Top 5 Holiday Campaigns And Why We Love Them - 19 IDEAS

Believe it or not, it’s never too early to start thinking about your next holiday campaign. In fact, most successful companies begin planning in June or July. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite holiday campaigns (and why we love them) to give you a little inspiration for this coming season.

Starbucks’ Holiday Cup Campaign

Since 1997, Starbucks has used the holiday cup to mark the beginning of the season. Because of their worldwide influence, this simple cup has become one of the most significant and well-known holiday campaigns. In fact, the yearly release often sparks controversy from religious and political groups.

In 2016, Starbucks asked their audience to get involved with hand-drawn cup designs. The result: 13 designs featured from six countries that year.

Why do we love it?

It brings people together. Starbucks has done a great job of creating yearly hype behind the campaign and capitalizing on the collective joy of the holiday season. By altering their product so notably each year, they’ve created a platform for dialogue and community — city sidewalks are filled with people saying, “I love the new Starbucks holiday cup. Have you seen it?!” Starbucks truly embraces the meaning of coming together for the holidays, making this an all-around successful campaign.

H&M’s Come Together Campaign

Created by Wes Anderson for H&M, this video features Adrien Brody as a train conductor on the “H&M Lines Winter Express.” As the scene opens, he makes an announcement that bad weather means they won’t be home for Christmas. In typical Anderson fashion, serious borders on comical as the train conductor and his lofty assistant attempt to create Christmas spirit in under an hour. The video closes with a breathtaking scene of a cathedral-shaped train car, filled with paper snowflakes and a modestly perfect Christmas tree.

Why do we love it?

It appeals to emotions of the season, suggesting that holiday cheer can be found in even the most unlikely of places. However, while emotional, no part of it feels like its pandering or forced. What we like the most is that the brand remains understated — you are reminded, only briefly at the beginning and end of the video, that H&M piloted this campaign. It’s a great example of creating hard-hitting content while letting the brand take a back seat.

Happy Honda Days Commercial

You may remember this commercial as the debut of Vampire Weekend’s 2010 pop hit “Holiday,” or you may not remember it at all … until you hear it, that is. This commercial was played so many times in so many households across America that it’s hard not to remember the opening intro. It’s even affectionately featured on “Commercials I Hate.” 

Why do we love it?

Well, love it or hate it, it’s memorable and makes an impact. We commend Honda’s commitment to getting in our head and staying there — for years (and years). In fact, Honda has a whole slew of commercials that people love to hate, all featuring catchy earworms that just seem to burrow into your brain. The takeaway: Don’t be afraid to go big and make yourself heard! The viewers might even take your jingle all the way back home.

L.L.Bean’s #12DaysOfPuppies Social Media Contest

L.L.Bean put a unique spin on the 12 Days of Christmas with their #12DaysOfPuppies social media campaign. Encouraging their followers to submit photos of their dogs, they compiled 12 of the most “omg”-worthy dogs social media has ever seen. Likes and engagements were exceptionally higher on these posts compared to L.L.Bean’s other holiday content, and a quick look through their feed shows that now L.L.Bean isn’t afraid to tug on their followers’ heartstrings with a dog or two.

Why do we love it?

It’s simple and doesn’t miss the point. People love the holidays. People love dogs. Give the people what they want! L.L.Bean doesn’t advertise a specific product or beg you to buy something; they simply create high-quality content and use it to enforce their brand. We love this because it can be used to complement e-commerce campaigns nicely — no customer wants to be constantly bombarded with what feel like sales pitches.

Office Depot’s Elf Yourself Video Campaign

Office Depot’s hit app “Elf Yourself” created a viral buzz in 2006, getting over 200 hits per second. If you’re not familiar with the app, it allows users to upload their faces and watch themselves perform a selection of highly ridiculous dance moves.

Why do we love it?

It’s original, and while the concept has been used in other applications, this campaign really popularized it. It can also be shared in a variety of ways: via email, social media, even downloaded and saved to be displayed on the big screen on Christmas Day. Though the app isn’t as popular as when it was first released, Office Depot’s marketing team has done a great job of keeping it relevant. Additional dance scenes and new characters have been added over the years, and AR capabilities were added in 2017.

So, how will you prepare for the holidays? This year, we challenge you to start early and think outside the box. Consider a social media contest if you’re just getting your feet wet, or consider going all-in on a video campaign if you’re at the reigns of a more established brand.

What are your marketing plans for the holidays? Tell us below!

Samantha Epps
Samantha Epps

Digital Marketing Associate

Samantha is a dedicated digital marketer with an eye for detail and a love for arts and culture. Her creative background uniquely enables her to merge both the creative and analytical sides of the digital world to create hard-hitting strategies for our clients.

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