During the holiday season, marketers have to step up their game. This time of year, spending is on the rise, and the public is on the prowl for products that will catch their attention.
In the United States, the average consumer is expected to purchase $804 worth of goods this holiday season. On Black Friday alone, shoppers spent more than $1.5 billion online.
To cash in on the spending frenzy, brands need to stand out by creating great holiday marketing campaigns. Consumers are being pummeled with holiday-themed advertisements left and right this time of year, so it’s important to figure out what can truly make a brand different.
For some inspiration, take a look at these five holiday marketing campaigns running now:
TD Bank – #MakeTodayMatter
On November 24, TD Bank released a video that showed the company giving $30,000 to 24 people in 24 communities in the United States and Canada. These individuals had one day to figure out how to give the money back to their neighborhoods. So far, the video has garnered over 3.5 million hits and received earned media from outlets all over the world.
The video clicked with people because it was in the true spirit of the holidays, which are all about goodwill and giving back. Marketers should take note and produce campaigns that are about the real messages of the holidays, and not about pure consumerism.
Old Navy – #OneMillThrill
For the second year in a row, Old Navy held their #onemillthrill campaign, which gave the first 100 shoppers in line at every store in North America the chance to win $1 million. When they arrived in line on Thanksgiving or Black Friday, customers were handed game cards that automatically entered them.
Old Navy came up with a hashtag, #onemillthrill, for the campaign. Customers tweeted it out and interacted with the company to make sure they were in the running. People posted pictures and updates about their experiences standing in line.
The #onemillthrill campaign was added incentive for customers to rush to Old Navy. The chances of winning were greater this year than last year, so that added to the excitement surrounding the contest. Marketers should strive to generate that same kind of anticipation by doing their own giveaways to loyal customers. This will demonstrate that they appreciate their customers and want to give back as well.
Budweiser – #HolidayBuds
This year, Budweiser is targeting millennials with its #HolidayBuds campaign. The beer company is selling vintage crates and bottles of its beverages in stores and encouraging people to share photos of them on Instagram. Their hashtag is popular on Twitter, and its commercial for the campaign has received more than 429,000 hits.
Budweiser chose a niche crowd to market to. In the video, they perfectly capture millennials, who keep in touch by Skype and are scattered throughout the globe after college. Millennials are also known for their love of nostalgia; the vintage cases and bottles were a nice touch. Asking this young group of customers to post photos on social media was smart since they are also recognized for being savvy on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Even during the holidays, marketers should know exactly whom they’re trying to reach and use strategies that speak to their target audience. If they try to appeal to a general crowd, they may end up not appealing to anybody.
Mulberry – #WinChristmas
British luxury retailer Mulberry proved that a little humor can take a brand a long way. Their #WinChristmas video, which shows family members trying to one-up each other with their gifts, has gotten over one million hits in less than a month as well as accolades from numerous publications. By depicting gift giving as an oddly competitive process amongst relatives, Mulberry stood out. During the holidays, brands usually show picture-perfect images of family, but people know that that isn’t always accurate.
Marketers have to be truthful in their holiday campaigns and shouldn’t be afraid to think outside of the sentimental box. Sure, everyone likes to see the ideal, but what really captures audiences’ attention is an ad or marketing message that they can actually relate to and have experienced themselves.
Burberry – From London with Love
In their holiday campaign this year, Burberry told a story about a young couple falling in love. Instead of sticking to a normal narrative, they hired professional dancers for an extravagant, emotional video. It struck a chord with people, as evidenced by the eight million hits it received on YouTube and the hundreds of comments from viewers.
Like Burberry, marketers should strive to tell an interesting story this holiday season. The story doesn’t have to be formulaic or stick to a certain time code. It can be told through video, photos, tweets, pins, or Facebook posts. If people want to see a traditional ad, they can turn on their televisions. The online realm is for experimentation. This holiday season, marketers should feel free to divulge their story however they deem is best.
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