With a dash of festive ingenuity, a holiday marketing campaign can help your brand shine.
For every holiday that comes along, from New Year’s Eve to the Fourth of July to Halloween, you can bet on a few constants: food, family, friends — and seasonal marketing campaigns. The Christmas holidays offer an especially excellent opportunity for brands to roll out innovative campaigns that evoke emotion, reveal a bit more about their company culture, or are just plain fun.
These seven brands have mastered the art of deploying timely, evocative holiday marketing campaigns that speak volumes:
1. Chipotle’s Boorito
Chipotle’s Boorito is an annual Halloween fundraiser that honors both customers in costume and the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation. Every individual who dresses up and visits Chipotle on Halloween receives a $3 menu item, and in exchange, Chipotle will donate up to $1 million of the proceeds to its foundation (Because who doesn’t want a fully loaded Chipotle burrito for $3?).
2. Thanksgiving Puns with Jet Blue
Really, who could resist opening an email with the subject line, “Family, friends, food & flying – all of our favorite F words!” As if that wasn’t enough to entice readers, the email is chock full of witty Thanksgiving-themed puns and simple, bold graphics. The takeaway? Don’t be chicken with your holiday marketing campaigns (be turkey instead)!
3. REI’s #OptOutside
In 2015, as retailers across the country were extending their Black Friday Hours, some even opening on the night of Thanksgiving, REI did something unusual: they remained closed. Instead, the company encouraged customers to #OptOutside, and join REI employees in enjoying their favorite outdoor activities rather than hitting the mall. In exchange for the sacrifice of potential Black Friday profits, REI cemented itself as a brand truly committed to the spirit of outdoor adventure.
4. Hinge: OK to Get Down? Campaign
With this simple e-mail, Hinge mastered the art of effective (and hilarious) poetry as marketing collateral. They spoke directly to their customer base of young, professional, and presumably single people, delivering a witty, slightly snarky message that rang all too true.
5. Food52’s Cookies of the World
Christmas cookies are one of our favorite parts of the holiday season, and Food52 went straight for our stomachs with this ingenious marketing email. Their colorful “Cookie Map” offered readers the chance to learn the history of (and test the recipes for) 46 different cookies from across the globe. The email also included a call to action to purchase the brand’s mixing bowls, cookie cutters, and other fun holiday-themed baking necessities.
6. Behind the Scenes with Number Three Salon
This behind-the-scenes Instagram photo shows the staff of Number Three Salon getting festive with a wreath-making session. Posting photos and videos of your team enjoying seasonal activities is a great way to spread the holiday spirit, and makes consumers feel as if they’re being included in your brand community.
7. 2016 Wrapped With Spotify
In honor of New Year’s Eve, Spotify’s playlist-building algorithm gives customers a special treat: a roundup of their favorite music from the past year. Listeners can either choose to rock out to their own personalized soundtrack, or can tune in to a playlist of the most popular songs among all Spotify listeners over the past year. These end-of-year playlists provide a welcome dose of nostalgia for users, while establishing Spotify as an essential purveyor of music-based memories.
While you should certainly capitalize on the major holidays, don’t shy away from the more obscure holidays or national events — especially if they suit your brand. The outcome could be hilarious and eye-catching!