8 of The Best Holiday Marketing Campaigns to Inspire You

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The holiday season is a great time for businesses to connect with their customers and prospects through creative and effective marketing campaigns. In this blog, we'll explore some of the best holiday marketing campaigns from recent years and discuss why they were so successful. 

Why is holiday marketing important?

Effective holiday marketing campaigns can help build brand awareness and loyalty, which can pay dividends long after the holiday season is over. 

It’s a great opportunity to connect with customers and prospects during a time when they are more likely to be receptive to marketing messages. 

It can also help your business stand out from the competition and drive sales during a busy time of year. 

Our Favourite Campaigns, and Why They’re Effective

When you're putting together your holiday marketing campaign, it's a good idea to check out what other successful brands have done in the past. 

While you may not have the same budget that Apple does, you can still get some great ideas and inspiration from their campaigns. 

This way, you'll be all set to create a holiday marketing strategy that really gets your customers excited and boosts your sales during the holiday season.

Amazon: Joy is Shared

Why It's Effective

Hot off the press, this new Amazon holiday ad tells the story of three lifelong friends who gather during the holiday season and rediscover joy in their friendship. One of the women easily purchases sledding equipment through, you guessed it: Amazon, and it allows the three to relive their youth. The ad also features a great rendition of The Beatles' "In My Life," which fits the theme perfectly and adds to the sentimental feel of the ad. 

We love the ad because it tells a great story, leverages emotional appeal, is relatable, and reinforces Amazon's branding as a go-to destination for holiday shopping.

Apple: Make Someone’s Holiday

Why It's Effective

Apple shared a really touching holiday campaign in 2019 where a family used Apple products to cook up a sweet holiday surprise for their grandpa. 

What made it work was how it played on those holiday emotions. It also drove home the point that Apple products can be a catalyst for bringing people closer, which people crave during the holiday season. 

TBH, there are a TON of incredible campaigns out there. Enough to send you down a rabbit hole on YouTube where you can draw inspiration, but if you want just a few more to feel satisfied, we wrote another blog last year: 7 Holiday Marketing Campaigns For the 2022 Season, you can check out. 

REI: Will You Go Out With Me?

Why It's Effective

REI's 2015 holiday campaign was a bold move that paid off. 

Instead of promoting holiday shopping, REI encouraged people to spend time outdoors with their loved ones on Black Friday. 

The campaign was effective because it tapped into a growing trend of people seeking experiences over material possessions, and positioned REI as a brand that values the outdoors and sustainability.

Macy’s: In Dad’s Shoes

Why It's Effective

Macy’s 2021 ad is a cute story about a little girl walking in her dad’s shoes for the day. As the day goes on, she realizes how much her dad does, and her tiny sore toes make her realize he could use a new pair of socks. 

We love that Macy’s isn’t promoting TVs, expensive appliances, or the worst: a new car for Christmas. 

(If you haven’t seen this hilarious SNL skit about that, you should.) 

Ultimately, the Macy’s ad is effective because it acts as a reminder that gifts really don’t have to be expensive or complicated to be perfect. 

Kool-Aid: All I Really Want For Christmas featuring Lil John

Why It's Effective

This ad is so refreshing (and no, we don’t regret that word choice.) 

Not going to lie, we kind of get addicted to watching commercials that make us cry, but we love a funny, lighthearted commercial with a good beat. 

It gives a millennial nod with the Kool-Aid man smashing down a wall, and Lil John at the piano. Plus it’s a reminder that Kool-Aid definitely fits into the theme of your holiday party. It’s red, tasty, and a great option for kids and people who don’t want to drink. 

Campbells Soup: Melting Snowman

Why It's Effective

This one is an oldie but a goodie. It’s from 1993, but it made us feel warm inside then, and it makes us feel warm inside now. First, who doesn’t love a hot bowl of soup on a cold winter’s day? The tagline “nothing melts away the cold like a hot bowl of Campbell’s soup” is truly timeless. 

The ad's simplicity with a little injection of humour conveys their message and leverages nostalgia. We love it!  

Norway Postal Service: Father Christmas and Mother Earth 

Why It's Effective

Woah, this one really hits home. It touches on the division of labour in the household, strains inside relationships, and of course, Mother Earth. 

It’s definitely depressing but almost forces you to think about the things that really matter, like our planet. Plus, it romanticizes letter-writing which we love.

That ad gets an important message across and subtly sells their service. We give it two thumbs up!

 Walmart: Mean Girls

Why It's Effective

This ad is so fetch. The teens of 2004 are now elder millennials, and with an economy like this, Walmart might be their best option for holiday shopping. 

The Mean Girls tap into nostalgia, and the ad reinforces Walmart's branding as a go-to destination for Black Friday shopping. While it’s not technically a holiday ad, it still counts as an ad for the holiday shopping season and taps into the running theme in these ads: nostalgia.  

Tips for creating your own holiday marketing campaign

Consumers spent $211.7 billion online over the 2022 holiday season, an increase of 3.5% year over year. With digital shopping becoming the new norm, it’s important to ensure your brand stands out. Here are some tips for creating a successful holiday marketing campaign:

  • Be creative
  • Start planning early
  • Optimize your website
  • Leverage social media
  • Use emotional appeals
  • Focus on your target audience
  • Track and measure your results
  • Offer exclusive promotions or discounts

When it comes to your business, keeping the conversation going is super important. You should make sure those frequently asked questions are easy to find on your website and social media pages. 

And here's the thing: don't just focus on selling to your audience. 

Take the time to engage with them. Show them the people behind your business and why you're passionate about what you do.

And if you're gearing up for your marketing campaigns in 2023 and could use a hand, don't hesitate to reach out to our team of pros. We're here to help you kick things off – just drop us a line!