aston Martin at an event in the then-new retailer’s store in New York’s Hudson Yards.

Fast forward to today: the U.S. economy has been crippled by the Covid-19 pandemic, its society is marked by political and social conflict, and Neiman Marcus has filed for Chapter 11, reorganized and emerged from bankruptcy. The process included the closure of the Hudson Yards store and 17 of the 22 Last Call stores. The two Bergdorf Goodman branches will remain open.

With this in mind – and the daunting challenges that brick and mortar retailers across the country are facing – Neiman Marcus introduces its 2020 holiday campaign.

Unsurprisingly, it is a continuation of its digital transformation strategy that began before the pandemic. The campaign launched today will be promoted on the retailer’s website, Hulu (a new partner) and YouTube, as well as on social media and via email, under the motto “Make It Magic”.

A new commercial, created in-house in 30- and 60-second versions, shows five adults, a young girl and a dog frolicking in a modern house decorated with a large white Christmas tree and lights. You pass through a small, rectangular white box that is tied with a red ribbon, is illuminated from the inside and follows a stream of small, sparkling, white CGI stars. At the end of the passage, one of the men hands the box to one of the women; She seems overjoyed when she opens it and the two kiss.

“Neiman Marcus: Make it magical,” says the ad. “It’s magical to come home where memories (and calamities) are made. It’s magical to be together. It’s magical to give … to please everyone on your list. There is magic in you. “

Darren “Daz” McColl, who was named Neiman Marcus’ interim chief marketing officer in January and permanent last week, said the campaign was about “intimacy, connection with family, bringing back traditions, bringing the.” Magic for Christmas “. He said the retailer hopes to inspire people and enable them “to connect with the thoughtfulness of giving, the joy of spreading joy. These are moments that we think are really important. “

The retailer is also creating 10 different virtual vacation stories – the first being the spot released today – that will be released by the end of 2020. Also, 55 additional pieces of content such as emails from editors and gift counselors are created to illustrate each story.

In addition to the digital campaign, each Neiman Marcus store has a gift lounge where sales reps show customers a curated selection of goods. The shop windows also illustrate the “Make It Magic” theme.

The retailer said it would offer around 3,000 Christmas gifts. McColl said the gifts “are based on today’s customer needs that have changed over the past 12 months.” Because of the pandemic, he said, there is greater demand for casual clothing, shoes and handbags, and more shopping from men.

“Depending on the season, trends are not so predictable. They’re much more fluid, ”he added.

The campaign, said McColl, “is based on our customers and recognizes the desire to come together in every form this year to magically enjoy new and old traditions. The stories we tell throughout the season are designed to inspire, celebrate, and bring the magic of Neiman Marcus to our customers, even as they shop with us this season. “

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