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8 Christmas Marketing Campaigns & Ideas That Spark Creativity

Summer Nguyen | 11-20-2023

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It’s that thrilling time of the year when the streets are filled with festive shoppers eager to snag the best deals, and online buyers are happily checking off items from their wishlists. If your Christmas marketing plans are already in action, have you considered how to make them even better? If so, this article is for you.

To help you kickstart the process, we’ve gathered the five most inspiring holiday marketing campaigns from well-known brands. But before we dive in, let’s find out if Christmas is essential or not.

Why Christmas Is Important to Businesses

For businesses, Christmas is a hidden treasure chest. Those who successfully promote their store, earned the key to open that chest and enjoy the valuable rewards inside.

Christmas is not only a holiday, it’s the biggest shopping season of the year because people tend to buy lots of items as gifts for their loved ones. With a well-prepared plan in advance, brands can boost huge sales on this $929.5 billion occasion.

Some facts and statistics you might not know about Christmas:

  • Not everyone celebrates Christmas on 25th December. Some Orthodox Christians celebrate it on 7 January.
  • Santa’s sleigh may weigh about 354,430 tonnes to carry all presents on Christmas Eve.
  • The UK spends 227,000 miles of wrapping paper for Christmas every year, nearly enough to go to the moon.
  • US consumer’s average spend on Christmas is around $900.
  • 50% of Americans claim to buy gift cards because of their convenience.

If you haven’t got any ideas for this year’s Christmas, check out our 8 most creative campaigns from global famous companies below for inspiration.

8 Most Inspirational Christmas Campaigns from Successful Brands

On average, brands spend $2.5 billion on holiday season advertising, as most brands go all in to create brilliant Christmas commercials. Let’s check out the most touching Christmas campaigns from famous names!

Coca-Cola

Perhaps almost everyone who has ever been interested in the F&B industry around the world knows about the Coca-Cola brand. It was invented in the late 1800s by a pharmacist and originally intended as a medicinal tonic. Today, Coca-Cola is one of the world’s most recognizable brands, enjoyed by people in over 200 countries.

Campaign name: The World Needs More Santas

Time: 2023

The story in the ad: Hundreds of Santas flood the streets in a Coca-Cola Christmas ad. As they spread holiday cheer and help others, the story reveals a heartwarming twist: these aren’t all Santas, but everyday people showing their inner Santa Claus through acts of kindness. The message? The world needs more Santas, meaning more generosity and goodwill.

What the campaign achieved:

  • Emotional Connection: Research findings revealed that more than 72% of viewers experienced a positive emotional response to the advertisement, positioning it as highly impactful in terms of emotions.
  • Brand Recall: The campaign effectively linked Coca-Cola with the positive message. A high percentage (around 82%) of viewers could correctly identify Coca-Cola after watching the ad, demonstrating successful brand recall
  • Social Media Influence: This campaign garnered nearly 2 million views and close to 1000 positive comments, while also significantly increasing the number of subscribers to Coca-Cola’s official YouTube channel.

What makes this campaign different from others:

  • Focus on Inner Kindness: The film wasn’t just about Santa Claus himself but about the spirit of giving and kindness he embodies. It encouraged viewers to see their own acts of generosity as their “inner Santa” coming out.
  • Shift from Product to Message: Unlike traditional ads that focus on the product itself, this campaign focused on spreading a positive message. This emotional connection resonated strongly with viewers.
  • Simple Yet Effective Concept: The idea of everyone having an “inner Santa” is a simple but powerful message that’s easy to understand and connect with.

John Lewis & Partner

John Lewis is a global department store chain that originated in the United Kingdom and is considered a national treasure. It is highly regarded for its popularity and rare loyalty that any brand would want to have.

Campaign name: The Beginner

Time: 2022

The story in the ad: A heartwarming Christmas video follows a man as he tries to learn how to skateboard. He falls many times but doesn’t give up. At the end of the video, we see why he was trying to learn: to connect with his new foster daughter, who also loves to skateboard.

What the campaign achieved:

  • Over 4M views on YouTube with lots of supportive comments
  • Promotes the importance of family and community
  • Highlights the joy of learning something new
  • Creates a sense of warmth and nostalgia for the holiday season
  • Boosts sales of John Lewis & Partners products

What makes John Lewis different from others:

They provide specific details about their charity initiative:

  • Specify the number of children they hope to help: 100,000 children without a proper family for Christmas.
  • Clearly state their goal: to donate a portion of their revenue to help these children.
  • Provide a transparent breakdown of how much of their sales profit will be donated: 25%.
  • Emphasize their main objective: to bring warmth to each child and convey a clear message “Every child matters”.

LEGO

Campaign name: Build a Playful Holiday.

Time: 2022

The LEGO Group has launched its most significant holiday campaign, covering TV, digital platforms, and Lego stores across 35 markets.

With Katy Perry and her hit song Fire Work, the ad is entirely driven by children, portraying what the holidays mean to them. The campaign’s goal is to encourage consumers of all ages to prioritize playfulness over perfection and embrace childlike joy this holiday season.

Aligning with this theme, LEGO’s social media accounts feature holiday-themed content, including the #LEGOtakeover, showcasing kids on LEGO’s Instagram, new collections for gifting, fan-made LEGO creations, and video segments with Katy Perry.

Additionally, LEGO’s website has a dedicated Holiday Gifts page offering information on limited-time holiday deals, inspiring holiday DIY content, user-generated holiday photos, and personalized recommendations for LEGO toys.

Finally, LEGO’s emails to its subscribers include similar content featuring gift ideas, seasonal deals, community-made LEGO creations, the advantages of LEGO VIP (its loyalty program), and other crucial details to motivate them to shop with LEGO.

Remember:

  • One notable aspect of LEGO’s campaigns is the “festive creations from our LEGO community section,” featuring holiday builds by LEGO customers. These are showcased on LEGO’s website, newsletters, and social media.
  • Utilizing user-generated content is a cost-effective way to broaden your brand’s reach and awareness. It adds a personal touch to your brand, introduces diversity to the content, and fosters a sense of community among your audience. The holiday season is an ideal time to implement this strategy.
  • In the competitive market, prioritizing personalized engagement is vital for higher conversion rates. LEGO excels in this by offering personalized gift suggestions based on customer preferences and online behavior.

Disney

Campaign name: The Gift

Time: 2022

The ad story: The story tells about the not-so-happy feelings of a little girl when her mom is pregnant, making her feel like her mom doesn’t care about her as much as before. The negative emotions build up, but luckily, she always has her companion Mickey and her older brother by her side. When the baby is born, she realizes that Christmas is a time for sharing, and without hesitation, she gifts her little brother the Mickey friend who is really important to her, expressing the true spirit of giving during the festive season.

What the campaign achieved:

Increased brand awareness and engagement: Over 6M views on YouTube, which is the highest number of views of the annual series “From Our Family To Yours”. Promoted family values: The ad focused on how important family and spending time with loved ones is during the holiday season and spread a valuable lesson of sharing and loving. Highlighted the variety of Disney experiences: The ad featured a variety of Disney experiences, such as Disneyland, Disney movies, and Disney books. This helped to remind viewers of the wide range of entertainment options that Disney has to offer. Boosted sales of Disney products: The ad featured a number of Disney products, such as Mickey Mouse ears and Disney ornaments. This likely helped to boost sales of these products during the holiday season.

Reasons that Disney is so unique:

  • Disney is famous for storytelling skills, and this campaign ad says a lot without any lines of conversation.
  • Do you know what the best part is? Disney has a wide range of audiences - a goal all brands should add to their list when creating marketing campaigns.
  • Additionally, the entire setting is cleverly infused with iconic images from this cartoon company, such as Mickey-shaped pancakes, snow effects reminiscent of their blockbuster Frozen, and numerous other tiny details. 100% when viewers watch this video, they will immediately think of Disney.

Explore: 10 Tips for Using Video Content on Your E-Commerce Website

Casper

Key message: Enter the Slumberland to escape the holiday woes.

Casper took a broader approach with a holiday marketing campaign, teaming up with Netflix for “The World’s Largest Slumber Party.” The event, featuring the “Slumberland” film, offered a cozy escape for families.

Casper and Netflix have successfully conveyed a message about family bonds through the lens of dreams, aligning with Casper’s mission to enhance global sleep quality.

It must be noted that the movie spent a lot to invite renowned actor Jason Momoa, famous for his role as Aquaman in the DC universe, as the main character. Furthermore, to ensure the enchanting quality of this magical film, the expenses for the special effects were not cheap at all.

Additionally, Casper made it very clear on their message via their emails and text messages, featuring sleep tips, early access to sales, new item announcements, etc. They even published a Holiday Sleeptacular hub right on the Casper website to feature recommended items and exclusive discounts.

Casper

Casper also offers customer-centric policies, including a 100-night mattress trial, fast and free shipping, contact-free delivery, free returns, and a 10-year warranty.

Lesson from Casper:

In the upcoming shopping season, consumer behavior is anticipated to be unpredictable, with a quest for the best value. Although the price competition is challenging as all your rivals are offering discounts, there are still other ways to stand out such as improving your relationship with customers. Casper’s risk-free trial policy serves as a great example to build trust and differentiate your brand in a crowded market.

London North Eastern Railway

Key message: Get the most out of your holiday journeys with affordability, ease, and enjoyment.

Welcoming the festive season, LNER, recognized as the ‘Best UK Domestic Train Service’ in 2022, revealed a ticket sale for travelers on the East Coast route from December 21, 2022, to January 6, 2023.

No booking fees, live journey alerts, preferred seat selection, and £5 free plus 2% credit back on future bookings are offered through the LNER Perks loyalty program.

A festive menu is available onboard, and LNER aids budget-conscious customers with ticket alert notifications. The initiative aims to enhance the travel experience for customers during the holiday period amid rising living costs in the UK.

Additionally, LNER refreshed its website and social media with Christmas-themed content, a new logo, and banners. LNER also launched a holiday giveaway for 12 lucky Perks members to win £100 Perks credit each.

LNER Holiday Giveaway

Key takeaway:

Christmas is a time for joy and celebration, making it an ideal opportunity to incorporate your loyalty programs into seasonal campaigns. Encourage participation by offering extra discounts and exclusive competitions for loyalty members, taking inspiration from LNER’s approach.

In addition to providing services, LNER also offers useful information such as recommendations for shopping, festive experiences, family-friendly tours, etc., to their target customers.

Coca-Cola

As a globally well-known soft drink brand with huge sales figures, Coca-Cola is also a strong competitor in promoting brand recognition and images during the biggest holiday of the year - Christmas.

Campaign name: Holidays Are Coming Time: Since 1995

The “Holidays are Coming” campaigns are known for their heartwarming and nostalgic imagery of Santa Claus and his reindeer delivering Coca-Cola to children around the world. The campaigns have also featured a variety of popular and catchy songs, such as “Have a Coke and a Smile” and “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke.”

The “Holidays are Coming” campaigns have been incredibly successful in achieving Coca-Cola’s goals of promoting brand awareness, generating excitement for the holiday season, and increasing sales. The campaigns have also been praised for their heartwarming and uplifting messages, which have resonated with audiences around the world.

What Coca-Cola achieved after the campaign:

  • Brand awareness: The “Holidays are Coming” campaigns have helped to make Coca-Cola one of the most recognizable brands in the world. According to Interbrand, Coca-Cola is one of the most recognizable brands in the world.
  • Sales: The “Holidays are Coming” campaigns have helped to boost sales of Coca-Cola products during the holiday season. In 2021, Coca-Cola’s annual sales increased by 11%, thanks in part to the success of the “Holidays are Coming” campaign.
  • Nostalgia: The “Holidays are Coming” campaigns have become a beloved part of the holiday season for millions of people around the world.

Here are some of the reasons why the “Holidays are Coming” campaigns have been so successful:

  • They are authentic and relatable. The campaigns capture the true spirit of the holiday season and resonate with people’s emotions.
  • They are visually appealing and memorable. The campaigns feature iconic imagery and catchy songs that stay with people long after they have seen or heard them.
  • They are inclusive and appeal to a wide audience. The campaigns feature people of all ages, races, and backgrounds.
  • They persist with their campaign, delivering a consistent message of hope, peace, and togetherness. Over two decades, they have maintained the brand’s distinct values, creating a unique identity.
  • Know their strength and take advantage of it. Coca-Cola’s signature red, coincidentally Santa’s color, is tactfully integrated to blend Christmas imagery with the brand.

Macy’s

Campaign name: Give Love. Give Style.

If you’re searching for inspiring Christmas marketing, check out Macy’s. They introduced a series of ads promoting joy for everyone on your gift list through Macy’s Gift Finder. Their website has an extensive gift finder, allowing users to filter gifts by gender, age, category, and budget.

To enhance the holiday shopping experience, Macy’s offers:

  • Daily live streams with styling and beauty tips
  • Free access to a personal stylist
  • Extended store hours
  • Macy’s app for easy shopping and viewing deals
  • Place order online, pick up at the store, and same-day delivery

Macy’s Holiday Celebrations Hub on their website and app provides deals, event details, decoration tips, images of Christmas displays, stocking stuffer ideas, and more.

To engage customers, Macy’s uses social media and emails for updates, trivia, prizes, and information on customer-friendly policies. They use SMS marketing for timely offers.

Macy’s keeps the tradition alive with in-store Santa visits and a virtual reality experience on Macy’s Santaland at Home. Children can meet Elves and Santa, take selfies, explore holiday scenes, and play games online.

Takeaway:

When organizing your Christmas marketing, an omnichannel approach is crucial for staying in your customer’s thoughts. Consistency in messaging across all channels is vital to avoid confusing marketing communication. Macy’s demonstrates this with a seamlessly integrated online and offline engagement strategy, emphasizing their customer-friendly policy consistently.

TUI UK

Key Messaging: Take off and escape the winter freeze with TUI’s last-minute Christmas deals.

For its Christmas campaign, TUI UK introduced enticing deals, enabling customers to save up to £150 on Christmas travel, starting at £80pp a night for all-inclusive holidays. This information was communicated through the website and subscriber emails, featuring travel recommendations and reasons to choose TUI.

The main landing page emphasizes TUI’s advantages:

  • Package refund guarantee: Full refund within 14 days if TUI cancels a booking.
  • Flexible payment options: Manage payments conveniently, with free kids’ places available.
  • Secured TUI service: Thousands of Travel Experts and reps are available 24/7 for support.

To enhance Christmas excitement, TUI launched the ‘12 Vacays of Christmas’ giveaway on its website, where participants could win a holiday daily from the 1st to the 12th of December by submitting details into the TUI advent calendar windows. This was heavily promoted on TUI’s social handles and emails.

Key Messaging

Takeaway:

In times of rising inflation and living costs, it’s crucial to demonstrate continuous support to customers. Establishing customer-friendly policies and offering financial protection are effective ways to build trust.

Final thoughts on top 8 inspirational campaigns for Christmas:

After analyzing these campaigns, we can summarize some common factors contributing to their success as follow:

Christmas Spirit Targeting:

Unlike other holidays, which we usually run into promotion that bring laughter, Christmas campaigns deliver messages focusing on creating emotional and touching feelings to strike customers psychology.

Social Media Trend:

Despite being large brands with extensive reach, they consistently update their strategies to keep up with new trends. One of the trends they are all catching is taking advantage of social media. Most campaigns above created a promotional video that matched their signature and used it on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter for marketing.

Video Trend:

In recent years, video content has surpassed text in popularity. Brands have invested significantly in high-quality video content as it can convey messages more naturally and effortlessly, providing a more engaging experience compared to text-heavy content.

Christmas Brand Makeover

Lighting up your whole brand to match the Christmas theme is a great way to attract customers and make shopping more exciting.

Website:

  • Transform your website into a winter wonderland! Change the color scheme to festive reds and greens.
  • Feature Christmas-themed product images and banners.
  • Consider adding falling snow animations for that extra touch of magic.

Newsletter Popup:

  • Capture attention with a cheerful Christmas-themed newsletter popup.
  • Offer exclusive holiday discounts or early access to festive promotions for subscribers.
  • Use holiday-centric language to create excitement.

Emails:

  • Craft heartwarming emails with Christmas greetings. Don’t forget to check out our website for exclusive holiday deals and company Happy New Year wishes, as we aim to make the transition into 2025 as joyful and prosperous as possible!
  • Feature product recommendations tailored to the season.

Customized Christmas Packaging:

  • Enhance the unboxing experience with customized Christmas packaging.
  • Consider adding holiday-themed wrapping paper, ribbons, and personalized Christmas cards for a special touch.

Social Media Cover Photo:

Update your social media cover photos with a visually appealing Christmas design. Showcase your best-selling Christmas products and incorporate festive elements into your brand logo.

Promotion Banners/Videos:

  • Create captivating promotion banners and videos with a Christmas touch.
  • Highlight special offers, limited-time discounts, and exclusive bundles. Add jingles or festive music to your videos for that joyful vibe.

Besides the parts listed above, try to turn everything about your brand Christmas-related as much as possible, from your whole website to little details like logo, gift card style, etc.

Gift Card

Selecting gifts during holidays can be really stressful. Many people go with the safe idea of giving gift cards because it’s easy to send, and the recipient can choose whatever they like. In fact, in 2022, almost 50% of U.S. consumers planned to buy gift cards.

To make your gift cards easy to find, put them in the most visible part of your site. Consider sending out a dedicated Christmas-themed newsletter to announce this initiative if it’s newly launched.

Additionally, you can elevate this offer by providing a small monetary reward for every Christmas gift card purchase, adding an extra touch of delight for your customers.

Gift Combo

In addition to normal marketing methods, crafting gift combos presents a creative option for cross-selling. This strategy involves bundling related products together, offering customers a convenient and attractive way to make purchases. Gift combos not only enhance the overall shopping experience but also contribute to increased sales and average order value. By strategically pairing complementary items, businesses can encourage customers to explore and purchase more, making this an innovative approach for boosting sales during the holiday season.

Here’s how to initiate effective gift combos this season.

  • Identify customer preferences and needs: Gather insights into customer preferences and needs during the holiday season. Conduct surveys, analyze past sales data, and interact with customers to understand their gift-giving intentions and preferences.

  • Curate gift combos based on themes and interests: Create a variety of gift combos that cater to different interests, hobbies, and age groups. Consider themes like self-care, gourmet delights, entertainment, and family fun to appeal to a wider audience.

  • Price combos competitively: Offer gift combos at attractive prices that provide value for money. Consider discounts for combo purchases to encourage bulk buying and increase average order value.

  • Promote gift combos effectively: Utilize various marketing channels to promote your gift combos. Create eye-catching visuals, engaging social media campaigns, and targeted email marketing to reach potential customers.

  • Highlight the benefits of gift combos: Emphasize the convenience, value, and thoughtfulness of gift combos. Showcase how these combos simplify gift-giving and provide a curated selection of products that will delight recipients.

  • Offer gift wrapping and delivery services: Provide convenient gift wrapping and delivery options to enhance the customer experience and make it easier for them to send gifts directly to recipients.

  • Gather feedback and refine combos: Continuously gather feedback from customers to understand their preferences and satisfaction with the gift combos. Use this feedback to refine combos in future seasons.

  • Monitor sales performance and optimize offerings: Track sales data and analyze the performance of different gift combos. Identify combos that are particularly popular or underperforming and adjust offerings accordingly.

  • Encourage early shopping and pre-orders: Offer incentives for early shopping and pre-orders to spread out the holiday rush and secure sales early in the season.

You might be interested in: 19 Best Practices for B2B eCommerce strategy in 2023

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Lack of a clear plan: Before launching any Christmas marketing campaign, businesses need to have a clear plan. The plan should include goals, budget, and media channels.

  • Lack of focus on the target audience: Christmas marketing campaigns need to be designed to match the target audience of the business. Businesses need to thoroughly research their target audience to deliver relevant messages and content.

  • Overspending: It is essential to set a budget for Christmas marketing campaigns and stick to it. Overspending can lead to financial losses and can damage the brand’s reputation.

  • Not measuring results: One reason leading to a store’s failed campaign is the lack of tracking performance. You can’t see what is effective and what is not next time if you don’t measure the campaign results. To address this issue, you can use tracking tool like Mageplaza’s Google Tag Manager, which already include GA4, Google Ads, and Facebook Pixel.

Wrap-up

It’s not easy to launch a successful campaign for a big shopping season like Christmas. Online businesses need to make a lot of effort in doing research, building a plan, measuring the campaign efficiency, etc. We hope our analysis of the most inspirational Christmas campaigns above can lighten your creativity and bring back positive results this year.

Summer

Marketing Manager of Mageplaza. Summer is attracted by new things. She loves writing, travelling and photography. Perceives herself as a part-time gymmer and a full-time dream chaser.



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