Lessons in fabulous Christmas promotional campaigns

It’s that time of the year again, when the temperature takes a sudden drop, Christmas decorations appear outside of houses and supermarkets begin to play those ever so familiar festive songs. Also a part of Christmas are the numerous marketing campaigns, many of which are excellent at high-jacking the festive spirit and using it to drive more sales. Here are ten of the best Christmas marketing campaigns in recent years:

1) Starbucks’ ‘Christmas Wish’ campaign

Knowing that Christmas is just as special in China as it is in the west, Starbucks utilised Sina Weibo, a popular social network in the country, to encourage users to become “mayors” of their local Starbucks and send festive gifts to their followers.

2) Best Buy’s ‘Game on Santa’ campaign

By rolling out a marketing campaign which placed an emphasis on the mother of the household as the chief giver of gifts (as opposed to Santa Claus), Best Buy gave consumers an emotional incentive to spend money thanks to the element of competition.

3) Coca Cola’s ‘Holidays are Coming’ campaign

No article about Christmas marketing would be complete without an example from Coca Cola! By placing a revamped version of their classic television advert during the intermissions of X Factor, and sending out trucks to dispense fizzy goodness to children throughout the country, Coca Cola is keen to ensure its brand image remains attached to Christmas for many years to come.

4) Coca Cola’s ‘Coke Zero Sweater’ campaign

Coca Cola also released an ingenious digital tool last year, allowing users to customise their own sweater (or ‘jumper’ in British terminology). The site received over one million views in just two weeks.

5) Office Depot’s ‘Elf Yourself’ campaign

This campaign has been around for a decade and has consisted of advertisements, songs, dances and more. Not one to be left behind the times, Office Depot recently upgraded its campaign to include an interactive smartphone application.

6) Target’s ‘My Kind of Holiday’ campaign

American retailer, Target, unleashed a superb Twitter campaign which encouraged consumers to use the twitter hashtag #MyKindOfHoliday in regards to their festive posts. This helped to drive consumerism but also improved Target’s digital brand presence.

7) KFC’s ‘Kentucky for Christmas’ campaign

While Christmas is not celebrated to the same degree in Japan, KFC used some ingenious marketing to make its restaurants the place to be on Christmas Eve. Because turkey is not a common food in Japan, KFC strategically marketed chicken which to this day has created a Japanese obsession with the Colonel’s delights come Christmas time.

8) John Lewis’ ‘Monty the Penguin’ campaign

Releasing an adorable YouTube video featuring a boy and his pet penguin, featuring music from Tom Odell, John Lewis massively succeeded in tapping into the sentimentality of Christmas. Today the video has over 19 million views and the hashtag #MontyThePenguin is trending heavily.

9) Amazon’s ‘Flurry Deals’ campaign

Every year come December, Amazon offers a different discount every day for its users, creating an atmosphere of scarcity which drives sales for a short period of time.

10) Hubspot’s ‘Free Holiday Stock Photos’ campaign

By releasing a package of 250 royalty free, high quality photos (valued at approximately $1500), Hubspot is delivering value by giving people free photos for Christmas, Halloween and New Year marketing campaigns. The benefit to Hubspot is an improved digital presence and an exponentially increased list of potential clients to which it can subsequently market.

There’s clearly a lot of positive emotions going around the Christmas season, so why not tap into them with an effective marketing campaign like these companies have done?