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Lessons to Learn from the 6 Best Holiday Marketing Campaigns

As marketers, we have come far from the days of traditional window sales. Today is the era of digital advertising. Many successful holiday marketing campaigns now arise from digital backgrounds.

But how do some brands cut through the excessive marketing noise?

Different brands adopt different ways to achieve this but all have the same essence- a similar vibe that celebrates the festive cheer.

Let’s take a look at some of the best holiday marketing campaigns and see the marketing lessons that they offer:

1. John Lewis ad
John Lewis, a chain of high-end department stores in the UK, has mastered the art of holiday storytelling by executing some of the most brilliant campaigns in the last few years. Their stories focus on moments that tug at hearts and leave one with the festive joy. And for John Lewis, these stories have helped them increase their sales and build brand memorability.

This “Bear and the Hare” video ad by John Lewis increased the company’s sales by almost 23% in a matter of 5 weeks. It managed to do so by striking the right emotional chords through an impactful story and even better soundtrack. The animated video revolves around a character who sees Christmas for the first time. The video ends with a lovely message saying “Give someone a Christmas they’ll never forget”.

Watch it here:
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Lessons Learned:
To give your audience all the feels, focus on the vibe and then create the story. Also, pay attention to the sound aspect equally.

2. Samsung Galaxy: Unwrap the Feels
This is a great example of an unboxing video done right. The feelings of surprise, amazement, happiness and joy (all of them unwrapped by an unboxing) are captured brilliantly in this holiday campaign.

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Lessons Learned:
There are many ways to unwrap feels during the holiday season. Sometimes it can just be an unboxing video that adds to the celebration.

3. Same dress disaster by Harvey Nichols
This marketing campaign is so successful because it hits the right spot.

It explores the funny side of things that can happen when you should actually be celebrating the moment but a person wearing the same dress as you comes in your way. Yes, disasters happen and they can be avoided with Harvey Nichols. Watch how-

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Lessons learned:
Humor as a plot device helps to remove the salesy element from videos and makes the content more enjoyable.

4. WestJet Christmas Miracle
WestJet carried out a “giving” campaign with a one-wish-genie (here a robotic Santa) who gave WestJet passengers the one thing they wanted. This campaign became viral when the video released online.

This marketing strategy was effective because it celebrated “gifting” by going a step beyond. When they could have simply given away travel discounts or offered everyone a 50$ voucher, they chose to go out of their way.

Lessons learned:
Going out of your way can be a great way of building your brand’s appeal. Also, highlight your brand wherever possible. Notice how the blue color is used in this video.

5. American Greetings’ #Happywrapping
This ad campaign by American Greetings shows a fan who wraps his entire house in a gift wrapping paper. In fact, in the video, he goes on to describe how much he loves wrapping everything. The best thing is you wouldn’t even realise that the company is actually selling its product. It’s catchy and funny.

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Lessons learned:
When we visualise gifts, we tend to limit our visualisation to thinking about “small things”. So if you are thinking of creating something unique and memorable, it is important to shed that belief and try extraordinary things.

6. LG’s So real, it’s scary
This video campaign by LG celebrates Halloween in its most raw form. With this campaign, they went beyond the normal Halloween ads.

And do you know what they are advertising here? Their IPS monitors (which are so real that they are almost scary).

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The video has more than 47m views on Youtube.

LG works its charm in this ad by making the product a part of some story instead of saying “our product is great, buy it”.

Lessons learned:
When you think Halloween, “scary” doesn’t necessarily have to take the shape of a ghost or a zombie. That’s what LG proves here. Sometimes Halloween scary can be as simple as a shadow or reflection. The important lesson here? Don’t get lost in the cliches. To stand out, you must think out of the box (or inside the elevator).

Holiday marketing should be about creating a genuine connection with your audience. And there are many subtle ways to do that than to directly advertise your product. The above brands do exactly that.

So let’s revise our lessons before we say goodbye:

Don’t be salesy
Think out of the box
Break the cliches
Use humor
Celebrate with your audience
Build your campaign on “relatable characters”

Do you also have a holiday strategy that worked well? Let us know in the comments.


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