The worst year of recent human history is about to get over, and though we might not be feeling fully festive yet, the holiday season is near the corner, and it is only going to get better from here. The new normal has been accepted slowly and steadily, and everyone is looking to add some cheer to their life to lighten the mood in these uncertain times. This has opened a window of opportunity for brands and marketers.
Covid-19 has forced even the traditional offline industries to leverage the potential of eCommerce, for both damage control and to prepare for the future.
Planning a Holiday Campaign for 2020
The 2020 holiday season will be quite different from the previous years, as more and more customers warm up to online shopping. Considering this fact, it is more important than ever to pay attention to the year-end festive marketing strategy.
No doubt, this year, the competition between brands is going to be very fierce. So, for a successful strategy, it has to stand out from the rest. Let’s have a look at some campaigns from the past that can be a source of inspiration for planning your festive campaigns.
1) Heathrow Airport’s 2016 Holiday campaign
The festive season is all about being close to friends and family. This insight led to a staggering increase in passenger traffic at Heathrow. The airport’s 2016 ad film, featuring Doris and Edward Bair — the airport’s much-loved teddy bear toys, tells the tale of an aged husband & wife traveling back home to spend time with their grandchildren. The ad captured this emotional bond beautifully. It paid attention to small details like hesitation to set foot on escalators, awakening each other upon flight’s landing, etc.
Though the ad did not directly mention the airport, the focus on the familial setting was well received by the audience.
Takeaway – An emotional approach always does the needful. In other words, the holiday season charges everyone’s emotional side. When a brand is communicating on an emotional level, conversions become a natural outcome of the communication.
2) John Lewis 2016 Christmas Advert
The John Lewis 2016 holiday video advert begins with a Christmas eve scene, where the family dog is peering out the living room window. The dog anxiously looks at a pack of wild animals having a gala time on the daughter’s Christmas gift, a trampoline. On the next day, when the daughter is about to have a look at her gift, the dog is happier than her and goes out to start joyously jumping on the trampoline. This cute story narrated how the brand is providing holiday gifts making everyone in the family happy, including the pet.
Takeaway – The massive popularity of this ad reflected the wants and needs of society. It talks about how gifting merely for family members is not enough anymore. Pet owners always consider their pets as family members, and by letting the family dog take center stage, the advert offered a powerful inclusive and caring storytelling route.
3) Annie Selke’s Gift Guide Quiz
During the holiday season, choosing a suitable gift becomes a taxing job, owing to the wide variety of options to select from. Many shoppers spend a significant amount of time bouncing between websites trying to make a purchase decision.
So, while most marketers stress upon the discounts to raise their value proposition, the focus on making their holiday communication a problem-solving tool takes a back seat. Spotting an opportunity here, the American home décor brand Annie Selke conceptualized an interactive gift guide for their customers. The visitors landing on the brand’s website were welcomed to participate in a persona-based quiz to facilitate a gift-buying experience designed to delight their loved ones. The quiz was designed to help find everyone find something they were sure about, with special offerings for personas like “The Modernist” & “The Spa Lover”. This quiz eliminated the guesswork, and with the interactive nature of the quiz, customers felt encouraged to spend more time on the website to make an informed purchase decision.
Takeaway – Include ideas to remove the pain points faced by customers in their holiday shopping experience. This can be done with a small and simple questionnaire as done by Annie Selke, or by offering bundles and packages based on the different set of personas. These smart steps will come in handy for the buyers to select a gift that their loved ones will adore and create happy customers for your brand.
Although ideas and insights can’t necessarily apply to all plans, keeping the central message, mindfully aligned with ongoing pandemic is a must this year. Make the campaign idea as thoughtful as possible without sounding opportunistic, caring about your customers is the need of the hour (and even the whole year). Imbibing these core values in your communication plan will surely help you connect with your audience and lift your brand’s image in a way that your customers will adore.