Season’s greetings come in many forms. Saying “happy holidays” to customers, partners and prospects is an opportunity to reinforce your brand personality and even introduce key differentiators.
The options are endless: from a simple handwritten card or video greeting, to a holiday party or open house, to a coupon code or special sale.
Let’s break down a few campaigns that we’ve come across this season:
“Holiday Fear” by the evil geniuses at Planit
Planit is a marketing agency in Baltimore. This year they produced a video of their own employees innocently singing a Christmas song with the undeniably fun twist of a scary elf jumping up and scaring the eggnog out of the unsuspecting carolers.
The tie-in? “The best ideas should scare you.”
This campaign reinforces Planit’s sense of humor and showcases their creativity – a must-have for an interactive communications firm. Their production style is campy and takes a behind-the-scenes perspective, which aligns well with the video content and voice of the brand.
“Holiday Sweater Showdown” + Interactive Card by Wildfire
Wildfire, bought by Google in 2012, provides social media marketing software. They used their own product – a template gallery for customizable interactive tools – to create the Holiday Sweater Showdown. This is a straightforward way to tie a seasonal theme into a product demo.
Wildfire also sent a virtual card to their email list containing an interactive graphic that served up a series of holiday messages when you hover over the icons.
The design is polished and the messages relate to social media themes. But, to be honest, Wildfire’s effort may not have been worth the outcome in this case.
The experience is a bit forced and the payoff underwhelming. It seems like they were trying to be clever (see Social Media Rule #6: Don’t Try To Be Clever, BE CLEVER). So while this campaign is relevant to the target customer, it’s not particularly engaging.
“XMAS JAMMIES” by the Holderness Family
This adorable young family turned their personal holiday newsletter into a music video and mini promo for their video production business Greenroom Communications.
They applied their core competency – scripting and video production – to their holiday greeting and it’s gone viral.
Yes, it’s obvious that a video production company
could should make a video as a seasonal outreach tool, but this one is so joyful and unique that you immediately understand what it would be like to work with them.
(They also coined a hashtag #xmasjammies, a smart marketing move that demonstrates the team knows how to leverage social media, a service listed on the company’s website.)
“Gift Swapstakes” by Staples
Staples is hosting the world’s largest gift swap with weekly prizes and a grand prize giveaway. Each day, players swap your gift with another player or choose to keep your gift. Swaps earn 1 bonus entry into the Grand Prize drawing. Referring a friend earns 2 bonus entries.
It’s social, it’s gamified, and Staples gets to promote their products as “perfect gifts” in the process.
Tip: Setting up a Facebook Fangate like this is actually easier than you’d think with all the app development shops out there now.
“Christmas Miracle: Real-time Giving” by WestJet
A homerun this year is from Canadian airline WestJet. They pulled off a stunt with passengers and produced a film for shareability.
Santa was stationed at the check-in counter to ask a plane full of passengers what they wanted for Christmas, and then actually delivered hundreds of wishes in the arrival gate at their destination.
The emotional reactions are priceless.
WestJet worked with sponsors including Best Buy to fulfill the gifts, an example of how you don’t have to do it all on your own; corporate partnerships are a great way to leverage resources!
This campaign embodies the WestJet brand, which aims for a “friendly, caring experience” and air travel that can “enrich lives.” Their stated brand values include: positivity, passion, appreciation and fun. They nailed it.
Holiday Campaign Takeaways:
- Make it relevant to your strengths. What does your company do really well? What does your brand stand for? Your holiday outreach campaign should demonstrate both.
- Make it engaging. Holidays are a great time of year to connect emotionally – through humor or sentiment. Even if you choose handwritten cards in the mail as your channel, make the message personal and think about how the customer will experience it.
- Make it social. There’s no excuse for hiding your holiday outreach campaign in a dark hole! Add share buttons and promote your campaign through all your social media channels.
- Make it a priority. Your holiday campaign will carry your brand. If you slap something together at the last minute and turns out half-baked, you’ll waste your time and your customers’ attention. Build it into your annual campaign cycle and start early.
What does your holiday campaign say about you? What are some memorable holiday campaigns you’ve seen?