Sahail Ashraf posted on 18 December 2018
The Christmas rush is fast approaching, and this means that brands are splashing out on Christmas campaigns for social media.
We thought we would take a look at what is happening out there right now on social, to see if we could identify some of the best seasonal campaigns in the world.
You only really need to take a look at Coca-Cola for the nostalgia to come on thick and fast. They’ve been celebrating Christmas for decades, and they are so linked to the season that they have a campaign around the Coke truck that has simply become a tradition.
This year, on Facebook, they have been running a competition. This is standard fare for most brands all year round, but Coca-Cola has made it even more effective by using promotions that genuinely tap into what their audience wants.
Head on over to Instagram and you’ll see pretty much the same thing. But this time the brand has created a piece of work that is drenched in the signature red colour. That colour is a big part of what Coca Cola is and why it exists.
This year, Pizza Hut used one of its products to bring about a jolly, fun feel to its Instagram account.
In one image alone, it perfectly encapsulated what Christmas is all about. It’s a time of year when families are huddled close together. They’re also decorating the home with tinsel, lights and other.
Pizza Hut saw the potential, and came up with a person holding up a pizza slice so that it covered a Christmas tree. It worked well, because Pizza Hut is such a well-respected brand. They know that more engagement is the key.
And because they know this, they are irreverent enough to make sure that the pizza slice is big and bold enough to grab your attention. So it’s doing Christmas on it’s own terms, and producing pretty snazzy marketing while the team is at it.
If you drill down deep enough, you’ll find that this is very sophisticated marketing. And it’s very creative too. At the same time, they’re doing their job in the case of selling.
Back in 2016, Mulberry pulled out all the stops and innovated for their Christmas ad campaign. It featured children acting like adults, and generally giving us a hilarious glimpse into family life at Christmas.
This particular production deserves special merit, for it’s sheer ingenuity. Telling a real, well-produced story before that concept really became popular was a perfect way to keep audiences engaged.
This ad has been on TV screens and all over social media. It’s a heart-warming story and genuinely deserves the praise it has received over that timespan.
What’s interesting here is that Heathrow has not had to create another ad after premiering the teddy bear ad. People simply love seeing it, and that’s powerful stuff. It taps into the strong emotions and the context of Christmas, where people come home for the holidays. It’s therefore no surprise that it has won so much positive feedback from the public.
Another great example of a campaign that really engaged audiences was the 2016 Sainsbury’s ad, which was basically a musical number set to some of the most eye-catching animation you have ever seen.
Why does it work? Well, the family feel taps into that feeling that other successful seasonal ads (like the Heathrow Airport one) worked hard to create. Sainsbury’s is a large company, and they can throw as much at an ad as they like, but this one was particularly high end.
Lessons we can learn
Social media is an incredibly competitive arena, but if you’re looking at tying your marketing into the Christmas season, then it’s important to remember a few things.
All of the ads and campaigns here managed to tap into that feeling of ‘family’. The emotions and the atmosphere all add to the simple message that Christmas is a time to spend with loved ones. So that means the messages hit the right people.
In addition to the right atmosphere, the campaigns also featured very simple stories. There was nothing complicated about any of this stuff, and that made the message easier to understand. Keeping it simple left the message itself, rather than drowning it in flashy visuals.
The Heathrow ad is perhaps the best example of this. Simple and easy to understand, it proved to be highly engaging. It also proved to be an ad that Heathrow never had to change. It’s still very much the Heathrow ad, and while it’s a little different now (with a continuation of the story), it’s still the bears at the airport.
So, simple, engaging and subtle wins at Christmas.
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