With the season of Christmas upon us, marketing for many companies has gone up a gear and we’re seeing all manner of Christmas-themed campaigns.
Whether it’s social media, emails, window displays, catalogues, or promotional food and drink, you can’t deny that Christmas is all around us – when it comes to marketing at least.
But is festive marketing really worth all the effort, and how can you make sure your campaign will be a success amongst all the other voices out there?
To run a successful content campaign, you need two things: a theme and a message. These components should link together through the marketing, especially the visuals, which can be exceptionally powerful tools when it comes to seasonal-themed marketing.
Think of how many amazing advertising campaigns have centred around Christmas – Coca-Cola, John Lewis, Marks and Spencer – they all united their strong visuals with a clear message.
There are many different choices for your messages at Christmas, but drawing on the key themes of the season are excellent options when it comes to designing your campaign.
Themes of home, family, sharing, giving, love, parties, and nostalgia are all very commonly used, and to great effect by many companies. Your chosen theme should guide your branding and visuals for the campaign, so make sure it’s one that fits well with your company product and values.
Example: Heathrow Airport, with their ‘It’s a Wonderful Flight’ campaign for 2017 emphasises the themes of love and home. With the message of ‘fly to someone, not just somewhere this Christmas’ and supported by their returning Christmas bears, the campaign is a fantastic example of how a combination of the right visuals with a unified message and theme can be a powerful tool for marketing.
Most notably with the Heathrow campaign is that it sells entirely on story – there are no products to buy, no special offers on flights. The campaign is a true exercise of content marketing and storytelling through adverts.
Cohesion between the theme and message is what helps create a great festive marketing campaign. Having a strong, simple message that everyone can relate to and branding that supports this is the first stage of getting your successful campaign up and running.
As with all marketing, festive marketing is ultimately a tool to help companies sell more during the Christmas season.
While the most obvious form of audience engagement with a marketing campaign would be a boost in sales, audiences are more complex than their wallets, and often want to feel a real sense of involvement with a company at Christmas.
Example: Costa Coffee have demonstrated this with their 2017 social media campaign ‘#CatchUpAtCosta’, encouraging customers to catch up at their stores over one of their special festive-themed drinks.
As a common meeting place for people to ‘catch up’, Costa have made the most of this by encouraging people in out of the cold, to sit down with a special festive drink and catch up with loved ones. It’s a very simple campaign that encourages engagement in a natural way.
If social media and digital marketing is more in line with your company, running competitions are excellent for the festive season – and great for giving away examples of your products and services.
Think about activities people naturally do at Christmas and how you could incorporate it – a Santa hat selfie with friends, a ‘most beautiful Christmas tree’ competition, a ‘pets in festive outfits’ hashtag.
Think about what you’d be inclined to do at Christmas, a normally very busy time of year, and consider how best to involve your audience without taking too much of their time. Keep any activities tied into your theme and branding for maximum impact. See our article on social media marketing for more hints and tips.
It might feel like festive marketing lingers on, but carefully crafted campaigns and their beautiful visuals are welcomed every year with open arms and a sense of anticipation for what the stand-out campaign will be this year.
It’s a time of year with a sense of community spirit, and we should embrace it – before gloomy January is upon us all too soon!
Formation offer a range of graphic design and digital marketing services that are perfect for anyone considering a campaign – contact us today.