5 Innovative Holiday Marketing Campaigns of 2023

5 Inspirational Holiday Marketing Campaigns Brands Are Using in 2023 (1)

Around 30% of consumers will shop for gifts this holiday season year-round by 2026, encouraging brands to plan innovative holiday marketing campaigns. As an outcome, they extract valuable insights from customer data to shape their marketing objectives.

As the jingle bells start their annual serenade, brands are dusting off their ‘tech’ tinsel and decking the digital halls with festive cheer. Holiday-themed campaigns have always been an important segment for brands to improve customer engagement, significantly contributing to the business’s seasonal revenue.

We’ve picked a few thought-provoking ideas that brands have incorporated into their holiday marketing strategy in 2023. But before we spill the beans, let’s explore how these holiday marketing campaigns help brands and why they are the need of the hour.

Why are holiday marketing campaigns important?

A survey by Gartner predicted that 30% of consumers will shop for gifts this holiday season year-round by 2026. What does it imply? A chance for brands to be more innovative while shooting their holiday marketing campaigns down the years. They can prompt target audiences to make holiday-related purchases as an effective repercussion of their festive-themed marketing offers and special discounts.

Brands leverage the outcomes of such campaigns and extract valuable insights from customer data to shape their marketing objectives. Furthermore, they harness the power of marketing automation tools coupled with the capabilities of generative AI, machine learning, and other cutting-edge technologies to enhance and optimise their outcomes.

5 Inspirational Holiday Marketing Campaigns That You Shouldn’t Miss 

1. Coca Cola‘s Santa Heavy Holiday Campaign with AI Integration

Have you added Santa to your Christmas card this year?

Coca Cola’s “The World Needs More Santas,” campaign is just what you need to share your festive cheer with the world. Featuring digital and experiential elements, the brand has expanded its generative AI-fueled “Create Real Magic” platform, letting consumers design digital holiday cards with brand assets. Besides that, it represents their iconic depictions of Santa Claus. Coca Cola also promises to feature consumer-created artwork on digital billboards throughout the world.

This global effort is all set to be adapted to over 80 markets worldwide. All in all, the motive is to create a larger marketing push through other engaging activities, such as digital quizzes, Christmas truck tours, on-pack competitions and out-of-home elements.

For instance, QR codes on product packaging direct users to the quiz, providing them with opportunities to win prizes, including a trip to Rovaniemi, Finland – recognised as the “official” hometown of Santa Claus.

Developed with WPP Open X, led by VML and supported by GreyOgilvyEssence MediacomHogarth and JKR

2. Air Canada‘s Traditional Holiday Drive with a CGI Technology Twist

Here’s a story. Two button-cute nutcracker bears who, after a year of being tucked away together, find themselves on separate sides of the tree. Distraught at the thought of spending the holidays apart, a series of heroic efforts to reconnect include zip-lining along a string of lights and collapsing a gingerbread house.

Now, with a little help from Air Canada, in a dramatic and final leap of faith, the tiny wooden bears reunite with a heartwarming embrace.

As an initiative to reunite customers with their families, Air Canada incorporated CGI technology into their video marketing strategy to deliver exceptional user experience for their customers who onboarded their flights.

Developed with FCB handling strategy and creative; animation by Hornet; audio by Cult Nation & OSO.

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3. Target‘s Digital Campaign with Media Mix Optimisation Strategy

Target got its priorities right. Observing the concurrent nature of its consumers –  spending more and less – the brand created a marketing strategy that catered to the mindful spending customers and also to convert those with tight pockets.

The brand’s “However You Holiday, Do It For Less” campaign focuses on driving shoppers’ inspiration with a message about affordability. It’s promoting the seasonal assortment of day-to-day items, leveraging media mix optimisation strategies.

In total, the campaign encompasses over 100 spots, with creatives running across TV, digital, video, social, digital display, paid search and audio channels. The strategy is implemented in response to the fact that 75% of Target customers now initiate their digital shopping journeys on mobile devices, emphasising the significance of platforms such as social media.

In addition to prioritising dollar value, the “do it for less” message aligns with Target’s same-day services, encompassing complimentary order pick-up, drive-up options, and delivery facilitated by the retailer’s Shipt platform.

Developed with Agency Mother

4.  Pizza Hut‘s “Leave a box, get a box” with QR Code Facilities

When was the last time you showed your gratitude to your late-night pizza delivery driver? Pizza Hut has an idea fresh out of the oven!

The “Leave a box, get a box,” campaign serves both its customers and delivery partners.

The chain doled out 50 of its doormats to its target consumers, featuring their food items throughout the holiday season. Consumers can place the order online by scanning the QR codes on a first-come, first-served basis.

Once the delivery driver brings the order, they can scan the QR code that directs them to a microsite where they redeem gift cards. Through the doormat concept with a QR code system, the chain also wants to encourage the habit of gratitude amongst young consumers whilst offering them enhanced digital experiences.

5. O Boticario’s “Make Your Love Present” Campaign with 360° communications strategy

O Boticario’s strategy was to tug at people’s heartstrings. A film, set to I’ll Be There, by the Jackson 5, invites people to “Make Your Love Present” and fully experience everyday life.

For its official launch, the brand took to the skies! In front of the obelisk in Ibirapuera Park, 350 drones formed a QR code in the sky.

The campaign sparked a metaphorical approach with a promotional video to generate a deeper connection with the target audience. Consequently, this helped the brand to collect responses from their customers on social media and gather behavioural insights from target audiences.

Developed with AlmapBBDO and LIVE

Summing it up, brands have always been juggling between tech-based and emotional triggers in their marketing strategies to drive target audiences and successful ROIs. The holiday season is one of the best opportunities to experiment and spread love.

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