El Palacio de Hierro vs Yorkdale Shopping Centre

It’s holiday season and all the Christmas and winter campaigns are already out (actually since November), but this two brands are sharing more than the jolly spirit, they are almost sharing the same campaign.

As every year Palacio de Hierro, Mexico’s biggest and most luxurious department store, and Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Canada’s premier shopping mall, launched their 2015s Holiday Campaigns, both with the classy and stylish look that characterizes both of them.

But this year, besides sharing that elegant style, both brands decided to use the same concept in their advertising: “The Modern Santa Claus”… and the same model: Paul Mason… and even the same clothes! SAY WUT! Yes! They are almost identical twins, so let’s see which one is the good twin and which one is the evil one.

El Palacio de Hierro Yorkdale Shopping Centre Fashion Santa Mexico Toronto Christmas Navidad 2015 15

“Palacio de Hierro” is a Mexican department store known for its classy and awarded advertising that features very good looking models and very pretentious quotes, like: “If I stumble with a stone, I want to be a gemstone (Si tropiezo con una piedra, quiero que sea preciosa)” or “Is not vanity, is self-love (No es vanidad, es amor propio)”, all created since 1947 by the same agency: TERAN\TBWA, and this year was no exception.

This 2015 the theme for the Palacio de Hierro’s December campaign is “Mr. Claus arrived at the Palacio de Hierro”, a modern, stylized and daring version of Santa Claus interpreted by the hottie and oldie model Paul Mason, and outfitted by stylist Christopher Campbell and shoot by the fashion photographer David Roemer. The campaign was conceptualized in a couple of weeks (That’s what Nacho Borja the creative director of Teran said.) and tries to make him feel like a real celebrity/person that connects with the clients (pff, yeah right…), so they created a verified Facebook page of him and some videos as if he was answering, in a very proper and fashion way, the letters of some grown-ups. And I really loved this campaign… until I found this other campaign that is almost its clone and is actually grabbing more attention than Palacio de Hierro’s.

The campaign is called “Fashion Santa” and is basically the same, but better, and you’ll see why. Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre introduced Fashion Santa for its 2015 holiday campaign, and he is actually the same modern, stylized and daring version of Santa as the one of El PH, and when I say the same, I mean it, he is also portrayed by the same hottie and oldie model Paul Mason!

Yorkdale Shopping Centre decided to go with this campaign after seeing the positives responses from customers last year with the guest appearances at the shopping centre (There is your response) where people could take #SelfiesForSickKids with Fashion Santa for $5, money intended for Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children.

This year “Fashion Santa” is bigger than those appearances, the photos were taken by the Canadian photographer Chris Nicholls on location at the shopping centre and the agency G+ International directed some videos showing how to navigate holiday shopping at Yorkdale. And because Santa is all about generosity, for every selfie shared on social media with Fashion Santa and the #YorkdaleFashionSanta,Yorkdale will donate a  $1 to Sick Kids Foundation, to a maximum of $10,000.

Final word? I have mixed feelings, on the one side I think the photos and videos from El PH are better directed and make Santa look so much better, but on the other side Yorkdale was the first one and it is also helping children. But the truth is that I can’t stop thinking that El PH saw the 2014 Yorkale’s campaign and because they liked so much and it wasn’t a big campaign that year they decided to make it bigger and “better” (with the same model!), but I’m sure they never expected that Yorkdale was also relaunching the campaign in a bigger way and with the same model for 2015. So… I guess originality always win.

But well… at least this is my f opinion.

And just and extra, the creative director of Teran said in an interview “We knew we had a differentiated campaign… El Palacio de Hierro is the only brand that could venture to campaign with this character, who is everlasting” YEAH RIGHT!


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El Palacio de Hierro Yorkdale Shopping Centre Fashion Santa Mexico Toronto Christmas Navidad 2015 4El Palacio de Hierro Yorkdale Shopping Centre Fashion Santa Mexico Toronto Christmas Navidad 2015 8El Palacio de Hierro Yorkdale Shopping Centre Fashion Santa Mexico Toronto Christmas Navidad 2015 6El Palacio de Hierro Yorkdale Shopping Centre Fashion Santa Mexico Toronto Christmas Navidad 2015 5


13 thoughts on “El Palacio de Hierro vs Yorkdale Shopping Centre

  1. Anne Davie

    I was the Executive Director on the account at the time it was conceptualized, presented and produced. I am no longer in Mexico with Teran and can say with total honesty that we never saw the Canadien campaign before conceptualizing. We also were looking at several models and decided on Paul who we casted through a NY production house. Any similarities should be put down to Brilliant Minds Think Alike.


    1. Tochtli

      hmm very similar indeed, the main difference is that you and Teran managed to put together an extremely classist -and not classy at all- message, so I would have my doubts about “they” thinking alike. You can call it “Brilliant Minds Think Alike”, to me is just plagiarism based on lack of creativity, at least use different clothes for goodness’ sake


  2. hi, this adversity in my personal opinion its gusting , i don´t like see a santa claus in a version light, fashion, tiny and so pretty, this breake whit the image classic of santa, the concept about of santa claus, is have to be a men , fat , happy , formidable and friendly, this adversity its a cold and empty, ….i write from queretaro, mexico, in a place where the adversity of palacio de hierro its every where ….
    merry christmas ….
    graphic designer


  3. Daniel

    I always find the campaign of “El palacio de hierro” extremely snob, and then again, it is directed to snob people. But this in particular i find it real stupid, i get the idea, but the idea is stupid. You can manage the REAL SANTA in a snobie way, but not RAPE the original santa and make it THAT BITCH. both campaigns are horrible.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rosseve

    Maybe like in the book of Carl Sagan (Broca’s Brain), we are the same mind trying to be “original”. This is not the first time that something like this happen in advertising, almost every year there are campaigns that are almost the same, some even in the same country, so who cares, one is in Canada and other in Mexico, they will never compete between them. I hope it was just bad luck.


  5. C’mon Anne Davie… you’re trying to make some rationalization as it is what you are meant to say instead of: “yes, it’s a rip off, so fuck off”…
    But I mean, come on! If you are that brilliant, you will think alike those who don’t buy the “similarities” with the Canadian campaign that “you never saw”.


  6. Advertiser

    A famous production designer once told me: “Advertisement builds from references”. Yes, I’m completely agree. But
    in Mexico’s advertisement it’s common see this kind of “similarities”. Creatives use the f word “reference” when they mean “COPY”.
    Despite the “similarities” among both campaigns. Let’s say (as someone swears on a previous post). That no one saw or was aware about that a campaign already exists with the same concept. Then, i can’t stop thinking about the use of the same model. His rep or agency doesn’t be aware about what’s going on?. Again. In Mexico (i think happens the same all over the world). When you pick a model from a cast. You have to ask him/her agency or rep. If they are currently doing ads for the competition in the last year. If the answer is yes. Then, you’re not elegible to do a spot or campaign for another company from the same field (Coke/Pepsi) . It’s unethical!! Or what all this people was thinking? – C’mon nobody gonna notice it, common people doesn’t even are aware of ads from another countries…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kevin Long

    @Anne Davie: in my experience, brilliant minds *don’t* think alike. But since there is only one Santa, why is anyone surprised that he shows up in ads across North America? 🙂


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