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Big Lots Brings Joy to the World in Holiday Campaign from OKRP

O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul created these seasonal treats with a new take on Christmas carols

Big Lots Brings Joy to the World in Holiday Campaign from OKRP

Big Lots’ new holiday advertising campaign from O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul celebrates the season with the song “Joy to the World.” But it’s not the traditional Christmas carol version you’d expect. It’s the classic-rock anthem made famous by Three Dog Night. 

Breaking nationally in early November, the new advertising takes a fresh look at the holidays through the eyes, ears, hearts and hip-checking moves of customers as they decorate, bake, travel and welcome grandma home while emphatically singing along to “Joy to the World.” The up-close-and-personal vignettes of cookie decorating, light hanging, car rides and more, 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 ads were shot to look like user-generated content, giving them a more emotional feel and 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.
“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 online, and radio ads that feature a partnership with iHeart Radio across its holiday channels.
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Creative Agency

Creative Agency: O'Keefe Reinhard & Paul

Producer: Mallory Sohmer

Chief Creative Officer: Matt Reinhard

Director of Integrated Production Business Affairs: Katie Johnson

Head of Production: Scott Mitchell

Director of Account Services: Natasha Kesaji

Designer: Justine Massa

CEO: Tom O’Keefe

Production Company

Production Company: SKUNK

Director: Greg Brunkalla


Edit Company: Whitehouse Post, Whiskey & Bananas

Editor: Sam Puglise-Kipley

Post Production / VFX

Grade: Nolo


Animation Company: The Mill

Category: Retail and restaurants , Retail stores

Genre: People