Tis the season . . . to share our favorite holiday marketing campaigns! Whether you’re a professional marketer or simply a spectator (that is, any human with a television or inbox around the holidays), I’m sure you can agree that beside the Superbowl, some of the best advertising campaigns happen during the holiday season.
What makes holiday campaigns so special? Emotional marketing. Emotional marketing is when a company uses persuasive messaging to tap into human emotion and create a deep connection with their audience. These emotions can range from joy, sadness, and fear but no matter what the emotion is, it’s strong enough to influence a reaction from those of us in the audience (Spiralytics). It’s this tactic precisely that separates the seasonal greats. Holiday campaigns almost always use emotional marketing to influence the consumer.
Looking to get excited for the upcoming season’s best ads? We’ve created a list of our top favorite holiday campaigns from 2020 to set the stage.
Amazon: The Show Must Go On
“Is it truly a review of our top holiday campaigns if we didn’t throw a tear-jerker in here somewhere? Amazon’s 2020 holiday season campaign ‘The Show Must Go On’ hit the nail on the head with its captivating and heart-warming story. What I love most about this ad is the effective storytelling that keeps the viewer magnetized to the screen throughout the entire commercial. What surprised me the most was the fact that it was an Amazon commercial. Had I not watched the whole commercial, I would have never guessed it.” - Diana Sparacio, Marketing and Programs Manager at Wheels Up Collective
McDonald's: Inner Child
“McDonald’s 2020 holiday season campaign, ‘Inner Child’, pulled on the heart strings. This ad shows a mom struggling to get her son into the Christmas spirit. The mom is trying to reconnect with her son. It resonated with me because I have felt disconnected from many people throughout the pandemic and it shows that no matter what, there is always a way back to each other. It shows that the littlest gestures go a long way.” - Trish Casey, Account Manager at Wheels Up Collective
Hinge: What We’re Thankful For
“There are always incredible commercials, clever sales, and crafty viral campaigns around the holidays; I think that’s even more reason I love the simple, authentic, and vulnerable approach that Hinge - the dating app - took with their marketing campaign last year. When that email landed in inboxes, it did a couple of interesting things and it did them really elegantly. First of all, it highlighted recent changes Hinge had made to their app, and did so in a way that - to me - felt earnest, like the brand was worthy of my trust. They were playful with their voice, claiming they ‘swiped left’ on ‘swipe culture’, and asked me indirectly if I was ready to do the same. Perhaps most importantly, they backed up their position with some really hope-inspiring statistics that I, as a singleton here in the holidays, appreciate like more people joining the app, more time spent messaging vs. swiping, and best of all, more dates. They expressed the whole sentiment with a sense of gratitude, invitation, and wholesomeness about the desire for human connection. Needless to say, when I started dating again in 2021, Hinge was my first stop.” - Karla Margeson, Managing Editor at Wheels Up Collective
There you have it - those are some of our top holiday marketing campaigns picks from 2020. Now that you know what emotional marketing is, you'll notice almost all of the campaigns above used that tactic to invoke a reaction or influence an action from the viewer. I’m sure you’ll be paying extra attention to the holiday marketing campaigns this season. I know we will.
Interested in learning about other marketing campaigns favorites of ours? Check out another blog post where our team discusses their favorite marketing campaigns and why.
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