As 2015 draws to a close, are you seeking inspiration? If you need a bit of help to super-charge your marketing juices then check out these 12 creative marketing tactics deployed this holiday season. All examples go beyond simply selling a product or service. Some do it in an obvious way, while others push the boundaries in a certain field. But all have the potential to be developed further and borrowed with pride!
UK – Star in Burberry’s Billy Elliot inspired Christmas ad
Burberry, in partnership with Google, launched “The Burberry Booth” at its flagship store in London. Via real-time video-stitching technology, shoppers can film a personalised version of the brand’s infamous Christmas ad campaign featuring several British celebrities (viewed over 12 million times on YouTube). Holiday shoppers create a 15-second edit, including bouncing on an actual trampoline, and appear alongside the celebs. The clip is instantly sent to the user, so they can watch and share it on YouTube.
UK – Star in a special 90 second prime time Christmas day advert with McDonalds
McDonalds Christmas campaign ‘The Journey to Christmas’ features a 60 second TV ad that introduces a young family on a long car journey singing along to a Christmas classic by Wizzard, before making a stop at a drive through McDonald’s. Customers are invited to record their own video of them singing “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday” in their car or any other mode of transport (including a McDonald branded taxi) cab to win a chance to be featured online or to appear in a prime time Christmas Day TV ad.
UK – Coca-Cola’s innovative pack design for its 1.75L bottles
Coca-Cola has created a novel label to get their customers into the festive spirit in support of their “Give a Little Happiness” campaign. Their new line of festive bottles features labels that can be transformed in two easy steps into a decorative bow.
Australia Post has launched a new range of postable packaging boxes designed to disguise their contents until Christmas Day. In support, an integrated campaign shows all the best ways to keep family and friends guessing until the moment they open their presents. Additionally, consumers can share their own disguised presents through a social media competition for the chance to win various prizes.
US – Microsoft and a peace offering stunt between two rivals
Microsoft’s festive ad is counter to its usual direct comparison ads and focuses on the spirit of Christmas – calling for peace between the company and its rival, Apple. The 60-second ad saw Microsoft employees from around the country make their way from the company’s latest New York store to Apple’s flagship store down the road in order to serenade them with a festive carol. The carol chosen to share the message of peace and harmony was “Let there be peace on Earth.”
US – Zappos, the town of Hanover and 1900 mystery gifts
The pretty New Hampshire town of Hanover awoke one morning to discover a big box of gifts on the doorsteps of every house. Hanover, “fiercely loyal” to Zappos, had been visited by Zappos employees during the night in order to deliver happiness. 1,900 boxes were delivered with each containing an assortment of products for the whole family.
US – Mattel’s American Girl championing a new cultural term of “Usies”
This holiday season, in support of its mission to “celebrate girls”, American Girl is championing the cultural term and idea of “usies”. This is a counter-culture social media push away from “selfies” and supports the notion “that contemporary real girls are stronger when they align and support one another” and “that we is better than I”. A “usie” is a picture that contains not only yourself but other friends too. 30 young social media influencers are spreading the word and American Girl is airing three supporting TV ads with the tagline “Together We Make the Holidays”.
UK – Pret a Manager shows the true festive spirit and donates its Christmas Marketing budget
Pret is eschewing traditional Christmas tactics and is instead donating its entire festive marketing budget to five homeless charities it works with via the Pret Foundation Trust. The campaign, “A Little Thank You”, will run across its social channels and website and will feature the charities’ stories. It launched the campaign and its Christmas range at a gift-wrapped store and will donate £0.50 for each Christmas sandwich sold to the Trust.
UK – Aldi spoof of the infamous John Lewis “Man on the Moon” ad
If “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”, what better to parody than a Christmas institution, particularly one that has been viewed close to 21 million times. Aldi in the UK has its own version of the iconic ad that has itself been viewed over 2 million times and has according to industry sources had a greater social media impact!
Australia – Cancer Council Queensland and Kozii’s parody of the ugly Christmas jumper
Cancer Council Queensland and Australian swimwear manufacturer Kozii launched a limited edition “Ugly Xmas Rashie” as Australia’s answer to the Ugly Xmas Sweater – a Christmas institution in the Northern Hemisphere. With all profits from every sale going to the charity, it has proven to be a worldwide success and has sold out – although orders for 2016 are being taken!
US – Smile Train offering customised video greeting card campaign
Smile Train, the international cleft lip and palate charity, has turned everything that makes you grouchy about the season into a comical song in its video greeting card campaign. 6 classic Christmas songs have been reworked into “Grouchy Carols” video clips. The charity lets users select one of the video clips, add a customised message, share the link, and make a donation if they wish, encouraging the recipient to “give smiles to kids with clefts, and get your smile back too.”
UK & Ireland – Shoppable windows at House of Fraser department store
In 2014, House of Fraser was one of the first retailers to use iBeacon technology in its mannequins as part of its strategy to turn the 70% of its customers who only buy in-store into multi-channel purchasers. On Black Friday, windows in the top 14 stores across the UK and Ireland offered instructions to customers to download the House of Fraser app to access its ‘shoppable windows’ journey. By scanning the window vinyl, customers could browse the best Black Friday deals and enter a competition to win a £250 gift card, all without entering the store. This is soon to become a permanent feature as the store believes that it will become the norm for all retailers.