Christmas jumpers have started to brighten up streets and office blocks, Bing Crosby's on the radio, and the shops are packed with panicked Christmas shoppers - the festive season is upon us.
For many brands and businesses, the Christmas campaign, or lion's share of the 'Golden Quarter' (Q4), is the most important time of year as it offers a prime opportunity to build awareness and make some serious profit.
Now, Q1 2017 isn't far away and whether you're in charge of a startup, a small business owner, a sole trader, or the marketing director of a big brand, you're going to have to pull out all the stops to ensure you get things off to the best possible start.
Many get it wrong, but when a Christmas marketing campaign hits the mark, it's a wonderful thing. To help give you a little inspiration for your 2017 marketing efforts, here are four awesome Xmas campaigns to take note of...
Featured Image VIA
As one of the UK's most prestigious and longstanding department stores, there's always a lot of pressure on tJohn Lewis to perform each year, and they manage to wow the nation every single time. Over the past five years, John Lewis' adverts have become a British institution and the brand's festive campaigns spread like wildfire in an instant. The secret to John Lewis' success lies in the creation of lovable characters, backed up by a well-targeted social strategy. One of their best characters comes in the form of Monty and Mabel the penguins, and you'll see why in the video.
As a provider of co-working and office spaces around the world, WeWork operates in the B2B sector, but that doesn't stop the company from creating killer Christmas campaigns. WeWork's #wwgiftguide campaign became a content marketing avalanche, starting with a 'Holiday Gift Guide: Best Gifts with a Personal Touch', and gradually building more content until there became a host of sections, each with its own theme. The best part is, WeWork featured gifts from its member companies, and as a result, benefited from a huge amount of cross-promotion on social media.
As a business dealing in accommodation, HotelTonight's 'Visit, Don't Stay' campaign is brilliant. Not everyone likes spending too much time with certain relatives at Christmas, and HotelTonight tapped into that notion by highlighting a simple solution to the common trivial problem - rather than stay at your old aunt Nelly's house and listen to her snore all night, book a hotel in nearby. Using a strong combination of dry humour and audience participation (with a Facebook competition asking people to share their heir worst/funniest holiday family memory for a chance to win a prize), HotelTonight has extended their social reach massively.
Of course, having a well-known TV comic in at the heart of your Christmas marketing campaign is going to help you get noticed, but even if you do bag a celebrity, to yield a real return on investment, you're going to have to be able to innovate - well, Lagavulin know how to do innovation. The long form Christmas ad isn't a widely used marketing tool, but Nick Offerman's Yule Log served as a hilarious, highly entertaining, and conversation starting asset, cementing the whisky producer's festive success. The question is, do you have the stamina to sit through the whole thing?