With the festive season around the corner, brands worldwide are harnessing creativity and innovation to capture the attention of eager consumers.
In this article, we've curated for you a selection of seven standout holiday campaigns that have not only resonated deeply with audiences but also set marketing benchmarks for brands around the globe.
Dive in to explore these inspiring holiday promotions and uncover the secrets behind their success!
1. Starbucks: Limited-edition festivity
For over 25 years, Starbucks has marked the festive season with its iconic holiday-themed cups. Over the decades, these designs have resonated with consumers worldwide, bolstering the brand's visibility during the holidays.
Aside from the cups, Starbucks amplifies the holiday cheer with an assortment of branded products ranging from tumblers to coffee beans, all infused with festive charm.
The return of seasonal favourites like Peppermint Mocha, Caramel Brulée Latte, and the vegan Iced Sugar Cookie Almond milk Latte, along with festive food, heralds the holiday celebrations.
In 2021, Starbucks saw a 23% annual revenue rise in North America for the quarter ending 2nd January. This surge, attributed to their appealing holiday offerings, led to a significant customer increase and record Starbucks Card activities exceeding $3 billion.
Why did it make a difference?
- Starbucks' holiday cups sparking annual anticipation.
- Seasonal drinks, food, and festive store vibes captivating customers.
- Universal designs ensuring worldwide resonance.
2. Aperol Spritz: Spreading joy with postcards
Aperol Spritz spiced up the 2022 festive season with its unique Merry Spritzmas Cards.
These vibrant branded postcards, designed in collaboration with illustrator Bett Norris, offer not only heartfelt messages but also an invitation to enjoy a pair of drinks.
“With reconnecting with loved ones so high on the agenda this Christmas, we want everyone to reclaim a little bit of spontaneity throughout the festive period and enjoy some quality time together,” says Loris Contro, Campari Group UK Italian Icons Brand Ambassador.
Why it stood out?
- Exquisite postcard designs perfect as Christmas gifts.
- Exceptional value with two drinks for a mere £5.
- An astute understanding of its demographic's need to reconnect with loved ones.
3. Detective Box: Personalised gift notes
Detective Box, a murder-solving board game, is frequently chosen as a gift during festive seasons like Christmas and Valentine's Day, which increases the demand for a personal touch.
To meet this demand, it was crucial to optimise their website, allowing customers to conveniently include a special note with their orders.
What were the winning factors?
- Simple and easy to use for every customer.
- A touch of personalisation, much needed during the holidays.
- Great fit with their product.
The partnership with Bigblue offered more than just streamlined logistics. It notably improved Detective Box's post-purchase customer experience with the use of Bigblue's Gift Notes.
“It allows customers to customise the order and leave a little note,” Émilie points out, noting that 50% of their customers make use of this feature.
Discover more about Detective Box success story here!
4. LEGO: Celebrity collaboration and sentiment
LEGO's holiday campaign “Build a Playful Holiday” featuring Katy Perry, Iron Man and Rapunzel, offers a delightful mix of entertainment and emotion. Spotlighting children and their vision of the holidays highlights the essence of play.
The objective of the campaign is to “inspire [consumers] of all ages to prioritize play over perfection and unleash a childlike joy this Holiday season,” stated Julia Goldin, Chief Product and Marketing Officer at the LEGO Group.
The success factors?
- An engaging celebrity presence.
- Emphasis on the joy of play.
- Creative social media content, from #LEGOtakeover to curated shopping lists.
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5. Anthropologie: Curated gift guides
Grouping products by category and price is a straightforward approach to creating gift guides. For a more distinctive touch, brands can curate unique gift guides based on personality, search intent and client demographics.
A prime example is Anthropologie with their “Best Gifts for Holiday”, featuring lists such as:
- Picking Gifts for Gardeners
- What Should You Bring for Hosts or Hostesses?
- Gifts for Wine Lovers, Foodies, Travellers, Pet Lovers
- Personalized Gifts
In doing so, Anthropologie not only offers a sense of exclusivity but also broadens the spectrum of gift suggestions.
What set it apart?
- Tailored picks resonating with their clients.
- Diverse gift options catering to all personalities.
- Eye-catching design paired with easy-to-use navigation.
6. Sézane: Free wishlist
Sézane unveiled a captivating “La Liste For Her and For Him” campaign, weaving together the timeless elegance synonymous with the brand and the excitement that the holidays bring.
This offering, an invitation for customers to curate their dream festive collections, allows for a personal touch in gift-giving. Sézane's approach encapsulates the essence of thoughtful gifting, ensuring that each present holds a unique place in the recipient's heart.
By allowing customers to personalise their holiday desires, Sézane not only champions individuality but also simplifies the gift selection process, ensuring the joy of both giving and receiving during the festive period.
Every day, one lucky winner was chosen to win their Sézane Wishlist.
Why it worked?
- Gifts curated to individual tastes and desires.
- The blend of the brand's elegance with festive anticipation.
- A gamified approach incentivised participation and customer engagement.
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7. Barbour: Christmas film and sustainability
Barbour's 'One of a Kind-ness' campaign melds nostalgia with a message of generosity. Featuring the beloved bear, Paddington, this tale showcases the joy of giving, particularly during the festive season.
Paddington notices Mr Curry, the grumpy neighbour, feeling overlooked by carol singers. The marmalade-loving bear then surprises him with a unique Re-Loved Barbour jacket.
Paul Wilkinson, group marketing director and managing director USA at Barbour, commented: “We are delighted to feature Paddington in our Christmas film. Extending the life of our garments has been at the heart of our brand for over 100 years and through Barbour Re-Loved, a key focus of our Wax for Life initiative, we have been able to demonstrate in a humorous and sentimental way, the importance of upcycling and how much a thoughtful and unique present can mean particularly at Christmas time”.
Why it resonated?
- A heart-warming narrative.
- The focus on the brand's commitment to sustainability.
- Reinforcing the joy of gifting.
8. Cadbury: Gamifying gifting
Cadbury's Secret Santa campaign elevated the act of gifting. By allowing up to 120,000 people around the UK to send Cadbury chocolates to loved ones for free, the brand tapped into the festive spirit of sharing.
The process is simple: if you wish to send a Christmas gift to a loved one, locate one of the campaign posters dispersed throughout the UK, scan the QR code, and select the chocolate bar you'd like to gift.
In addition to these posters, the campaign was promoted on television, video-on-demand services, social media, print media, radio, and online platforms.
Highlights of the campaign:
- A blend of physical and digital interactions.
- A wide-reaching campaign across multiple media platforms.
- Enhancing the gifting experience with a touch of mystery.
These innovative marketing campaigns underline the importance of understanding audience sentiments and needs.
Whether through limited-edition products, heartfelt postcards, celebrity engagements, or curated gift guides, successful holiday promotions resonate deeply with consumers, ensuring a memorable festive season for all.
We're excited to see what the 2023 holiday campaigns will bring!