While it’s spooky outside and we’re inside by the delicious fire (or sitting on a beach, if we’re lucky), most retail brands experience incredibly high sales volumes at this time of year. ‘The season of giving.
But December is a great opportunity for brands to increase social ROI, and often the best way to do that is with a holiday campaign.
Here are four holiday campaigns from past years to inspire your marketing plans for the season.
1. Air Canada’s “Our Home”
In this heartwarming and dazzling campaign, Air Canada helps us remember what “home” really is.
The message of this emotional video, which was released on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook during the 2017 holiday season, is “We don’t live at home, we live in our home”. The ad is beautifully shot and makes viewers reflect on the meaning of the house.
However, not everyone has the budget to create such a quality campaign video to use on social media. So what can we learn?
Air Canada does a great job of being non-denominational in this holiday ad.
It’s important to remember that not everyone celebrates the same winter holidays, so it was the right strategy for Air Canada to advertise this home about a specific religious holiday (especially since they’re airlines, and that’s what they do most holidays: take people home).
When creating holiday campaign ideas, make sure your ideas cover all of your current and potential customers.
2. Starbucks Red Cup design challenge
The Starbucks red cup is an iconic winter staple for this global coffee brand.
Each year customers look forward to the release of the red mug to see what design Starbucks envisions for the current holiday season, and each year customers rejoice more than the last.
But in 2016, Starbucks took its campaign a little further. For one day only, they released a very limited number of plain red glasses and asked customers to create their own designs.
The campaign asked people to share their cup designs on social media with the hashtag #RedCupArt.
Starbucks received thousands of #RedCupArt posts on Instagram and Twitter, and some artists even created YouTube videos of them working on their Red Cup masterpieces.
User-generated content is a great way to increase online engagement and also increase brand loyalty.
When coming up with ideas for your holiday campaign, consider finding a way to engage your audience in the real world and then bring them back online like Starbucks did.
3. Nordstrom’s social advent calendar
It is a wonderful time of year full of traditions, including holidays, family traditions, cultural traditions, and religious traditions.
This variety is an incredibly beautiful thing to celebrate. However, it’s important for brands not to be cultural or traditional when running holiday campaigns. (The resulting PR mess? Eeep.)
Last year, Nordstrom did a great job using respectfully a holiday tradition that many people in the US and Canada (and around the world) are familiar with: the Advent calendar.
Every day in December, they created beautifully illustrated Instagram posts that “pop up” when clicked to reveal a holiday surprise, usually in the form of a product-focused video.
Biggest surprise? The campaign featured Celine Dion. We always give bonus points to Celine Dion. (I’m Canadian and he’s a national treasure, thank you very much.)
4. Every holiday ad John Lewis has ever made
If you haven’t seen all the John Lewis & Partners holiday ads in the last 10 years, do yourself a favor. Go watch them all, now.
But before you go, grab a box of tissues.
John Lewis & Partners is a UK-based chain of high-end department stores famous for their beautiful, story-rich holiday advertisements. And most of the time, these ads get us emotional.
This emotion often bursts into tears because ads tell universal stories that we can all relate to.
From the little boy who truly loves his toy penguin in 2014 to the heart-singing Elton John in 2018, John Lewis & Partners is the expert at capturing holiday emotions in short, minute videos.
Then they share it on their social media channels for the world to see. 2018’s ad featuring Elton John? Nearly 30,000 retweets.
All sorts of emotions run high during the holidays, and if you can successfully capture these moments with your audience, you can strengthen your online community and build more loyal followers. The commercial benefits there will certainly follow.
Not every brand like Nordstrom, Starbucks, John Lewis & Partners or Air Canada has the budget to create such high-profile content. But the results from these campaigns can be used or scaled up by anyone to create successful holiday campaigns on social media.
We hope you found these holiday moments as inspiring as we do.
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