Oh, the holidays!
While the weather outside is getting frightful, and we are inside by the fire that’s delightful (or sitting on a beach if we are lucky), most retail brands experience an incredibly high volume of sales at the moment of the year. ‘Tis the season for giving.
However the month of December is a superb chance for brands to increase social ROI, and a holiday campaign is usually the best way to do it.
Here are 4 holiday campaigns from years past to inspire your advertising and marketing plans for the season.
1. Air Canada’s “Our Home”
In this heartwarming and tear-jerking marketing campaign, Air Canada helps us keep in mind what “home” really is.
“We do not live at home, home lives in us,” is the message of this emotionally charged video, which was posted on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube during the 2017 holiday season. The advert is beautifully shot and prompts audiences to reflect on the meaning of home.
However, not everybody has the budget to make such a high-quality marketing campaign video to use on social. So what can we learn?
Air Canada does an excellent job of being non-denominational in this holiday advert.
It’s necessary to keep in mind that not everybody celebrates the same winter holidays, so making this advert about home—instead of a specific religious holiday—was the right technique for Air Canada (particularly since they are an airline, and that’s what they do most over the holidays: take people home).
When coming up with marketing campaign ideas for the holidays, ensure your ideas are inclusive of all your current and potential customers.
2. The Starbucks Red Cup design challenge
The Starbucks red cup is an iconic winter staple for this global coffee brand.
Every year, customers eagerly await the release of the red cup to see what design Starbucks has dreamed up for the present holiday season, and every year customers are delighted even more than the last.
However, in 2016, Starbucks took their marketing holiday campaigns a little further. For one day only, they launched a very limited run of cups that were plain red and asked clients to make their own designs.
The marketing holiday campaigns asked people to share their own cup creations on social media platforms with the hashtag, #RedCupArt.
Starbucks received hundreds of #RedCupArt submissions on Instagram and Twitter, and some artists even created YouTube videos of them working on their Red Cup masterpieces.
User-generated content is an effective way to increase engagement online, and also to enhance brand loyalty.
When coming up with ideas for your Holiday campaign, consider finding a method to engage your viewers in the real world, and then deliver them back online as Starbucks did.
3. Nordstrom’s social advent calendar
The holidays are a wonderfully tradition-filled time of year, including family traditions, cultural traditions, and religious traditions.
This diversity is an extremely beautiful thing to celebrate. But it’s necessary for brands not to appropriate culture or tradition when releasing holiday campaigns. (The PR mess that may ensue? Eeep.)
Last year, Nordstrom did a fabulous job of respectfully utilizing a holiday tradition many in Canada and the US (and worldwide) are familiar with—the advent calendar.
They made superbly illustrated Instagram posts that, when clicked on, “opened up” to reveal a holiday surprise daily in December, often in the type of a product-focused video.
The biggest surprise? They had Celine Dion in the marketing campaign. We always give bonus points for Celine Dion. (I’m Canadian, and she is a national treasure thanks very much.)
4. Every holiday advert John Lewis has ever made, ever
When you have not seen every John Lewis & Partners holiday advert from the past 10 years, do yourself a favor. Go watch them all, right now.
However, before you go, grab a box of tissue.
John Lewis & Partners is a chain of high-end department stores that operate in the UK, famous for their lovely, story-rich holiday adverts. And often, these adverts make us well up with emotion.
That emotion usually spills over into tears because the adverts tell universal stories that we could all relate to.
From the little boy who actually loves his toy penguin in 2014, to Elton John singing his heart out in 2018, John Lewis & Partners are experts at capturing the emotion of the holidays in a tight few minutes of video.
Then, they share it on their social media platforms so the world could see. 2018’s advert that includes Elton John? Nearly 30,000 retweets.
Emotions of every kind run high over the holidays and when you could successfully capture these moments with your viewers, you will be capable of strengthening your online community and create more loyal followers. The business benefits there will certainly follow.
Not every brand has the budget to make such high-profile content like Nordstrom, Starbucks, John Lewis & Partners, or Air Canada. However, the takeaways from these campaigns can be utilized or scaled by anybody to build successful holiday campaigns on social media.
We hope you found these holiday moments as inspirational as we did.