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  • January 21, 2009

AM Inbox: Commemorative President Barack Obama edition

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The Retail Email Blog monitors the email marketing campaigns of more than 100 top online retailers. Here are highlights from my inbox this morning:

While a number of retailers looked to capitalize on the unprecedented fervor around the swearing in of Barack Obama as our 44th president, they all took very different approaches. Here’s a roundup:

Ralph Lauren, 1/20 — RL Magazine Celebrates America‏
PHILANTHROPIC/HISTORICAL. On this historic occasion, Ralph Lauren dedicated their email to highlighting their work on the restoration of the Star-Spangled Banner. I found the lead image rather interesting—they were clearly going for a young Barack vibe, but I’m confused as to why they made him look bored. And I couldn’t help but smile when I saw the video console at the bottom of the email with Hillary Clinton’s face in it.

Click to view this Jan. 20, 2009 Ralph Lauren email full-sized

Spiegel, 1/20 — All The A-List Celebs Have The New Spiegel Catalog. Do You Have Yours?
CELEBRITY/NEWSY. Don’t you want to be cool like the people at Obama’s inauguration party? If so, you better get your hands on the latest Spiegel Catalog. —That’s the message behind this email, which sources its hero image from the New York Post, giving the email a newsy feel.

Click to view this Jan. 20, 2009 Spiegel email full-sized

Spiegel, 1/20 — Get Michelle's First Lady Style for Less!
CELEBRITY/NEWSY. Later in the day Spiegel sent this second email, which has a stronger celebrity angle, casting Michelle as the “First Lady of Style.” The email repeats the news organization image sourcing that the earlier email had. This email is similar to how Bluefly features items that match the winning look on Project Runway the day after the show airs. A lot has already been made of Michelle’s fashion sense, so I suspect that we’ll more emails like this.

Click to view this January 20, 2009 email full-sized

EB Games, 1/20 — EB Games News: Ask Not What You Can Do for EB Games, Ask What Can EB Games Do for You!‏
HUMOROUS. EB Games’ emails are written in a very consistent humorous voice and this email is no different. They’re funny without being mocking. Here are two of the best bits:

Click to view this Jan. 20, 2009 EB Games email full-sized

Click to view this January 20, 2009 email EB Games full-sized

Urban Outfitters, 1/20 — New Era‏
ARTISTIC. Although the call-to-action is a simple “Shop What’s New” link, the creative elevates this email with minimalist echoes of Jasper John’s Flag painting. This artistic approach to the occasion is totally on brand for UO.

Click to view this Jan. 20, 2009 Urban Outfitters email full-sized

SmartBargains, 1/20 — INAUGURATION SALE: Up to 75% Off Retail Free Shipping.
STRAIGHT PROMOTIONAL. They included a little inaugural-themed copy, but this is a pretty straight-forward sale. I wonder if such a direct promotion has the potential to offend.

Click to view this Jan. 20, 2009 Smart Bargains email full-sized

Bluefly, 1/20 — EXTRA 15% OFF Everything - Change Never Looked So Good!
STRAIGHT PROMOTIONAL. This Bluefly email seems even crasser than SmartBargains’—and the banner about “inaugural intimates” seems downright tacky. Sexy is on brand for Bluefly, but I think some will find it in poor taste in this instance.

Click to view this Jan. 20, 2009 Bluefly email full-sized

Barnes & Noble, 1/20 - This Week -- Coupons, Celebrate the Inauguration, #1 Bestseller from Paul McKenna, 75% Off Clearance‏
PROMOTIONAL/HISTORICAL. This B&N email featured books by and about Obama, as well as those about other presidents.

SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER: Select noteworthy subject lines
Tiffany, 1/20 — Valentine's Gifts by Paloma Picasso‏
Saks Fifth Avenue, 1/20 — Saks Insider's Valentine Picks‏
RedEnvelope, 1/20 — Save up to 25% now - perfect for Valentine's Day!
Art.com, 1/20 — Up to 30% Off + NEW for 2009!‏
Chadwick’s, 1/20 — Cozy up to 70% off in the New Year Sale!
Oriental Trading, 1/20 — Start the year with savings + free shipping on $49‏
OfficeMax, 1/20 — Free Tax Software with Ink + MaxPerks Bonus Rewards‏
Drs. Foster & Smith, 1/20 — Pet Wellness Spotlight: Checkups‏
Neiman Marcus, 1/20 — Fashion Craving #1: Two scoops of color, please! + Free online shipping‏
Lands’ End, 1/20 — New: smartest UPF clothing under the sun‏
JCPenney, 1/20 — Shop Our Spring Preview and Find the Prices You Love‏
Coldwater Creek, 1/20 — Spring Outfits...Shop the looks we've put together (for you!)

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