Old Navy Features the Griswolds Family in the Holiday Ads

Old Navy plays on nostalgia in the series of its new holiday ads, created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky to reach US consumers, who have emotional connection to the 1980s and 1990s. The brand is to launch five commercials featuring the Griswolds family characters from the popular comedic “National Lampoon’s Vacation” films, which were a real hit two decades ago. The first of them, “Plug in the Pop,” has already arrived to Old Navy’s YouTube channel, with others to be released soon.

In the first spot, the fictional family reenacts the well-known «decoration» scene from the popular episode. Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) tries to switch on the Christmas lights on their house, while his family (among them are Juliette Lewis and Beverly D’Angelo, who played Audrey and Ellen Griswold correspondingly) is shivering outside behind him. When he connects the cables to the power unit for the first time, the pants of the family members begin to change the color just like they are part of the lighting system. The brand has also released a Spanish version of the ad—it has the same storyline, but the Griswolds are represented by other actors. Old Navy invites its consumers to “decorate the whole family in colorful Pop Pants” this season, but notes that they don’t actually change the colour. What a shame, they definitely should.

“We have a strategy this season to be doing it all the way, larger than life. Gifts all the way; Cheer all the way. When we thought about how we would bring Christmas to our audience with the next round of celebrities, there’s no family that’s more all the way than the Griswolds,” commented Michelle Wlazlo, global senior VP-adult merchandising and licensing, as well as interim chief marketer, to Ad Age.

Old Navy has made nostalgia one of its most favourite tools to appeal to 25-to 35-year-old consumers, the retailer’s target audience. The brand’s recent campaigns include many faces from the 80s and 90s, including Mr. T, cast members of “Blossom” and “90210” as well as George Takei, Mr. Sulu in the original Star Trek (he’s best known for this role), who has starred in Old Navy’s latest Black Friday promotion, Cheermageddon.