Holiday Ads Mastery: 2023 Christmas Video Trends | Mobio Group
The holidays, especially the Christmas season, are a great opportunity for companies to do more than just offer holiday discounts to their customers or users. The holidays allow brands to engage with their audience on a deeper and more sincere level, creating a lasting image for themselves that will continue to work in the brand’s favor throughout the coming year. In this article, Mobio Group mobile marketing team take a look at the basic steps of preparing holiday commercials and break down the top trends in Christmas promotional videos that not only resonate with audiences during the holiday season, but also leave a lasting imprint in a brand’s identity even after the holiday lights go out.
In the advertising business, as in other businesses, there are two different types of teams: those who look for last-minute ideas and those who prefer to plan ahead. If you’re reading this article, we sincerely hope you fall into the latter category. Why? Because creating vibrant, creative marketing campaigns for the holidays requires careful planning and execution. Whether you’re preparing for Black Friday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or other holiday events, stick to the basic key steps of preparation, and then your ads will shine as bright in practice as they do in theory.
1. Plan and prepare
If you want to run an effective holiday marketing campaign, devote significant time to the planning and preparation phase. Start this process by creating a well-designed schedule. Many marketplaces publish their own guides on how to organize holiday season marketing campaigns, sharing accumulated information and analytics. The main recommended stages of Christmas preparation:
- June-August — planning and preparation phase.
- September-October — months dedicated to launching branding and customer acquisition campaigns.
- November-December — time to maximize sales.
- January — post-holiday activities.
The above schedule is a great starting point, but it can be adjusted to suit your needs and experience. Also, decide in advance which events to include in your campaign. While Black Friday and Christmas are must-attend events, if your budget allows, you can expand your reach to include Thanksgiving, Super Saturday, Free Shipping Day, and New Year’s Eve.
2. Set Goals
Before setting goals for your holiday marketing campaign, take the time to analyze the previous year’s results. These analytics will reveal the effectiveness of your past efforts. Analyze what worked well and what your customers didn’t like. Armed with this data, you can start setting clear and precise goals. Whether you want to expand your audience, increase customer loyalty or increase sales, the chosen goal will be the guiding star of your campaign. It will also define the tools and metrics you need to measure the success of your campaign.
3. Find your target audience
Identifying your target audience is paramount. Base your marketing tools, messages and calls to action on the unique needs and pain points that your users may endure. Consider segmenting your audience and creating special offers for small groups of users. This approach allows you to cater to different interests and provide shoppers with the items they most want to purchase this season.
4. Pay special attention to loyal customers
Regular customers, whether they’ve been with your brand for years or have recently become fans, deserve special attention for several good reasons. These loyal customers voluntarily recommend your brand to friends and colleagues, make frequent purchases, and are the backbone of your customer base. Engage loyal customers to gather valuable statistics, especially during the post-holiday season when feedback is simply invaluable. Show your appreciation with special discounts, offers, free gifts or exclusive privileges.
5. Don’t stop after the holidays
The final phase of a marketing campaign should come after the holidays. At this stage, you can gather invaluable user feedback and continue to generate sales, as a large number of customers continue to shop after the holidays to take advantage of seasonal sales.
6. Sell not the product or service, but emotions
Quality content is the foundation of any effective marketing campaign, but holiday advertising requires a special emotional message, because during the holidays emotions play a crucial role in customer behavior. The more vividly expressed the emotional component in ads, the greater the financial return a brand can expect. Philip Adcock, an expert in consumer psychology, says that the persuasiveness of emotions exceeds the persuasiveness of reason by 24 times, so the essence of a holiday advertising campaign is to effectively and emotionally deliver your message to customers not only to make one-time purchases, but to form an overall positive evaluation of the brand.
Top Trends in Christmas Video Advertising
The most successful tool for communicating broadly with customers during the holiday season are videos that not only lift spirits, but also create unmistakable brand recognition. Holiday advertising campaigns target the emotions that audiences are looking for during this special time of year. Therefore, the key components of Christmas advertising invariably become a festive atmosphere, family relationships, touching stories with a necessarily happy ending and, of course, humor. Let’s take a look at the main triggers that iconic brands use to garner millions of views for their Christmas ads:
☑ Festive atmosphere
Coca-Cola’s commercials are some of the most striking examples of the connection between advertising and the Christmas spirit. Santa Claus is so firmly associated with the brand that the company allows itself to move away from this iconic character, making the commercials more sentimental and thoughtful (The Magic of Christmas 2022 with Coca-Cola).
The use of mythical characters helps in creating a good holiday atmosphere and is appreciated by viewers, even if it is not a typical Christmas character such as Frankenstein by Apple.
☑ Family theme
Restoring family ties, strengthening kinship ties, and the commonality of generations invariably resonate with viewers. The video of Edeka, Germany’s largest supermarket corporation, was viewed 5 million times on Facebook and 1.2 million times on YouTube in the first 24 hours after its release.
A Christmas commercial for Dutch pharmacy company Doc Morris has gone viral on the Internet, drowning millions of viewers in tears as it reveals the reason for Grandpa’s inspired kettlebell workout in the final clip.
Polish e-commerce platform Allegro approached the theme of family with gentle humor in a story about an elderly man who is learning English so he can communicate with his granddaughter, whom he will meet for the first time while visiting his son in London for Christmas. Although the brand is little known outside of Poland, the universal humor and reality of families living abroad made this ad a social media hit in many countries.
Many families with teenage children were moved by Apple’s video and took a fresh look at the younger generation’s fascination with gadgets.
☑ Celebrity involvement
Using a celebrity in an advertisement is one of the most effective ways to attract attention to a brand. Transferring a positive image of a celebrity to a company’s image helps to increase the emotional involvement of the audience. Despite the failure of some commercials (Capital One ads with John Travolta and Samuel L Jackson), quality content with celebrities warms up the interest of viewers.
☑ Immersion in a story
Today, brands are looking to tell stories rather than just advertise a product. These ads can be quite cute, such as the global online marketplace Etsy To The Travelers or Happy Christmas Mrs. Higgins from Irish home improvement retailer Woodie’s. But what really appeals to today’s audiences are ads that turn into compelling narratives — mini-movies filled with depth, meaning and the ability to immerse the viewer in a true story. Such advertising goes beyond mere promotion, it touches hearts and evokes emotion.
☑ Focus on social issues
More and more often advertising is turning to social problems. This is a good tactical move, because the problems of society concern everyone and are therefore close to everyone. Videos that go beyond advertising products and services not only demonstrate a brand’s values, but also demonstrate its desire to have a positive impact on society. However, these ads can be quite dark or emotionally devastating, and it takes great skill to convey the seriousness of the issue while maintaining a sense of Christmas hope.
Some companies take the risk of addressing societal issues in their videos that have a mixed reception from audiences. For example, the Norwegian postal service Posten’s Christmas video, dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in the country, caused a wave of emotion on the Internet.
Brands have managed to highlight some social issues in a humorous way, drawing viewers’ attention not only to the social issue, but also to their own company. John Lewis & Partners, a British luxury department store brand, successfully demonstrated its commitment to making a real contribution to supporting children in care with a touching and funny commercial.
☑ Religious orientation
Christmas itself is a religious holiday, and viewers have a positive attitude towards mentioning its origins and symbols. However, a touch of irony or humor in such advertising can be off-putting to religious believers. The management of the British fashion company Mulberry had to respond to viewers’ complaints, explaining that in the commercial the company did not identify its products with God, but rather ironized those who deify the brand.
Whether it’s Santa, a mischievous elf, a comical or ridiculous situation, a good laugh can leave a lasting impression and create warm, positive brand associations. In addition, ads that make you laugh are shared. And it becomes viral, bringing its creator great success. Ads shared on social media have made humor more accessible to everyone, and this has led to a wider range of styles that can cater to the most specific niche audiences. We’ve already mentioned “black” humor in our “Night of the Ad Eaters” article and gave examples of commercials that have successfully used it (e.g., CakeFilm’s Christmas story). However, “black” humor should be approached with caution and have a clear idea of the audience to which the advertising message is aimed, otherwise the result could be offensive despite being humorous.
Such humor can be effective, but intelligent wit or ironic farce is more likely to bring the ad closer to a masterpiece:
It’s time for another exciting race to prepare Christmas advertising campaigns. The festive season is the best time for brands to shine, capturing the hearts and minds of consumers with creative, eye-catching advertising. Our Mobio Group mobile marketing team has the mobile expertise to make your brand shine — whether it’s eye-catching mobile banners, engaging in-app ads, or compelling video content optimized for mobile screens. Your success is in the hands of those who know how to turn advertising into art. Let’s work together to make this holiday season unforgettable.