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The Very Best and Worst Seasonal Marketing Campaigns

We all know Christmas is round the corner and many brands (including us!) are jumping on the band wagon. Christmas provides us with a perfect opportunity/excuse to reach out to our customers some work well, some not so much. In fact according to an Experian Marketing Services report 83% of marketers will run a co-ordinated, cross-channel marketing campaign during the holiday season.

I thought I’d do a short round up of my favourites and some of those that let’s face it really don’t work. I would hasten to add that these are totally my opinions, and it’s also worth mentioning that if a brand is provoking a strong reaction either negative or positive then their job is done! 

Brands integrating their campaigns on social media brilliantly:

  • Cadbury with their #unwrapjoy (by the way who wouldn’t want to wake up to this!)
  • John Lewis – what can I say, rabbits, bears and Lily Allen there’s not much not too like – also did you know that this version of “Somewhere only we know” is the most tagged song on Shazam so I’m not alone! Plus the bear and hare have their own Twitter handle @JL_BearAndHare – this is just brilliant on so many levels

We’re here to help

  • Topshop have created a personalised Christmas gift guide on pinterest “Dear Topshop” enabling you to share your lists with loved ones

Brave and inspirational

  • Sainsbury’s Christmas in a day advert based on Kevin Macdonald’s new documentary film - quite a hands off approach, none of their branding is shoehorned in and some elements other brands might shy away from but this is what makes it a brilliant, placing the supermarket at the heart of the real Christmas

Making us laugh

  • The Coke Zero Sweater Generator is a viral marketing campaign enabling users to create the ugliest Christmas jumpers complete with dedicated hash tag #sweatergenerator  http://bit.ly/1f4cmgJ
  • Elf Yourself App – A firm favourite in our household, it does what it says on the tin – elf your family or go all out with celebrities 
Ba humbug! 
  • Harvey Nichols have launched a gift collection called “Sorry I spent it on myself” – the idea is you buy yourself a nice gift at Harvey Nichols and spend what’s left on your loved ones

That oh dear moment

  • “The cookie that killed Santa” – a cautionary tale from Steve Hatch on the Media Week website about ad-retargeting r spoiling the magic of Christmas ! http://bit.ly/JaU7MP

You know who you are!

  • Payday loan providers using Christmas to flog loans

So what should you consider when planning your own communication?

  1. It’s got to memorable - don’t be afraid to be different! The average person is served over 1700 banner ads per month – do you remember any of them? (Source: comScore)
  2. You don’t have to go big, sometimes a brand is memorable because of the little things, simplicity is key
  3. Be original
  4. You know what your audience likes so make sure you appeal to your target market
  5. Sentiment – provoke a reaction, bring a tear to our eye, make us laugh but please we don’t want to be overwhelmed with maudlin sentiment – it really is a fine line 
  6. Never underestimate the power of viral marketing – Econsultancy revealed in a study of 18-34 year olds that brand recall and association rose 7% among viewers who had been recommended the video versus those that found them by searching 
And finally … wondering what to do with all those left over Brussels sprouts? Use them to light your Christmas tree http://bit.ly/1fd0f1D