Macy’s Explores the Lure of Themed Content

Macy’s has reached into the annals of department store history with a recent promotion. Their Brazil-themed marketing push, which officially debuted April 22, mirrors decades-old department store promotions that sought to pull customers in with food, music, and a select set of products tied to a distant land.

In Macy’s case, that means store-in-store areas dubbed “O Mercado, The Market at Macy’s” and a themed landing page on their site. (You can get a taste of the aesthetic they’re going for with their official video introduction or with the company’s lengthy press release.) Macy’s digs deep, invoking mystical, ancient traditions in the form of lucky bracelets alongside more sophisticated offerings like soaps produced in the Amazon.

The content is more lush than usual for Macy’s, underscoring their attempt to draw people in with a larger narrative. The product descriptions go beyond Macy’s typical three-to-four-sentence affairs, gushing about the historic pedigrees of their Brazilian suppliers, the donation to an Amazon-protecting charity made with each purchase, and the added depth of exclusivity that comes with shopping in this limited-time section of their website and store. The word “exotic” is dropped almost as often as common punctuation marks. In person, the content goes even deeper–the shelves and racks are dotted with QR codes that connect customers with more robust content about the Brazilian coffee or tote bag that caught their eye.

At AdAge, Macy’s CMO Martine Reardon says that the possibility of future themed campaigns hinges on the response to this one. We can’t help but wonder if there will be a lasting effect on their content as well–aside from a little extra pizazz from exposure to so much samba music.

Learn more about Macy’s Brazilian strategy at

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