Lessons From 3 Top Holiday Content Marketing Campaigns

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Lessons From 3 Top Holiday Content Marketing Campaigns

What’s the best holiday content marketing campaign you’ve seen this year? Target’s #MyKindOfHoliday branding? Ghirardelli’s “Tis the Season for Squaring  campaign, complete with interactive website? Or, perhaps, Kmart’s controversial “Show Your Joe”/”Jingle Bells” boxer commercial?

Creating the perfect holiday campaign takes months, sometimes years. Read on to learn how you can apply ideas from these top holiday campaigns to your business’s marketing strategy.

Mattel Creates Bilingual Campaign
Perhaps one of the most unique campaigns this holiday season is the Mattel “Toy Feliz” campaign, which uses a fun play on words to market to the Spanish-speaking community. The literal translation of “toy feliz” is “toy happy”, but it can also be read as a shortened version of “estoy feliz”, which translates to “I’m happy.

Clever, huh?

Hispanic shoppers account for about 15 percent of toy sales. Of those shoppers, 86 percent are women. Knowing this, Mattel’s campaign prominently features moms with their children.

Another strong component of the campaign is that, for the first time ever, the content was created specifically for the Hispanic market. Normally content is written in English and then directly translated into other languages. In this case, Mattel created original content for each of its featured products and included the play on “toy/estoy” throughout the campaign.

The lesson: don’t just think about one demographic. Analyze your customers to learn how you can better market to them. If your target market is men ages 30-49, you probably don’t want to use “LOL” and “totes magotes” in any of your content. It takes time to study these demographics, but it will more than pay off.

Christmas Comes Early for WestJet Passengers
Another amazing holiday campaign is the WestJet Christmas Miracle. The Canadian airline had about 250 passengers on two flights tell a digital Santa what they wanted for Christmas. While the planes were in the air, WestJet employees and volunteers bought, wrapped and delivered the requested presents, including a flat-screen TV and diamond ring, to the baggage claim.

Needless to say, the reactions were amazing. WestJet posted the video on its YouTube page and promised to donate free flights to families in need if it reached 200,000 views.

Since it was put up on Dec. 8, it has been viewed more than 27 million times.

Marketers can take away several lessons from this campaign.

  • Encourage a reward for engagement. Consumers are constantly inundated with online content, especially during the holidays. Give them a reason to comment, share or follow to make yours stand out from the other hundreds of posts they see.
  • Always think about branding. Take a closer look at the video. Notice anything? The Santa hats, the wrapping paper, even St. Nick himself is blue! And the ending wish for “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good flight”? That’s branding at its finest. Whenever possible, try to tie in your company colors, logos or slogans into your campaign. Bonus points if you can do it in a clever way.
  • When possible, go over the top. Would this video have been so wildly successful if they had given everyone a $10 gift card to the airport coffee bar? Definitely not. The way to get people’s attention is to do something unbelievable. Even if you can’t include every one of your customers, doing something over the top for a few is a great way to boost brand awareness.

Macy’s and Make a Wish Team Up
We’ve all seen them. The shiny, red mailboxes sitting in Macy’s with a big sign encouraging shoppers to drop off their letters to Santa. The Macy’s Believe campaign is a collaboration between the retailer and the Make-A-Wish Foundation that plays off the famous “Yes, Virginia” editorial. It pledges to donate $1 for every letter received, up to $1 million, to grant wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses.

The campaign has raised more than $6.5 million in its six-year history, and Macy’s introduced a new element this year. Customers can now share a photo or video of themselves with #MacysBelieve on the company’s Instagram, Twitter or Vine profile for a chance to be featured in a commercial airing on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The campaign also has an interactive website, complete with a letter generator, Christmas countdown, gift guide and Santa’s post office and inhabited by the once-skeptical Virginia. This campaign captures the optimism, excitement and charity that is inherent in Christmas. Combined with the newly-introduced social media aspect, this is an awesome example of what it takes to run a successful holiday campaign.

When you’re planning your next holiday campaign (which will be sooner than you think!), try to find a way to tie your products to a larger part of Christmas. Giving your customers an experience where they can help someone else or share their holiday memories is much more effective than constantly pushing your product.



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