The Secret to Successful Holiday Campaigns
E-commerce marketing, a heated topic in recent years thanks to the development of online business and promotion methods, refers to the process of advertising online products and services using various channels and strategies. Such a process helps you to build the brand, attract and attain customers, and increase revenues.
The holiday season has long been an essential period for merchants in the e-commerce industry because of increased demand and purchasing power. For example, some launch new products during Christmas, and some highlight their promotion several weeks before the New Year comes.
There is no doubt that holiday marketing is a heated topic. This article shares with you the secret to successful holiday marketing campaigns.
What to consider before you do holiday marketing
Good preparation helps you to save half of the hard work. Here are a few suggestions about what to do before conducting your holiday campaigns.
1. Analyze previous marketing practices.
Reviewing holiday campaigns of yours or others in the previous years is an effective way to summarize dos and don’ts.
2. Be flexible
We are living in a fast-changing world. The same can be said for customers’ taste, which is sometimes unpredictable. Also, you should always be ready to change unsuccessful marketing ideas for holidays.
3. Get ready for holiday marketing in advance
As mentioned in the previous point, an early start enables flexibility. Doing so gives you enough time to make informed decisions, which increases your chance of success in holiday advertising. For example, it is advised that you start preparing for Christmas marketing slogans before December rolls around.
27 Examples of Holiday Marketing Campaigns
This section includes 27 examples of holiday marketing campaigns and an analysis of the reasons behind their success. As mentioned above, you can always learn from others’ successful practices.
1. Apple: Christmas Commercial 2021
The commercial depicts a family visit during the Christmas season. The two little girls are sometimes annoying, even when the family is in a hurry to catch a flight or when the mother is in sorrow, missing the late grandmother.
However, the iPad seems to be a magic bean in the video. When the girls are in a fight, the mother asks them to watch cartoons on the iPad, and the tense situation is resolved magically.
Apple highlights emotional appeal in this advertisement. The setting of a journey during Christmas is also relatable. Such a combination proves to be successful in the field of holiday advertising.
2. Coca-Cola: Christmas Commercial 2020
Coca-Cola is good at creating touching and relatable advertisements, and its Christmas commercial in 2020 is an outstanding example.
The story tells of a father who tries to bring his daughter’s letter to Santa Claus with great effort, only to find out that Santa is closed for Christmas. Just when the father is desperate in the heavy snow, Santa appears and takes him back home by driving a Coca-Cola van. It turns out that his little girl’s wish is for him to spend Christmas at home.
This short but touching commercial is one of Coca-Cola’s legendary holiday campaigns. It makes customers realize that the best thing for the people you love is your company instead of expensive gifts.
3. Microsoft: Christmas Commercial 2020
Every human in the family seems busy with one of Microsoft’s products during Christmas. For example, the boy is playing video games, and the mother is having a virtual meeting with her friends. A creative part of the commercial is that the dog is also on a virtual journey using Microsoft technology with his buddy, the dog next door.
In the year when people indulge in technology to distract themselves from the powerful COVID-19 pandemic, such an advertisement not only displays the abundant Microsoft products but also reminds us to spend quality time with our loved ones (including our pets!).
4. Amazon: Christmas Commercial 2020
With the title, The Show Must Go On, Amazon’s Christmas commercial in 2020 stands out as a successful case of holiday advertisement.
The story goes that a ballerina is chosen to take the lead in the school’s dance show, which is unfortunately canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with her little sister’s suggestion, she decides to create a socially distant ballet show. Thanks to the flashlight a bot buys on Amazon, all building tenants can enjoy the ballerina dancing elegantly in the snow.
The most brilliant point is that Amazon takes the flashlight as a symbol and informs customers of its tasteful product placement.
5. Macy’s: Holiday Commercial 2020
Macy’s, the American department store chain founded in 1858, emphasizes connection and relationship in their marketing, as shown in one of their holiday commercials released in 2020.
The little girl puts on her dad’s shoes and magically becomes her dad. Everyone greets her as if she is her dad. Just like this, she lives as her dad for a day, during which she realizes that dad walks too much and decides to buy him a pair of socks.
This way, a seemingly overdone gift symbolizes the little girl’s love for her father. Macy’s attracts and attains customers by displaying the simple fact: gifts don’t have to be complicated and expensive, and what matters is the love contained in them.
6. Kool-Aid: Christmas Campaign 2019
In 2019, Kool-Aid cooperated with the prominent rapper Lil Jon to release the music video All I Really Want For Christmas.
The campaign not only entertains customers but also inspires them to buy products. For example, the Kool-Aid drinks in the music video do a good job of attracting customers to try themselves by merging themselves with holiday vibes and the celebrity effect, even though the video is released in winter when most people long for a hot beverage.
Such a form of holiday marketing campaign is something to learn.
7. Erste Group Bank: Christmas Advertisement 2020
As an Austrian financial service provider in Central and Eastern Europe, Erste Group Bank excels at creating moving holiday advertisements. Its Christmas advertisement 2018 had 1.4 million likes on YouTube by Dec 14, 2024.
Erste Group Bank did it again in 2020. The commercial tells the story of a grandfather who wants to play the piano so badly, but unfortunately, he doesn’t have one. His granddaughter finds out his wish and buys him one. The company uses #believeinlove, #believeinchristmas, and #believeinyourself to end the commercial.
Emotional appeal is a standard tool when you think of holiday marketing ideas. Also, combining holiday vibes and corporate culture helps you to form a more profound connection with customers.
8. Spotify: Playlist Potluck
One of the traditions during the holiday season is to throw parties, and music is a crucial element. Realizing this, Spotify, a Swedish audio streaming and media service provider, cooperated with Sonos to create Playlist Potluck.
The two businesses turn playlists into something like a potluck, where everyone can make contributions. Instead of bringing food or drink, they combine their musical taste to form a collaborative playlist.
The tagline is also interesting, “One home. One host. Everyone brings a dish.” By launching such a campaign, Spotify makes several media formats cohesive and enables users to have unique music parties.
9. Google: Santa Tracker
The internet giant Google is a significant player in holiday marketing campaigns. One of its representative works is Santa Tracker. Now, it involves many mini-games, and you can even watch short films to learn more about this holiday and Santa.
The secret behind this fantastic holiday marketing idea is that Google injects folk culture into technology. By adding Christmas elements, the company creates a comprehensive game that is both entertaining and informative. Children can have fun and learn something about Christmas and Santa at the same time.
Such a campaign can be an excellent example for internet businesses.
10. Disney: Christmas Advertisement 2020
The story goes back to 1940 when the girl got her first Mickey Mouse, an iconic figure in the Disney world. With time elapsing, the girl grows up and becomes a grandmother. She gives the old, worn stuffed toy to her granddaughter, who gradually dislikes it after reaching adulthood. However, when the granddaughter realizes how important the Mickey Mouse is to her grandmother, she restores it and gives it back to her grandma as a holiday gift.
We always expect something warm from Disney, and the media giant never disappoints us. Adding representative elements of your business into a short but touching film is a good way to relate to customers and leave a favorable impression on them.
11. Heathrow Airport: Christmas Advertisement 2018
Telling a heartwarming story of a teddy bear couple reuniting with their children and grandchildren, this Christmas commercial by Heathrow Airport indeed has left a firm impression in many people’s hearts.
The reasons behind its popularity are twofold. For one thing, the cute teddy bear family easily reminds viewers of their own toys. Maybe you also had a teddy bear guarding you when you were asleep in childhood? For another, when viewers see the happy reunion scene of the teddy bears, they might also think of some valuable moments they have with their loved ones.
12. Walkers Crisps: Christmas Advertisement 2019
This is another example of inviting celebrities to join your holiday marketing campaign. Walkers Crisps collaborated with Mariah Carey to film a hilarious short commercial in 2019.
The humor element is sometimes neglected when coming up with holiday promotion ideas. Walkers Crisps did an excellent job by letting Mariah Carey sing a high note and a bird snatch a crisp from the elf actor.
The food company uses its slogan “Too good to share” to end the Christmas advertisement while presenting the limited holiday packages of crisps. Such a practice of promoting the brand and new products at the same time is something we can learn.
13. LEGO: Rebuild the World
Lego, a line of plastic construction toys, spares no effort to attract all age groups, especially kids and the young. In 2021, it released a holiday advertisement with the song Build Me Up as the background music.
Numerous classic LEGO products appear in the video, including Stormtroopers, sports cars, rockets, fire trucks, castles, and dragons. The vivid scenes of fantasy and reality appeal to both children and adults.
With the powerful slogan “Rebuild the World” in the end, such a successful campaign is textbook holiday advertising for entities in the toy industry.
14. John Lewis & Partners: Christmas Commercial 2021
The department store John Lewis & Partners offered consumers an immersive magic trip in 2021 by releasing its Christmas commercial. The music video is about the friendship between a boy on Earth and his unexpected guest from space.
This popular holiday advertisement by John Lewis & Partners is solid proof that injecting a little magic into your holiday marketing is an excellent way to appeal to all age groups. Who wouldn’t imagine having an unexpected guest at home after watching the short film?
Its concise but well-structured title and slogan are also something we can learn. The title “Unexpected Guest” keeps viewers in suspense, urging them to discover more about this mysterious figure. In addition, the slogan “For a Christmas as Magical as Your First” inspires viewers to enjoy the holiday even more, maybe by shopping at the department store.
15. Gap: All Together Now
Gap also invited a celebrity, the famous Katy Perry, to join their holiday campaign in 2021. Together, they presented the song All You Need Is Love, initially popularized by the English rock band The Beatles.
The best part of the commercial is its ending, where people from different backgrounds kiss each other, representing Gap’s corporate culture with diversity and inclusiveness at its core.
Incorporating corporate values into holiday marketing helps consumers understand your brand deeper, thus contributing to long-term brand building.
16. Boots: The Noe
The UK’s leading health and beauty retailer, Boots, invited Jenna Coleman from Doctor Who to lead its Christmas commercial in 2021. It is one reason behind this fantastic holiday marketing campaign.
The heroine receives a Boots bag as a Christmas gift but surprisingly finds out there seem to be numerous gifts in the bag, all beauty products from Boots, of course. The girl distributes them to the people and things she loves: perfume for her grandma, lipstick for herself, a Polaroid for a boy at the ball, a wool cap for a girl at the amusement park, and a stroller for a dog.
The commercial ends with an inspiring marketing slogan for Christmas, “Bags of Joy,” which is succinct and to the point.
17. Gucci: Christmas Commercial 2020
In a year impacted by the severe COVID-19 pandemic, the luxury brand Gucci presented consumers with a Christmas commercial depicting a holiday party in the last century.
While most brands played safe by releasing holiday commercials with social distance content, Gucci did the contrary by fulfilling people’s dream of clinking glasses of eggnog with colleagues, decorating offices in a Christmas style, and exchanging well-packed gifts.
Such a retro-chic commercial not only fits the Christmas vibes but also showcases Gucci’s outstanding fashion taste. No wonder it is one of the brand’s most successful holiday marketing campaigns.
18. Xfinity: Christmas Commercial 2020
Xfinity, the largest cable internet access provider in the United States, launched a creative and hilarious Christmas campaign in 2020. In a year when humor was not expected, as most people were trapped in horror and desperation because of the pandemic, the company offered just the right kind of humor that made viewers warm and relaxed.
Because of the virus, Santa Claus and his elves meet at a virtual conference to discuss what gifts to distribute. They finally decide to give togetherness to everyone, such as a family snowball fight, the smell of grandma’s cooking, auntie’s cheek squeezes, and so on.
The commercial is evident proof that the appropriate use of humor is never wrong. Also, togetherness and connectedness, the theme of the commercial, is realized by the internet, which exactly fits what Xfinity does.
19. Chevrolet: Christmas Commercial 2024
This year, Chevrolet presented consumers with a warm Christmas advertisement depicting family reunion scenes.
Grandma is always sad, whether when her great-granddaughters give her gifts or her children cook for her. Her granddaughter takes her out for a drive on a classic Chevrolet Suburban. They visit the hospital where she was born and her high school, where she recalled many sweet memories. Ultimately, they return to the house, and the grandpa welcomes them.
The simple blessing “Happy Holidays” gives the commercial a concise but heartwarming ending.
20. Caffè Nero: Christmas Commercial 2024
The coffeehouse company Caffè Nero chose relaxation and joy as the theme of its Christmas advertisement this year.
With the classic Jingle Bells as the background music, the heroine expects the approaching Christmas so much that she wears a Christmas hat to Caffè Nero and asks for a coffee and mince pie. The staff jokes that Christmas time starts tomorrow, but just when the heroine is disappointed, he says the line, “It’s time,” which is also the marketing slogan.
This commercial is simple but joyful. It tells us that classic elements can compose a pleasing and relaxing Christmas advertisement, calling people to feel holiday vibes as the Christmas countdown gets underway.
21. Amazon: Christmas Commercial 2024
Amazon shares a life-long friendship with customers this year in their Christmas advertisement.
Three elderly ladies sit on a sledding hill, watching kids and the young having fun in the snow. One of them decides to help the trio relive their youth by purchasing padded seat cushions on Amazon. In the end, they sled down the hill as they did when they were little girls.
Such a touching story about friendship and vigor ends with the slogan “Joy is Share” and Amazon’s iconic smile logo. It also encourages women to pursue whatever they want, regardless of age and conditions.
22. TK Maxx: Christmas Commercial 2024
The American apparel and home goods company TK Maxx selects a farm as the setting of its Christmas advertisement this year.
The grandmother buys the adorable “farmer designer outfits” of the casually dressed alpaca, fashionable ducks, and the goat with a bowler hat. The grandfather is surprised because he thinks they agreed to keep it small with the gifts. It turns out it’s precisely what the short video wants to say: Spoil all your loved ones for less.
The name TK Maxx and the slogan “Big gifts. Small prices.” at the end of the commercial is another example of involving branding in holiday marketing campaigns.
23. M&S Food: Christmas Commercial 2024
In November, M&S released its Christmas advertisement featuring an elf and a pair of wool gloves.
The kind elf saves the nearly frozen gloves back inside a warm house. It turns out that the gloves fell out of their owner’s backpack. Then, the elf invites the gloves for a sumptuous feast of Christmas food.
The lines in the short film are naturally connected to M&S Food and the holiday theme of Christmas, like “Let’s sprinkle you with some M&S Christmas magic” and “This is not just food. This is M&S Christmas food”. Don’t forget to add brand-related elements into your holiday advertising in a natural, joyful way.
24. Argos: Christmas Commercial 2024
Using its second ad mascots, Connie and Trevor, as the protagonists in the Christmas advertisement this year, the catalog retailer Argos makes a hilarious short film this year where the Barbie doll Connie thinks the dinosaur Trevor is helping her record a fantastic dance, but actually, the latter is shooting himself.
The most impressive scene in the commercial must be Connie dancing across a table of gifts, all available on Argos. The skillful combination of a wide variety of products across technology, home goods, gardening, appliances, toys, video games, and more demonstrates Argos’ dedication to holiday marketing campaigns.
25. Waitrose & Partners: Christmas Advertisement 2024
Taking a Christmas party as the setting, Waitrose & Partners carried out a “delicious” campaign this year.
The one-and-a-half-minute video is full of best sellers at Waitrose & Partners, such as Feta Popcorn, chocolate, Golden Bûche de Noël, Crumble Top Mince Pie, and Florentine-inspired panettone. Even though there’s a sudden, unexpected blackout, a madam manages to get the party back in full swing by presenting more cheese. The pleasant holiday marketing campaign offers continuous cheer and happiness.
Waitrose & Partners also did a good job combining holiday advertising with brand marketing by narrating at the end, “When the food’s good, everything’s good.”
26. Morrisons: Christmas Commercial 2024
In the Christmas campaign launched by Morrison, the fifth-largest supermarket chain in the United Kingdom, an oven glove takes the lead.
The personified oven glove accompanies people when they prepare Christmas meals for their families. Two clever points stand out. For one thing, the glove moves its mouth to the background music as if it is singing. For another, two gloves form a heart gesture in one of the scenes.
Doesn’t this warm commercial with a joyful oven glove as the main character make people want to buy groceries at Morrisons and cook a holiday meal for their family?
27. Barbour: Christmas Commercial 2024
This year, the lifestyle brand Barbour collaborated with the renowned IP Shaun the Sheep to produce a hilarious cartoon as its Christmas advertisement.
The dog finds out his owner’s jacket is worn out and decides to repair it with the help of the sheep. They try to patch up the holes in the jacket and fix the zipper. However, heavy snow covers them all as soon as the man wears it.
The best part of this short video must be the last line, “To extend the life of your garment, it might be best to go to Barbour.” Such a clever ending with a smooth brand connection is worth learning.
1. How to do a holiday marketing campaign?
A successful holiday marketing campaign involves several steps. A common approach is as follows.
Decide the theme of the campaign
· Write down the campaign goals
· Narrow down the target customer group
· Design a promotion plan
· Create a physical or digital invitation
· Select ways to distribute the invitations
· Carry out the campaign
· Review the whole process
2. Which marketing campaign is most successful?
There are many criteria in terms of measuring how successful a marketing campaign is, such as creativity, popularity, storytelling ability, and emotional appeal. Selecting the best market campaign is hard, but some stand out as shining examples.
They include Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign launched in 1988, and Pepsi’s “Is Pepsi OK” campaign featuring celebrities such as Steve Carell and Cardi B.
3. What PR strategies should brands use during the holidays?
During the holiday season, brands can use a wide variety of PR strategies to boost sales and attract new consumers. Here are a few examples.
First, make full use of holiday themes. Businesses can capitalize holiday elements during the campaign. Second, learn from past experiences. There are many holidays during the year, and brands can always learn from previous campaigns to summarize dos and don’ts. Third, combine holiday promotion with long-term brand building. It’s vital that merchants include every holiday marketing campaign in their business plan in the long run.
4. What are the biggest holidays for advertising?
The fact is that as a merchant, you probably carry out market campaigns all year round. However, there are special occasions when you can maximize the marketing effect with less effort.
As a result, you should carefully prepare for such holidays, including but not limited to end-of-year holidays (such as Christmas and New Year), Black Friday (especially for e-commerce), Halloween, Back-to-School Day, Memorial Day, Religious Holidays, Earth Day, Labor Day, Cultural Holidays (such as Martin Luther King Day).
5. What are the holiday marketing trends in 2024?
The saying that change is the only constant in life is also applicable in the field of marketing. We are looking at numerous new things in holiday marketing in 2024.
One of the most evident is that the power of AI will be explored more deeply. This technology is helpful in many ways, such as designing posters, writing slogans, and calculating cost and profit.
Excitement builds around holidays. That’s why holidays are a good chance for merchants to attract potential customers, strengthen emotional connectedness, and promote their brands. Today, we covered preparations before the holiday season and shared some holiday campaign cases.
Since holiday marketing is a significant part of the business plan, we hope this article can be helpful when you draw up your holiday promotion plans for the year 2024. Last but not least, a recommended list of powerful third-party applications for you to increase efficiency during the process. Don’t forget to subscribe for more.