Last updated on December 21, 2022

Michelle Bitran
Head of Content @ Yotpo
December 18th, 2022

Get inspired by these engaging and entertaining seasonal campaigns.

Table Of Contents

During the biggest shopping season of the year, most eCommerce businesses are too busy dealing with the practicalities of holiday prep to think outside the box and create a unique holiday marketing campaign.

Consumers are expected to spend an average of almost $700 during the 2020 holiday season, with nearly half of their spending done online. Brands can’t afford to let the opportunity go and risk missing out on masses of new traffic who can become loyal customers over the New Year. And this year more than any others, when families can’t gather and gifts are shipped rather than hand-delivered, customers want to be surprised and delighted more than ever.

We rounded up some of the strongest and most creative holiday marketing campaigns we’ve seen yet to give you some seasonal inspiration — and it’s not all about holiday sales, either!

1) SodaStream teams up with Snoop Dogg to celebrate the small things

Sparkling water brand SodaStream’s campaign ad features Snoop Dog focusing on small but meaningful moments, like having holiday dinner with the family or (of course) having a refreshing carbonated beverage. This is a fitting message, as many are having smaller gatherings with immediate family this holiday season. SodaStream’s message is also a purpose-driven one, as Snoop Dog discusses saving the world by using less single-use plastic bottles with a sea turtle by his side.

2) #TescoNoNaughtyList

UK supermarket chain Tesco knows we’ve all had a tough year. Gave your sister a bad haircut? Panic-bought too much toilet paper? It’s okay — there’s no naughty list this year. With this relatable message, Tesco is connecting with and engaging customers who may feel like they aren’t doing enough during a time when almost everyone is overwhelmed. Even Santa!

3) Nordstrom reduces, reuses, and recycles holiday joy

Department store chain Nordstrom has created an engaging and socially conscious holiday campaign with #MakeMerry. Their bags for the holiday shopping season can be transformed into an origami heart or handbag, or deconstructed to make ornaments for the Christmas tree. Consumers are then urged to share their creations — and a dose of holiday spirit — on Instagram.

4) Macy’s creates a brand

Macy’s Christmas campaign isn’t just a collection of ads. It’s a comprehensive marketing strategy that unites all aspects of the brand, from in-store to social media. Each year, Macy’s launches an epic commercial starring top celebrities and performers to capture the holiday spirit and spread happiness throughout the country.

The “Believe” campaign has become an annual tradition for many Americans because it delivers happiness through a simple message: nothing is too big or small to be believed in, even if you’re only five years old and want Santa Claus to come down your chimney. Whether you believe in Santa Claus or not (or whether you want to believe), these commercials are guaranteed to make your season brighter!

5) L.L.Bean spreads cheer with puppies

holiday marketing campaigns

Sometimes the best way to resonate with your customers is by showing you care about the things they love most — in this case, their dogs. L.L.Bean runs an annual holiday Instagram campaign called #12DaysofPuppies, inviting their followers to share sweet photos of their dogs for the chance to be featured and win a gift card. Since most dog owners love sharing pictures of their furry friends, this contest is the perfect opportunity to collect a ton of user-generated content while promoting a branded hashtag.

6) Ikea sells out

Every December, Ikea releases its Christmas Catalogue – a 224-page book that showcases the Swedish furniture retailer’s offerings. Every year, it sells out immediately and becomes one of the most sought-after gifts in Sweden.

The catalogue features images of stylish people enjoying a modern life filled with interesting decorating ideas and furniture arrangements that are both practical and beautiful. It also includes recipes for holiday cookies and cakes, as well as tips on how to make your own wrapping paper using old magazines or wallpaper samples you can get from your local lumber yard.

In addition to being full of creative ideas for transforming your home into an elegant place for entertaining guests over the holidays, this publication is great marketing because it creates excitement around new products at a time when many people are thinking about their next big purchase (furniture). The fact that so many people want this publication shows how effective it can be—and demonstrates why marketers should think outside the box when creating their own holiday marketing campaigns!

7) Away features real reviews

Once you’ve collected hundreds of customer reviews, how can you showcase them to maximum effect? Take a page from Away’s book. In this seasonal commercial, “Real Reviews Beside a Fake Fire,” the host reads a glowing product review from one “Linda M.”

Showcasing social proof in a TV commercial helps create a more authentic connection with potential customers, all while building confidence in your brand and products.

8) Spotify wraps up

When times are tough, people often turn to music to elevate their mood or make an emotional connection. Spotify Wrapped is a series of videos highlighting the artists, podcasts, and songs that got us all through 2020. This example is for Taylor Swift’s August, with a thank you message about how the song got us through August, September, and “that weird week in October.”

9) Oreo keeps things colorful with the “Colorfilled” campaignholiday marketing campaigns

The world’s best-selling cookie introduced customizable packaging for the holidays as part of a direct-to-consumer push. The #Colorfilled campaign allowed Oreo customers to choose package designs online and digitally color them in to create a personalized holiday gift. Shoppers also had the option to color in the wrapping paper by hand once the package arrived.

Not only did this campaign create a closer, fun relationship with customers for a brand that was traditionally a wholesaler, but it also presented the ideal opportunity for cookie fans to share their one-of-a-kind designs on social.

10) Ikea goes silent

No, that’s not a mistake. Ikea is on this list a second time, because they’re so good at getting creative, and their #SilentNight campaign is a great example of how to use social media for holiday marketing.

Ikea used their Instagram account and the hashtag #SilentNight as a way to capture people’s attention. Their goal was to show customers what it would be like if there were no sales or discounts on their products during the holidays—and they did so with humor, creativity, and influencers.

They created images showing how quiet the stores would be without any crowds or screaming children running around the store—which I’m sure we can all agree is an improvement!

The company also included influencers in their campaign by posting videos made by actual employees (who are known as “Ikea Creatives”). The videos ranged from singing Christmas carols to spoofing popular television shows like Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad.

Top Takeaways

While there are endless possibilities to create unique, engaging holiday campaigns, the ones featured in this post zeroed in on some of the ingredients most likely to result in a successful one:

  • Create messaging that is relatable, given the difficulties in life due to COVID-19
  • Make your holiday campaign shareable
  • Get your customers to participate (and create!)
  • Use humor whenever possible

3 quick tips for generating creative holiday marketing ideas

Offer contests and sweepstakes

A great way to generate buzz about your brand, especially around the holidays, is to host a contest or sweepstakes. There are plenty of apps that you can use for this purpose, but it’s also easy enough to set up your own with social media as well. Make sure that you promote the contest on both Twitter and Facebook in order to get the word out! Make sure it’s easy for people to enter (and share) so they won’t feel like their time was wasted when they didn’t win anything. Give away something relevant such as a gift card or merchandise from your store or website—you could even offer an opportunity for someone else’s work (a painting/photo/artwork) if they’re an artist!

Partner up with other brands

You can team up with other brands or companies to create a promotion and extend the audience you reach. For example, you could offer your customers a special deal if they buy from another company. In addition, you can also offer discounts when they purchase from both of your companies or an additional discount if they buy from your company and one or more of your partners.

Work with influencers

Influencers are people with large followings on social media. These influencers can help you reach a more targeted audience and grow your brand by sharing their experiences with your products. They can also help get your message out there, allowing you to be seen by a wider audience than what you would otherwise have access to. In addition, they bring credibility and authenticity to your campaign, which helps build trust in your business.

It pays to put some effort into your holiday marketing campaign!

The holiday shopping season is a busy time for retailers. People are looking to buy gifts in the weeks leading up to Christmas, and this can be a great opportunity to get your customers in the door. If you want people to start thinking about your products during this time of year, you need a creative holiday marketing campaign that will make them excited about what’s coming down the pipeline.

The key takeaway here is that if you want people interested in what you have going on at any given time of year—and especially during major shopping seasons—you need a memorable way of communicating it!

If you don’t have the budget for an elaborate marketing campaign, there are still many ways to get the word out about your brand or product offerings. These seven examples show that creativity can be used in many different ways and all of these companies have succeeded in their missions because they were willing to take risks!