19 Examples Of Dazzling Holiday Marketing Campaigns From Big Brands

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Holiday Season

Photo Credit: iStock.com/Artist’s Eva-Katalin

Holiday season has arrived!

Time to indulge the urge to shop till you drop because everyone deserves a special treat during this exciting season. Holiday shopping is big business for all kinds of B2C brands and for many brands a good retail marketing mix can bring huge rewards. Every business tries to take advantage of the increased demand and promotional efforts go through the roof. To spread a little holiday and autumn cheer, we gathered awesome examples of successful marketing campaigns, both past and present, to help you boost sales.

Holiday Shopping Season

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Boost Your Revenue This Holiday Season

Now that you understand what consumers will likely buy and through what channels, let’s see how your business can use this data to drive sales. Free shipping and favorable return policies are always an advantage, along with that, you should be considering the following set of tactics:

  • Offer free shipping
  • Offer discounts on special shipping
  • Create an easy and flexible returns policy
  • Open early and close late
  • Offer to match competitor prices
  • Free layaway is a highly demanded perk

Seasonal marketing campaigns reach a fever pitch and we see some of the most creative efforts from the best of big brands. Check out these brilliant marketing campaigns and supercharge your holiday sales!

1. Starbucks Red Cups

Starbucks Red Cups
image source: Photo: Peter Gasca

A simple red cup has become an icon of the holiday season because of clever marketing by Starbucks. The appearance of red cups signifies the arrival of Starbucks holiday drinks, such as peppermint mocha, gingerbread latte, chestnut praline latte and the caramel brulée latte. This year we saw the debut of a limited edition green cup. Many people assumed the company had decided to switch colors this holiday season, but don’t worry, the famous red cups will be arriving on 10 November as usual.

It’s impossible to discuss Starbuck’s holiday marketing without mentioning their famous Pumpkin Spice Latte. This pumpkin pie spice flavored drink has become a fall favorite and has an almost cult-like following. The drink even has its own official Twitter handle!–@TheRealPSL.

2. WestJet Christmas Miracle

The Canadian airline embarked on an ambitious project to perform 12,000 mini miracles during the holiday season. The entire staff participated in the efforts to bring joy to over 13,000 people during the Christmas season. WestJet truly celebrated the spirit of giving through this campaign.

3. “12 Days Of Donuts” By Krispy Kreme

12 Days Of Donuts By Krispy Kreme
Image Source

The Krispy Kreme holiday campaign featured special packaging, gift coupons or cards, and a promotional video. These neatly tied the regular brand and seasonal elements into a nice little package.

4. REI OptOutside

REI OptOutside
Image: Source

The sports retailer, REI, made a bold move and closed their stores on Black Friday. The employees got a day off and the customers were encouraged to take a break and reconnect with nature. The campaign seen by some as risky, went viral and people raved about it before, during and long after Thanksgiving was over.

5. Food 52 “Cookies Of The World”

Food 52 Cookies Of The World
Image credit: Food52

During the holidays, Food 52 celebrates diversity and yummy cookies with their Cookies of the World campaign. Featuring mouthwatering cookie recipes from 32 different countries, this holiday marketing campaign garnered plenty of interest from the featured list of countries.

6. John Lewis Christmas-Themed Advertisement

John Lewis Christmas
Image Source

A UK retail company, John Lewis, has perfected the art of seasonal holiday marketing. They release a highly anticipated cutesy television advert every year that tugs at viewer’s heartstrings. These ads started in 2007 and have become a holiday sensation. They use adorable animated creatures and inspiring stories to put everyone in the holiday mood. The entire ad runs as a short feature with the promotional message restricted to the few last seconds.
Incorporating animals into your brand helps your engagement rates because people will see your brand as more relatable and friendly. Notable brands such as Doritos, Heinz and Mountain Dew have used animals in their ads to help consumers connect with their brands.

7. “’Tis The Season For Squaring” By Ghirardelli

Tis The Season For Squaring
Image Source

Ghirardelli Chocolate Company gave people plenty of reasons to buy premium chocolates by providing St. Patrick Day craft ideas, scrumptious recipes, coupons, and decorating advice on their website. They also added the option to create a personalized digital card you can share with your loved ones.

8. Pottery Barn Gift Guide

Pottery Barn Gift Guide
Source: (Via: Potterybarn.com)

Most retailers create a gift guide that helps shoppers narrow down holiday shopping options. Pottery Barn has an entire special section on their website that will make choosing a gift a breeze. The Pottery Barn gift guide brings the most-loved Pottery Barn products in one convenient place. This special section will help you find the perfect gift for that someone special!

9. Edeka Supermarket

Edeka Supermarket
Image Source

The German supermarket, Edeka, released this tearjerker advertisement that will make you realize what’s important during the holidays—family and people you love. The ad clearly promotes products carried by the supermarket, but does it in a tasteful way that doesn’t detract from the emotional message.

10. “My Kind Of Holiday” By Target

My Kind Of Holiday
Image Source

Target offered its customers a personalized holiday shopping experience with their “My Kind of Holiday” campaign. They combined unique value offers with the desired products to help people celebrate their holidays in their own special way. The in-store campaign was extended to social media like Instagran, Snapchat to spread the word and had its own hashtag, #MyKindOfHoliday.

11. “Wishes Across America” By Macy’s

Wishes Across America

Macy’s celebrates the 2016 holiday season in collaboration with the Make-A-Wish foundation to grant wishes all across America. The campaign encourages kids to write a letter (or email) to Santa. This effort ties the brand with a common Christmas tradition and at the same time gives back to the community.

The campaign is sure to bring joy to many children and make tons of wishes come true. A purely promotional and product-centric part of the campaign, the holiday gift guide, is also featured on the campaign’s homepage.

holiday gift guide

12. Personalized Oreo Packaging

Personalized Oreo Packaging
Image Source

Everyone knows Oreo is great at producing delicious cookies that most of us would scarf down by the handful if we weren’t worried about our waistlines. Their marketing is as good as their cookies (well, almost, because in our book nothing beats a dark delicious Oreo). Their “Oreo Colorfilled” campaign invited Oreo-obsessed people to colorize a unique design and create a wonderful gift for their family and friends.

13. All Is Bright By Ebags

All Is Bright By Ebags

eBags started the holiday season marketing with the launch of a handy online gift guide. Users will be able to filter the extensive product selection according to price, gender, and department. The shop’s minimal e-commerce theme helps emphasize the ease of use with a minimalist design. The design will help even the most demanding shopaholic, on the lookout for discounts and special holiday promotions find their products.

14. 12 Days Of HBO Now

12 Days Of HBO Now
Image Source

HBO promoted it’s online streaming service and television content through a unique media sharing program. The campaign allowed HBO NOW subscribers to gift 12 episodes to a non-subscriber. It proved to be a popular way to infect other people with your Game of Thrones obsession.

15. Small Business Saturday By American Express

Small Business Saturday

Forget Black Friday, Small Business Saturday is here! First launched by American Express in 2010, this event is a small business equivalent for Black Friday. It has become an annual event and falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year the seventh Small Business Saturday is all set to boost holiday revenues of small local independent sellers. American Express even offers free customizable marketing material to small businesses to help promotional efforts leading up to Small Business Saturday.

16. Holiday Gift Guide By Etsy

Holiday Gift Guide By Etsy

Etsy is an online ecommerce website that connects buyers and sellers of unique handmade goods. The platform gets a lot of traffic during the holiday season. To help people find that perfect gift, Etsy created a fun holiday gift guide. The guide displays picks from Etsy editors, best-selling items, and products from top-rated shops such as the best selection of decorative surfboard decor by Tiki Soul.

17. Haha Holidays By Zazzle

Haha Holiday By Zazzle

Ecommerce companies put together some amazing email marketing campaigns at the beginning of the holiday season. Zazzle decided to spread a little cheer and lots of laughter with their humorous holiday merchandise.

18. HolidayBuds By Budweiser

HolidayBuds By Budweiser

Budweiser embraced the Instagram trend and appealed to millennials with their limited edition vintage packaging. The campaign took off with the hashtag #HolidayBuds shooting to the top of social media trends list. Budweiser encouraged users to tag friends who they would like to be their Budweiser buds; this made the campaign gain momentum in the offline world as well as the online.

19. The Waiting Game By Kate Spade

The Waiting Game

Kate Spade upped the holiday marketing game by releasing a shoppable Christmas video called ‘The Waiting Game’. Starring Anna Kendrick, the video shows Anna showing off Kate Spade products, reminiscent of the famous shopping haul videos that YouTube vloggers love to create. The viewers can shop by clicking on the items displayed in the video. The goal was to let customers indulge their holiday shopping needs in the most convenient (and fun) way.

Holidays are peak times of consumer spending, small businesses can easily offset a bad business year by focusing on holiday marketing. Get creative, spread a little cheer, and catch up with the rest of the market. Remember – you can always test your creation with an eye tracker. RealEye, eye tracking tool for advertising will help you out with this task.

Liked a particular holiday campaign? Let us know and we’ll feature it on our blog!

Happy Holidays!

About The Author

Kelvin Stiles is a tech enthusiast and works as a marketing consultant at SurveyCrest – FREE online survey software and publishing tools for academic and business use. He is also an avid blogger and a comic book fanatic.