‘It’s not about us’: David Jones switches focus to emotional connection with customers

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 3.50.16 PMDepartment store David Jones will continue to put customers at the heart of its above the line marketing as it moves away from a strategy of “being all about us”, its general marketing manager has said.

Victoria Doidge told Mumbrella the brand was becoming increasingly customer centric and looking to create emotional connections with its audience in order to “inspire” them.

The comments came as David Jones unveiled the first wave of its Christmas marketing push with a conscious shift from a merchandise-driven campaign to one designed to “capture the spirit of Christmas”.

The commercial tells the story of a young boy who becomes perplexed, and then dejected, that Santa won’t be able to visit as his house has no chimney.

Doidge said the Whybins\TBWA Sydney-created campaign, which carries the tagline the ‘things we do for love’, was part of a wider review of the David Jones brand strategy which puts consumers at its core.

She stressed however that marketing through other channels would focus on product and look to drive transactions.

“Australian retailers have been very product centric at this time of year…but we are transitioning from being very David Jones centric to being customer centric,” Doidge said. “It’s about inspiring customers and being less about us.

“The strategy is taking the brand out of transactions and into an emotional relationship, especially at Christmas. This is a brand campaign about the spirit of Christmas. All the product in the ad is from David Jones department stores but the essence is about the spirit of Christmas and the things we do for love.”

“The strategic idea behind the ad was that love is action. Love is the verb and we demonstrate that at Christmas whether buying presents, wrapping, putting up lights or cooking.”

All of that is illustrated in the ad, Doidge said, and underlines the new approach.

It also aims to demonstrate the lengths people go to to show their love around this time of year, with Tina Arena’s cover of 10CC’s Things We Do For Love, providing the musical backdrop.

Doidge said the aim was to get consumers to connect with David Jones by making them “feel something”.

But while branding in the TVC is subtle, Doidge said it was “obviously a David Jones ad”.

“We are not trying to be obtuse. We just didn’t want it to be all about us, and were trying to be inspirational,” she said.

The former Sydney Opera House marketer said the department store is also taking a more integrated approach to its marketing, with the Christmas campaign an example of such a strategy.

Isobar has worked on the digital elements of the campaign, including a social media activation where consumers can post of messages of thanks to someone.

Doidge said a greater proportion of its budget was being driven into digital with its YouTube channel, which launched in July, playing an increasingly important role for the company.

Steve Jones


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