While the rest of the world gets into the holiday spirit, a different sort of excitement blooms within the advertising and marketing community during the final months of the year. People will be home for the holidays, families will gather, friends will meet and everybody will head out for some much awaited holiday shopping… and all of this means just one thing to brands – increased sales. But magical as the festival maybe, this spike in sales won’t happen magically; Santa won’t be sliding down the chimney with increased revenues in his bag which means that once again it is up to those brilliant advertising and marketing minds to come up with ways to capitalize on the festive spirit. And they’ve never let us down.
In the past, a number of brands have come up with some very successful campaigns for marketing their products during Christmas and Hanukkah. We decided to list five of the best ways brands rode the holiday spirit and managed to actually boost sales as a result.
Creating brand association with the festival – Coca Cola
One can hardly talk about Christmas marketing campaigns and not mention Coca Cola, a brand that has successfully piggybacked yuletide for years. The true essence of all their holiday campaigns however lies in the fact that Coca Cola has managed to create a strong identification with the festival itself. For instance, Santa’s avatar of a big fat jolly man in red was in fact crafted by the Coca Cola company way back in 1931 by illustrator Haddon Sundblom. Before this, Santa was simply depicted as a tall, gaunt and slightly scary looking elf but Coke dressed him in their colors and created a cultural icon that shall survive the test of time.
Engaging the audience – TD bank
Involving the audience in one’s marketing campaign is a fairly common tactic but nobody has done it quite as brilliantly during the holiday season as TD Bank’s #MakeTodayMatter campaign. They released a video showing the bank giving $30,000 to 24 people across 24 communities in the US. The catch was that the people had to spend all the money within 24 hours to do something good for the neighbourhood they lived in. These common people rose to the occasion and ended up truly making a difference. What makes this campaign unique is the fact that TD Bank made the whole thing about the joy of giving, keeping in line with the true spirit of Christmas. One can truly feel the joy these people experience while giving back to their community.
Using humour to break through the clutter – Mulberry
Christmas is a time filled with emotional ads that all try to tap into the spirit of the festival. How does one stand out in such a scenario? Mulberry, a luxury brand from the UK decided to break through the clutter of emotional ads by making a funny one. Their TV commercial basically mocks the idea of competitive gift-giving within the family and ends with the idea that a Mulberry product is simply the best present you can give your loved ones.
Putting a fresh spin on things – Starbucks
As you build your brand, patrons come to rely on your standard brand elements such as your logo, packaging etc. A great way to grab your customer’s attention and show off your festive spirit is to put a fresh spin on these familiar elements just for the yuletide. This is exactly what Starbucks does every year with their red cups campaign. The standard Starbucks cup is instantly familiar to coffee drinkers around the globe, but Starbucks decided to have some fun by suddenly introducing red cups around Christmas and asking patrons to post images on social media. Besides garnering terrific response, repeated use of the red cups of December has led to people actually looking forward to them every year. What’s more, it fits right in with Starbucks’ idea of ‘It’s not Xmas till the red cups arrive.’
Playing on pure emotions that everybody can relate to – Hallmark
If Hallmark was a person, it would be your warm, lovable grandpa who always says the sweetest things. So it’s hardly surprising that this is exactly what Hallmark chose to portray in this classic TVC from the 90s that features a grandfather surrounded by his grandkids. But instead of Christmas, they decided to go with Hanukkah. The ad shows grandpa reminiscing about how he spent his very first Hanukkah with his childhood friend. Towards the end of the ad, grandpa wonders where his friend is now. That’s when one of his grandchildren hands him a card from the same friend and this instantly brings a tear to his eye. The ad is simple and yet plays on the universal emotions of remembering and missing loved ones during the holidays and directly connects to the product – Hallmark cards. Clean, clear and very effective.