Macy's Parade Provides Partners With Rare Combo: High Reach, Low Risk
Now in its 85th year, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is watched by more than 3 million people and an additional 50 million or so on television. In an era when moral clauses are a part of many major sponsorship contracts and negative headlines can be circulated instantly and repeated to ad infinitum, the iconic New York parade offers a rare combination of both high reach and low risk for family-oriented brands.
In addition to the six official partners of the parade, Macy's enters into partnerships with the companies that own the rights to characters that are showcased in the parade.
In addition to the exposure they receive in the parade, many partners activate with a charitable component tied to their participation. For instance, Aflac and Macy’s announced last month a major partnership that will not only add a 35-foot-tall duck balloon to the parade, but also sell Aflac’s holiday duck plush toy to nearly 700 Macy’s stores nationwide with proceeds benefiting childhood cancer research.
It's a safe marketing bet for the Atlanta-based company in an environment where a single tweet can create a public relations nightmare and bring down the spokesduck.