Creative Holiday Marketing Campaigns That Work

The day after Thanksgiving the Christmas commercials roll out and the holidays are officially among us. Now that Thanksgiving is over, every retailer in the country is focusing on the next big thing, Christmas and Chanukah. Competition is stiff, so getting creative with your holiday marketing is a must. To get you in the mood, we wanted to revisit some of last year’s greatest holiday marketing campaigns of the holiday season and discuss why they worked.

1. Best Buy’s “Game On Santa” Campaign:


In this campaign, Best Buy ‘challenges’ Santa Claus by providing shoppers with the best tech gifts of the season. Santa may have brought you a doll or maybe some new G.I. Joe toys, but mom got you’re a PS4. She wins, right? The competitive nature of this campaign appeals to both the spirited shopper as well as the competitor. Overall, we liked this campaign because it was all about igniting an individual’s already natural instincts, while spreading holiday cheer.

What we learn from this? People like being part of the holiday spirit and also react well to competitions. Appealing to both spirit and throwing in a gaming aspect makes any marketing campaign more engaging, and therefore better received and more effective than a marketing campaign without these components.

Watch Best Buy’s “Game On, Santa” commercial here.

2. OfficeMax’s “Elf Yourself” Campaign:

The OfficeMax ‘Elf Yourself’ campaign started in 2006, and, to this day, remains one of my favorite campaigns. The ‘Elf Yourself’ campaign lets customers insert their own face photos into a card or video of dancing elves. This campaign works because it is not only hilarious, but shareable, interactive, and customizable. Who doesn’t want to see themselves as a dancing elf?

ElfYourself here.

What we learn from this? Customizable, shareable, and humorous campaigns can have a viral effect. Do not be afraid to be silly and creative. Most of the time ridiculously funny ideas can lead to a viral campaign, especially in the age of quick and easy information sharing.

3. Macy’s ‘Believe’ Campaign.

Every year, Macy’s puts out a big mailbox where hundreds of thousands of children drop off their letters to Santa Clause. For each letter dropped off through Christmas Eve, Macy’s will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 Million to help grant the wishes of children with life threatening diseases. This campaign takes the focus off of the customer and reiterates what the holidays are really about, giving.

What we learn from this? Macy’s ‘Believe’ campaign plays off of the emotions of others. It shows that the holiday season is not just about receiving presents, but giving to those less fortunate. People enjoy experiencing that ‘warm and fuzzy’ feeling, and knowing that they are giving back encourages people to participate. The fact that Macy’s puts out a mailbox for Santa letters is also just genius. It gets kid’s excited, gets parents into Macys, and does good all at the same time! This is a total win for a marketing campaign.




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