TK Maxx’s Creature Catwalk is a Festive Fashion Hit

TK Maxx

Festive Farm


Christmas ad attention tends to focus on the big grocery stores – fashion brands don’t get as much of a look-in. But Christmas is a huge part of the clothing retail year too, and an effective Christmas ad is a great opportunity for a brand to cut through with consumers and lay the foundations for year-round growth.

But clothing retailers have a trickier time of it than grocery chains and department stores. All year round, fashion ads find it hard to hit the emotional heights other categories achieve. Partly that’s because of conservative category codes – the default clothing retail ad is simply a montage of outfits and fashions, maybe with a party setting to give a sprinkle of human interest. Original ideas are few and far between.

That’s why it’s so satisfying to see TK Maxx scoring 5-Stars this year with a delightfully silly and original ad, which takes fashion’s category codes and chucks them in the recycling like a pile of used wrapping paper.

The ad is a creature catwalk, with alpacas, geese and a hedgehog showing off designer outfits bought for them as presents by a farmer. It’s a fresh, fun way of creating a Christmas fashion ad, which takes the central idea of clothes and gifts and goes in a charming (and somehow very festive) direction. It’s also a hit at every length, with its 20s edit getting an even higher score (5.2-Stars) than the full version. TK Maxx are the latest brand to draw on Y2K-era pop music for an extra right-brained hit of cultural recognition, with Eve’s “Let Me Blow Ya Mind” the perfect soundtrack for this farmyard fashion show.

If you think there’s also something familiar about the animal cast, though, you’d be right. The ad brings back the star of TK Maxx’s 2020 Xmas ad, Little Goat, a goat bought a full designer outfit because, as the farmer puts it, “he’s had such a tough year”. That ad was one of the most original of the 2020 crop and scored well, but went a little under the radar in a year when very traditional feelgood ads were more in line with the public mood.

TK Maxx knew they had a good idea and a good character, though, and brought the Goat and the concept back this year – achieving their highest score yet. It’s proof yet again that re-using strong characters is an extremely effective Christmas tactic, and that good ideas often “wear in” with the public. Hopefully we’ve not seen the last of the generous farmer and wife and the trendiest livestock in town.

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