10.19.15

Create a Holiday Campaign Worth Celebrating

Creativity is often one casualty of last-minute holiday planning by companies and brands, who embrace the trite because it seems “traditional.” Instead of encouraging your customers or stakeholders to “give themselves the gift of XYZ this Christmas,” why not come up with something that is actually interesting and engaging? If that sounds like a lot of work, keep reading, because your Covalenteers are here with tips that will help you trim your December marketing tree with enough mistletoe and holly to make even the office Grinch smile.

Get in the spirit. Planning for a Christmas campaign when it is 80 degrees outside isn’t always fun. Put yourself in the mood with Christmas music or host a holiday campaign planning party with traditional holiday sweets and goodies. This will serve as both bribery for your marketing team to participate and inspiration to get their ideas flowing.

Set a goal for your campaign. When companies or brands undertake campaigns without a clear goal in mind, success can be impossible to achieve or difficult to measure. Planning a holiday campaign just because you feel you have to is a bad idea. Consider the types of conversions you would like to see from your campaign, such as donations to a cause, social media participation, newsletter sign-ups or even just increased sales. Give your campaign a goal other than “being witty” and you’ll be more successful.

Embrace other cultures. The idea of Santa Claus as a jolly man with a red coat is an American ideal that isn’t prevalent in other countries. Look outside of our borders for holiday inspiration. In Italy, families feast on fish and wish each other a Buon Natale. Ukranians say Srozhdestvom Kristovym and make the youngest child in the family watch for the evening star to appear as signal that it is time to start the Christmas meal. Drawing internationally for inspiration ensures that your campaign will be something American audiences haven’t seen.

Incorporate nostalgia. The holidays put most people in a nostalgic mindset as they think of fond times with family members and friends in years past. Capitalize on this by bringing in images, ideas and themes from a time that is interesting to your audience – the most sought-after children’s presents from the 90s or classic holiday movies from the 80s, perhaps? Using pop culture references from when your stakeholders were children will bring back warm fuzzy memories of Christmases Past.

Bring your campaign to life. Holiday campaigns shouldn’t just live in the digital space. Incorporate matching signage and visuals into your locations and workspace to help get your customers and employees in the holiday spirit and to pull your message through to real life audiences (or vice versa). If you’re spending the time to create campaign materials for the digital space, make sure they also work for your physical locations.

Pile on the cheer. Much of Christmas imagery and tradition is cheesy and campy. Why not embrace this for a fun-filled campaign? Over the top decorations, costumes and styling show that your brand doesn’t take itself too seriously. Bonus points for puns.

Narrow your message. Avoid hashtags or phrases that are too common during the holidays, like #MerryChristmas. (Especially if you’re doing a contest.) Coming up with a very narrow tagline or very specific hashtag allows you to make your holiday celebration your own. If you need to amplify your message on social media, including a common hashtag as the secondary hashtag is okay, but your message still might get lost in the shuffle.

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