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Macy’s Parade Reroutes the Narrative
Thanksgiving is going to look different for many families this year.
Macy’s has worked hard to make sure its annual Thanksgiving parade isn’t one of the traditions lost as families maintain a safe distance and celebrate virtually.
Even though many people gather to watch the parade live in New York City, the Thanksgiving spectacle is really a televised event first, with 44 million viewers every year. With a scaled-back live production, the retailer needs to convince people at home that the parade is still worth watching.
Macy’s has a plan to do just that. It’s bringing back Broadway.
A Renewed Reason to Watch
Broadway theaters have been dark since March thanks to COVID-19. It was recently announced the closure would last until May 30, 2021. It’s cost the shows and the city billions of dollars in lost revenue, and theatergoers are devasted.
But with the closure, Macy’s saw a Great White Way to rewrite the narrative around its curtailed Thanksgiving parade.
The Macy’s PR push around the parade has had all the COVID-19 messaging you’d expect. Yes, they’re taking extra safety precautions in these unprecedented times. But that messaging was drowned out by something far more newsworthy – the chance to see a live Hamilton performance at the parade.
The pitch worked. Broadway performances have been part of the Macy’s parade since 1960s, but this year publications are writing about casts preparing for their return to the stage.
The move fits right in with branding for the parade and the department store itself. It’s magical. It’s entertaining. It’s using one New York City institution to support another. Most importantly, it gives viewers at home a compelling reason to tune in again this year.