Business, Marketing, Strategy
August 27, 2020
5 lessons to learn from past popular holiday marketing campaigns
5 lessons to learn from past popular holiday marketing campaigns

By Bukunmi Ogunrosoye

The holiday season is approaching, and brands need to be ready. There is no time better than now to start thinking about your holiday marketing campaigns – plus preparing early will set you up for success and decrease the likelihood of a mad rush at the end. So, as you plan an exciting and memorable holiday marketing campaign, take a look at these lessons from past popular holiday marketing campaigns.

Get your eggnog and prepare yourself for some quick tips.

Samsung Galaxy: Unwrap the Feels

The holiday season is all about spending quality time with your friends and family, and this is a great example of what the holidays are really about. The feeling of surprise, amazement, joy, and happiness are captured in this holiday campaign. To capture the warmth and spirit of the holiday season, Unwrap the Feels focuses on families, coming together, and sharing special moments. It’s candid and raw, showing the range of powerful emotions and reactions when people immerse themselves in the new VR worlds.

Takeaway: Emotions work. Always. The holiday season is an emotional time for your audience. Focus on connecting with your audience through emotions and sales will follow.

Google: Santa Tracker

Oh, how I love this campaign. Every year for the past 12 years, Google launches their Santa Tracker  so children (or adults…) can countdown to Christmas Eve and track Santa on his night out delivering gifts. Every day in “Santa’s Village” starting December first, new activities go live that allow users to engage with games that teach basic coding skills, geography, and languages, and even connect with certain charitable organizations.

Takeaway: Make your marketing interactive. Where both adults and kids can be entertained is a rare intersection. Kids are able to have fun playing with elves while parents and even teachers are relieved that their children are getting something out of it. It is hard to get multiple audiences in one campaign, but Santa Tracker does it perfectly.

LG:  so real it’s scary

This video campaign by LG celebrates Halloween in its most raw form. With this campaign, they go beyond the normal Halloween ads. The video has more than 47m views on YouTube. You might even miss that they are advertising their IPS monitors (which are so real that they are almost scary)!

Takeaway: Don’t be cliché. Halloween 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 simple as a shadow or even a reflection and to stand out you must think outside the box.

Amazon: Let’s Smile together

Amazon’s Let’s Smile Together advertisement highlights the company’s employees and friendly packaging in a video reminiscent of the popular holiday film Love Actually.  This particular video demonstrates the value of going all the way and embracing the touchy-feely part of the holiday season without cynicism or parody. Showcasing the excitement of the holidays — and working in your products or services organically without letting them steal focus — is a recipe for success with this type of marketing.

Takeaway: Tell your company’s story. Highlight your employees, your customers, and just average people being happy and connecting with others. It only takes Amazon 90 seconds to make you want to call your mother, which highlights the impact of a heartfelt approach.

Coca cola: Holidays are coming.

Finally, the brand that does holiday marketing to the tee. Ending this with a true classic, and perhaps the most legendary holiday campaign in media history.

After all, the holidays are all about traditions, both big and small. Using nostalgia and tried-and-true concepts can help to create a sense of tradition around your brand. We’ve seen this notion applied in many of the campaigns on this list, where brands iterate on a successful idea over the years.

However, nothing demonstrates the effect of this technique quite like Coca-Cola. If you can manage something similar for your own brand, albeit, on a smaller scale, it can improve your business’ authority and capture your audience’s imagination.

Takeaway: Stay true to your brand’s message. Even though it’s been a staple for over two decades, Coca-Cola has continued to expand and innovate its holiday marketing, while still keeping the core of its message clear and consistent.

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.

Do you need help with a holiday strategy, and you’re not sure how to get started? email us at and we’ll chat.

You can also check out our 2020 Holiday Marketing Checklist to get you going on the right track!

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