Pulse of the Profession

Friday Five: A Look at Cheeriest, Merriest and Wittiest Holiday Campaigns

The holiday season is upon us, and brands are pulling out all the stops to come up with creative campaigns. Videos, jingles, graphics and more are being created to ensure that stores and their products generate successful sales.  As competition becomes steeper each year, brands are taking more innovative approaches to create attention-grabbing programs.

In this week’s PRSA “Friday Five” post – an analysis of the week’s biggest public relations and business news and commentary – we look at some of the most creative holiday takes on everyday brands, Black Friday and Small Business Saturday campaigns, how Facebook boosted holiday sales for a 113-year-old company and a campaign that encourages shoppers to be selfish this season. We also look at Nexflix’s campaign surrounding “a new family tradition.”

Top 15 Most Creative Christmas Advertisements (Business 2 Community)

It can be difficult to create holiday imagery for some products, however many brands have overcome the challenge and turned everyday products into holiday must-haves. Christmas trees made of French fries, Volvos and iPod headphones are among the many items that brands have adapted to holiday advertising. Kit Kat aligned its holiday campaign with the brand’s tagline by hanging Santa’s beard on sofa while he took a break, while Heineken campaigned against drinking and driving with a holiday twist.Friday Five Logo

Combining creativity and engagement, while maintaining brand image, can help make holiday campaigns successful. “It’s a brilliant way to encourage engagement and create buzz that is true to the brands personality and connects well with their core audience,” the article states.

Holiday Shopping & Social Media: 5 Fantastic Campaigns (Social Times)

The holiday season offers great opportunities for brands to increase their social media following. By offering special sales through social media, some brands were able to drive traffic to their site, earn followers and make sales. Brad’s, Groupon, Marshalls, T.J.Maxx and HomeGoods are a few brands that integrated social media into their holiday campaigns to build relationships with consumers that will continue on after the holidays.

Michaels stores posted a Black Friday coupon on its Facebook timeline that allowed followers to take advantage of 30% off their purchases from 4 pm on Thanksgiving to 2 am on Black Friday. The post received over 3,800 likes, over 900 shares and was claimed by almost 23,400 users.

How a 113-Year-Old Company Boosted Holiday Sales on Facebook (Mashable)

Model train-makers Lionel LLC used the 10th anniversary of the film, The Polar Express, to promote its “Polar Express Sweepstakes.” The campaign took place from September through November in keeping with the holiday theme of the story, and one Lionel Polar Express replica train was given out during each month of the campaign. To be eligible to receive a train, participants submitted information through Lionel’s Facebook landing page.

“The company’s sweepstakes had three main goals: to promote The Polar Express brand, create more awareness about the product line and boost holiday sales,” the article states. As a result of the campaign, Lionel Trains’ Facebook page received more than 1,300 likes and the landing page had more than 25,000 unique visitors. For more details about other tactics used in the campaign, visit the article.

Ad of the Day: Harvey Nichols Plays the Grinch in the Year’s Most Selfish Holiday Campaign (AdWeek)

Harvey Nichols took a new approach to its holiday campaign and strayed far from the traditional “thoughtful giving” theme of the holidays. The store is using advertising, social media and in-store promotions that encourage shoppers to purchase cheap joke gifts for others so they can save money to spend on themselves. To encourage followers to participate in its holiday twist, the campaign uses the hashtag #SpentItOnMyself and video clips revealing peoples’ reaction to the “Sorry, I Spent it on Myself” gifts, i.e. toothpicks and paperclips, and revealing the purchases they made for themselves.

The cheap gag gifts aim to drive shoppers to the store and to potentially make more expensive purchases. The purpose of the campaign is to encourage shoppers “to spoil themselves that little bit more this Christmas,” client marketing director Julia Bowe said. The videos and links to the gifts on the Harvey Nichols site are included in the article.

Netflix: We’ll Help You Survive Holiday Family Togetherness (Mashable)

Netflix is using a similar strategy to Harvey Nichols, one which veers away from the feel-good theme of the season. In one ad, Nexflix uses the perspective of a tree topper to show various mishaps and dysfunctions associated with Christmas preparations.

Its campaign is themed around helping people survive the family togetherness that is sure to ensue during the holidays, and instead highlights “a fairly new holiday tradition: settling on the couch to watch Netflix,” the article states. The campaign is targeting consumers who are receiving new electronics this holiday and are looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

Faith Goumas is the public relations associate at the Public Relations Society of America.

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