“We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond.” – Gwendolyn Brooks. Holidays are a time to spread hope & joy, and few things can raise people’s spirits as much as well-crafted holiday campaigns. Want to create one of your own? Here’s a step-by-step guide.

Mixing Business With Holidays – Is It A Good Idea?

When done right, holiday campaigns can become the most popular and well-received form of advertisement for your brand. They offer the rare opportunity to align your messaging with your consumer’s needs on a personal, more emotional level. To date, this type of heartfelt messaging has enabled many brands to solidify their relationship with consumers.

Usually, your brand message must revolve around a particular product or service you provide, but holiday campaigns are not bound by this rule. This is the right time to educate consumers about brand experience – why they should relate to your brand, how they feel when they see your brand, and what they can expect from your brand.

This is the time to elicit, not solicit, your consumers’ trust.

Brewing Up An Effective Holiday Campaign

Holidays are about positivity, hope, and the miraculous power of community. An effective holiday campaign contains all this and more. It’s about what the consumers want or expect from you, how you make them feel, and how your brand will enrich their lives. It’s about them, not you.

Begin your campaign planning by deciding on a unique and authentic theme. Have a specific end date in mind so you don’t overinvest in terms of time, money, and effort. Everyone will be your competition because everyone knows this is the best time to retain or sway consumer opinion. New players, old professionals, those who wish to rebrand – everyone will be vying for a piece of the holiday cake, whether you take it will depend on how well-prepared you are.

If it’s an average campaign, even the most unprepared competitors will gain an edge over you because they spent more on advertising or offered incentives or any of a million other reasons. If it’s on-point and authentic, you will be remembered regardless of how impressive or mediocre your competitors’ messaging is.

Equally important is to plan out and implement every detail of your holiday campaign in advance. The best campaigns will be ineffective unless you give people time to see, share, and act on your messages during prime buying season.

Avoiding The Common Trends

One practice often seen is brands only doing the bare minimum – repacking old content as Christmas content, offering no special incentives, and so on. If you want to plan for success, you need to plan ahead with clear intent.

The idea is to embrace the season without going overboard. Take time to reflect upon the prevailing public sentiment before planning your campaign. Make sure it cannot be interpreted as insincere, hurtful, or trivializing in any way.

Once your campaign blueprint is ready, remember to mix it up – if you’re making every single newsletter, post, flyer, and ad about your holiday sale for a month straight, people will probably tune it out.

Also, don’t forget about your loyal original customers as you try and attract new ones. That dedicated base is the reason you’re in business, so show them some love, too. Use retargeting to offer them a special one-time deal or discount or put up some posts expressing gratitude.

Holiday Campaign Success Stories

A Modern Classic – Google’s “Home Alone, Again”

Google’s 2018 commercial for their Home device became an instant classic for several reasons:

  • It really hits the nostalgia factor for all the 30-somethings who saw the original Home Alone movies as kids and have fond memories of those times. Icing on the cake: They even got the same actor, Macaulay Culkin, to play the same role.
  • The ad is a perfect blend of how effective the product is, how Google as a brand celebrates a bit of fun, and how going outside the box does not mean having to change your brand image.
  • The biggest takeaway, cleverly embedded in the ad, is how advanced things have become in the last few decades, and how Google is the driving force behind all this advancement.

 

The Fun Approach – Walkers’ “All Mariah Carey Wants for Christmas”

While some campaigns opt for subtlety, others – like this one – scream holiday season and cheer from beginning to end. Featuring Mariah Carey and her ubiquitous Christmas track, Walkers’ potato chips got it right by:

  • Playing on Mariah Carey’s strengths – her singing and vivacious personality.
  • Making the ad fun, lighthearted, and memorable.
  • Setting a theme that could easily be a part of Mariah Carey’s everyday life, making it that much more relatable and compelling.
  • Showing the spirit of the season wins out in the end.

 

Tugging The Heartstrings – WestJet’s “Reunions”

Emotionally charged campaigns are also very popular during holidays, like WestJet’s expertly created 2018 video that portrays the brand as one that reunites families who live far apart:

  • The sheer magnitude of the gesture notwithstanding, what makes this ad a guaranteed win is the emotional weight of bringing families together – an idea that appeals to everyone in the holiday season.
  • The capturing of emotions on camera in a raw, unfiltered way enhances the ad’s effect and gives it a genuine feel.
  • The ad is not selling a flight package or an experienced cabin crew. It’s showing the WestJet experience and the brand’s inherent values, which is much more effective at making people like and choose the brand.

 

Crafting An Exceptional Campaign

As you may have realized, holiday campaigns are not something to cobble together at the last minute. An effective campaign that is well-planned, with a clear intention and the right approach, can work wonders for your brand. It has the power to influence and attract people for the rest of the year. In that sense, it’s quite magical, isn’t it?