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Holiday Marketing Magic: Our Favorite Campaigns and Why We Love Them

The holiday may be the Most Wonderful Time of the Year - but for markers, it is also the busiest.

This holiday season, marketers are battling record inflation in a post-pandemic world, which is impacting consumer spending. In fact, nearly 30% of consumers are planning to spend less this holiday season. This means marketing teams need to be at the top of their game to win over consumers with some holiday marketing magic.

While the time for holiday campaign planning has probably passed, the opportunity for learning is never done. So to carry us into the new year, here are three merry and bright holiday campaigns we think every marketer can learn from.

Campaign 1: “Santa Tracker” by Google

Here’s a campaign that captures the cheery, childlike magic of Christmas - Google’s Santa Tracker. Every year since its launch in 2004, this campaign has enabled users to follow Santa Claus as he delivers gifts around the world on Christmas Eve.

Originally developed for Google Earth, the campaign's goal is to show off Google’s map service in a unique way. By combining the holiday wonder of a belief in Santa with real-life technology, it captures the hearts and minds of families as they follow along with Santa’s journey.

This campaign showcases the value of creating an interactive campaign that integrates your brand into the lives of consumers instead of asking consumers to make a purchase.

Campaign 2: “Red Cups” by Starbucks

Starbucks introduced “red cups” in 1997 to generate interest when expanding outside of the U.S. and Canada. Every November since then, the company presents a new array of cups with different holiday designs to mark the arrival of the festive season.

The annual campaign has been hugely popular with consumers who create buzz as they anticipate what the new designs will look like. And, once they arrive, customers spread news that the holiday season is officially upon us by sharing photos on social media that showcase the year’s featured cups.

For 25 years, Starbucks has been creating consistent experiences across each red cup campaign. The takeaway is that consistency, especially those tied to tradition, nostalgia, and celebratory spirits - can be a powerful tool.

Campaign 3: “Holiday Gift Guides” by Etsy

Etsy is an e-commerce website that connects buyers and sellers of handmade or vintage items and craft supplies. Since it is a great place to find unique holiday gifts for loved ones, Etsy gets a lot of traffic during the holiday season. To help consumers efficiently find their perfect gift, Etsy creates holiday gift guides based on different categories and styles. The guides feature best-selling items, picks from Etsy editors, and items from top-rated shops. This makes the shopping experience efficient and fun for shoppers.

The lesson here is that it is important that your website makes it easy for users to find what they need. The holiday season is stressful, so customers appreciate a fast and seamless experience.

If you want to kick off the New Year with some strategic marketing campaigns of your own, drop us a line. All of us at Wheels Up wish you and your loved ones a merry and bright holiday season. See you in 2023!


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