OKRP drops a joyful new campaign for Big Lots

Well, I guess it is November, so we have to talk Christmas campaigns. I wish I could get through Thanksgiving first because I’m serving a fried turkey again. If you haven’t tried it, do.


Where was I? Oh, yes: Christmas campaigns. Since O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul does good work, let’s talk about the new spot that they just dropped for Big Lots. It’s a joyful campaign not only for its upbeat performances, but also because of its play on the traditional Christmas carol, Joy to the World.

But it’s not the church hymn you’d expect. The spot uses Three Dog Night’s Joy to the World. And it works. Watch the 60-second spot directed by SKUNK’s Greg Brunkalla below:



Breaking nationally in early November, I like that the new campaign takes a fresh look at the holidays through the eyes, ears, hearts and hip-swirling moves of customers as they decorate, bake, travel and welcome grandma home while emphatically singing along to “Joy to the World.”

Perhaps why the vignettes have a natural feeling to them is because the agency says, the scenes which include cookie decorating, light hanging and car rides were inspired by real stories and memories of the holidays shared by the creative team at OKRP.

“Our goal was to connect more emotionally with our core customer, who we refer to as ‘Jennifer.’ We believe the stories we are telling within the campaign really touch the heartstrings while showing the small ways Big Lots helps bring the holidays home,” said Lisa Bachmann, EVP, Chief Merchandising and Operating Officer. “The music has become a signature for our brand, enabling us to instantly connect with Jennifer and to stand out from competitors.”

The agency also says, the ads were shot to look like user-generated content, giving them a more emotional feel and providing a wide variety of clips for social media.

The multi-format production includes boomerang sequences, time lapses and short clips interspersed within the stories. The content will be used to extend the campaign online with digital video, digital display, native ads, rich media, paid social, Facebook video and more. In shooting the campaign, OKRP captured over 20 moments to be used as short content bites across social, which is so important these days for a campaign to generate conversation.

“Holiday spots usually paint a picture of how things should be—aspirational and often times unattainable. For Big Lots, we sought to embrace the beauty of the holidays for what they really are — perfectly imperfect moments of joy and togetherness, said Marian Williams, Creative Director at OKRP. “As a new holiday anthem, “Joy to the World” has a universal, inclusive quality that feels right for our time.”

The campaign is anchored by a 60-second anthem ad that will run in cinema and online. Additional ads include :15 and :30 second spots for broadcast and streaming, and radio ads that feature a partnership with iHeart Radio across its holiday channels.

Well you brought me joy with Big Lots of Chili’s, OKRP. Thanks for that.

Agency – O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul
   CEO – Tom O’Keefe
   CCO – Matt Reinhard
   Head of Production – Scott Mitchell
   Producer – Mallory Sohmer
   Creative Director – Marian Williams
   Designer – Justine Massa
   Director of Account Services – Natasha Kesaji
   Director, Production Business Affairs – Katie Johnson
   Production – SKUNK
   Director – Greg Brunkalla

Editorial – Whitehouse Post
   Editor – Sam Puglise-Kipley

Editorial – Whiskey & Bananas
   Color – Nolo
   Animation – The Mill

Contact Colin Costello at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @colincostello10.