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Now Trending \ DEC 12th 2017

The Best Holiday Marketing Campaigns & Why We Love Them

There’s a good reason why it’s called “the most wonderful time of the year” and it’s not just because you’ll probably get a cool present from Santa. Many brands mark the holidays as the best time to offer special promotions and launch their strongest campaigns to hook potential buyers. But even if you’re not planning on publishing a campaign for the holidays, it’s important that your online presence is beautiful and eye-catching. With Wix, you can easily create a stunning website – even before Christmas!

The holidays provide many opportunities for businesses and customers. When the stats show that the average shopper is purchasing around 14 gifts for about $900 during the holiday season, business owners must think about how they can capitalize on the chance of spreading the Christmas cheer through their product or services. Most of you are probably familiar with the efforts of the world’s biggest companies to create viral, impressive, memorable and creative campaigns during the holidays. While small businesses may not have the same resources, they can still draw inspiration and learn from these great marketing concepts.

So without further ado, here are the most beloved, creative and effective holiday marketing campaigns we’ve encountered in the last couple of years:

Come Together (H&M, 2016) – Create a warm, family atmosphere

What it’s all about:

The giant fashion brand launched this campaign featuring director Wes Anderson and one of his favorite film stars, Adrien Brody. Naturally, the short movie Anderson created stands in the center of the campaign. It feels like a mix between two of his previous films, The Darjeeling Limited and The Grand Budapest Hotel. The ad follows a train conductor that tries to make lemonade from the lemons thrown at him in the form of a long delay caused by bad weather. A delay that will make him and the rest of the passengers miss Christmas.

Why it’s special:

The name of the campaign pretty much sums it up. The story of Getting together in order to celebrate special moments, even if it’s with strangers. However, on top of this common messaging, Anderson succeeds to tell a story with a mysterious intro, to sprinkle his unique touch and create a magical and cozy setting that connects H&M’s products to Christmas. The fictional vintage-like world shown in the ad doesn’t end there, as all of the actors are wearing the company’s holiday collection. Promotional still photos of the collection are designed in the same style as the ad and the company’s website was redesigned with the same theme of the short video.

Holiday Marketing Campaigns: Holiday Suitcase

What’s in it for you: Set an atmosphere that goes along with your product and makes it look good. In this case, the warm and cozy vibe connects the products the Christmas feel.

Ye Olde Exploding Yule Log (Old Spice, 2017) – Make ‘em laugh

What it’s all about:

About 50% of American homes don’t have a fireplace. In the absence of a real fireplace, to provide that warm and cozy feeling, some of these households are looking for a solution to fill the void. This is the moment where Yule Log videos came into the picture. While they may have started from regular videos showing a fireplace for hours, providing the visual and the sounds of the real deal, more and more “free-spirited” versions have started to pop up in recent years. The last one of them being Old Spice’s “Ye Olde Exploding Yule Log.” You didn’t really think they would have a conventional video, did you?

Why it’s special:

It’s funny. Plain and simple. Old Spice brought back their hilarious and ultra charismatic presenter to give his take on a Christmas fireplace. The explosive atmosphere, rich visuals and jumpy editing, all of which are highly recognizable elements of the brand, clash with the traditional Christmas living room. It’s a one hour video that hides many humorous gems throughout, enticing viewers to choose this version of a fireplace as their background video, for a lighter and more comical holiday atmosphere.

What’s in it for you: Take a traditional aspect of Christmas and give it a comical twist.

Dryathlon (Cancer Research UK, 2016) – Use the power of a positive and addictive tune

What it’s all about:

In England, alcohol misuse is the “biggest risk factor for death, ill-health and disability among 15-49 year-olds.” With these stats in mind, the importance of campaigns like the Dryathlon is pretty clear. As you can probably figure out from the title, this campaign calls for people to try and give up on drinking for one whole month. This comes at a time where shenanigans are expected during Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. A bonus – while staying sober, you’re also fundraising for Cancer Research UK.

Why it’s special:

This campaign takes a topic which isn’t considered a light one and twists it with a positive and colorful approach. The campaign’s cause is important and honorable, but it was able to differentiate itself through its theme song, which is probably the best musical piece I’ve heard in an ad. It’s catchy (it will get stuck in your head for hours, trust us), funny, creative and successfully conveys the message that you can do practically anything and have the time of your life without drinking. It even has an effective CTA or a call to action in it! Oh, and the animation is also hilarious (Reminded us the “Dumb Ways to Die” campaign). After signing up to the Dryathlon, you’re provided with a full social media kit to get people to “sponsor” your participation and raise money for cancer research.

What’s in it for you: Try to find (or create) an addictive music track to go along with your promotional content for a memorable ad.

Santa Tracker (Google, 2004 – present) – Offer an interactive experience

Holiday Marketing Campaigns: Santa Tracker

What it’s all about:

It started more than a decade ago and went through a lot of changes throughout the years, but Google’s Santa Tracker is one of most fun holiday marketing campaigns ever. Inspired from NORAD Tracks Santa service, this interactive website allows you to track Santa during Christmas Eve in addition to offering a wide array of interactive games and educational activities which are added daily from the beginning of December.

Why it’s special:

Google created the complete package for any kid waiting for Christmas. The countdown clock, cheerful background music, vivid colors and fun games will get any child (and even some adults) excited and waiting for Santa to come. The main attraction of tracking Santa in real time serves as the highlight of this entire experience. Try the wrapping game, trust us, it’s amazing.

What’s in it for you: Try to create any kind of interactive experience. It can increase exposure and provide users with a positive and memorable experience, dramatically upgrading any campaign.

WestJet Christmas Miracle (WestJet, 2013) – Use the element of surprise on hidden camera

What it’s all about:

This one is sort of “The Shawshank Redemption” of holiday marketing campaigns. It’s a classic. The featured video was launched in 2013 and following its success, the company turned the Christmas Miracle videos into a yearly tradition. To make a long story short, passengers of the Canadian airline were surprised to get the presents they wished for alongside their luggage at baggage claim. Around 150 WestJet employees participated in the buying, delivering and packaging of the gifts – all this miracle work was documented and featured in the video.

Why it’s special:

This heartwarming ad went viral worldwide within days and for good reason. Making real people happy on hidden camera is a guaranteed success, I could watch these excited passengers receiving presents over and over. Additionally, it has a solid three-act storyline, a magical holiday vibe, kind and warm narration. The video gained more than 19 million views in four days (as of now, there are more than 47 million views to the video on YouTube), increased the company’s YouTube subscribers by 320% in days and broke records on WestJet’s Facebook and Twitter channels.

What’s in it for you: Candid videos that are showing the reaction of real people are easy to create and promote, they’re fun to watch and they have viral qualities. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Document an activity with your community, come up with an original idea for a viral Facebook or just jump on a trending topic.

#ManOnTheMoon (John Lewis, 2015) – Aim for the heart

What it’s all about:

In the UK, you don’t need snow or festive lights to tell that Christmas is around the corner. When you spot a John Lewis ad, you know that the holidays are here. Since 2007 the department store has released ads that have become an anticipated moment in British culture. Most of them (but not all) are tearjerkers, featuring a soft cover version of a hit song, guaranteed to pull on your heartstrings. For this specific one titled “Man on the Moon” from the 2015 campaign, you’d better prepare the tissues.

Why it’s special:

This ad is more than just a means to an end on the path of bringing you to tears. The fact that it’s an event people wait for and talk about is a huge advantage for John Lewis. Moreover, the slogan at the end of the ad, “Show someone they’re loved this Christmas,” effectively wraps the entire plot into a clear call to action.

What’s in it for you: Be sensitive to your audience feelings and emotions.

Keep Them Busy (Temptations, 2016) – Remember that animals always steal the show

What it’s all about:

Cats and Christmas trees don’t really see eye to eye. Some might say that they get along too well. The bottom line is that if you own a cat, then you shouldn’t get very attached to your Christmas tree and decorations. This ad starts with the ultimate Christmas set, full of lights, trees, loaded dinner table and even a moving toy train. Things take a darker tone when a group of cats enters the scene, destroying everything that stands in their way. The demolition then stops when the cats are distracted by the sound of a bag of cat treats.

Why it’s special:

First of all, it’s impressive. The ad features 22 cats and their collision with a room full of Christmas gifts, decorations and food. As messy as the scene may be, it’s hard to take your eyes off it. Secondly, animals usually steal the show and when you’re selling cat food, you better use them in your promotional content. This ad presents (in a humorous way) a common nuisance many cat owners are familiar with and offers a great solution.

What’s in it for you: You’d be amazed by how easily a photo of your lazy cat or a video of your playful dog can turn any ordinary promotional content into an online gem.

Wix the Price (Wix, 2017) – Promote your clients using social tools

Holiday Marketing Campaigns: Wix the Price

What it’s all about:

Now, this masterpiece is extra special. Why? Because it was created right here at Wix. Similar to the format of a popular game show, the interactive contest was broadcast live on Facebook. Users tuned in and had to guess the price of various items sold on Wix websites through our eCommerce plan. The users who named the actual price (or closest) won the item! Following a successful first try, it was only natural for us to create a special holiday edition of Wix the Price.

Why it’s special:

Wix the Price put the spotlight on the customers (In this case – Wix users). There’s not even a need to talk about your product, you can just present the amazing things people are creating or able to do with it. You’d be surprised by the influence of this kind of affect That’s is something that almost every business can execute, especially since it was broadcast (for free) on Facebook Live. In addition, To make a long story short, giving your brand the holiday feel doesn’t require a big budget. Think about an enjoyable idea for a Facebook Live, Find some attention-grabbing costumes and reach new potential clients through the wonders of social media.

What’s in it for you: Promote your clients to strengthen your connection with them and expand your reach by using social media tools.

So to summarize, here’s our list of the best holiday marketing campaigns ever:

  • Come Together (H&M, 2016)
  • Ye Olde Exploding Yule Log (Old Spice, 2017)
  • Dryathlon (Cancer Research UK, 2016)
  • Santa Tracker (Google, 2004 – present)
  • WestJet Christmas Miracle (WestJet, 2013)
  • #ManOnTheMoon (John Lewis, 2015)
  • Keep Them Busy (Temptations, 2016)
  • Wix the Price (Wix, 2017)

Want to promote your business during the holidays with an amazing campaign? First, make sure you have a stunning website.

By Chen Attias
Community Manager, Wix About The Wix Blog

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