Whether your brand offers a product or a service, the holidays can make or break your year. Starting mid-November, brands are already blasting customers’ inboxes with big sales and holiday discounts, vying for their attention. And so, the holiday marketing battle begins.
With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, how can you stand out from the noise and do something memorable? To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of our four favourite marketing campaigns that are guaranteed to get your creative juices flowing.
1. Don’t Buy This Jacket - Patagonia
This campaign ran several years ago, but it still has marketers from around the globe talking. Patagonia is a sustainable outdoor apparel brand with a strong focus on environmental advocacy. On Black Friday in 2011, the biggest retail day of the year, Patagonia bought out a full page ad in the New York Times with a simple but provocative headline: “DON’T BUY THIS JACKET.” Rather than encouraging people to buy a new jacket, the ad encouraged people to reuse their old clothing instead.
As counterintuitive as it seems, the ad was so compelling that sales for Patagonia went through the roof! This type of campaign won’t work for every brand, but considering Patagonia’s long history of supporting eco-friendly living, this campaign was on point and struck a chord with Patagonia patrons, new and old.
2. Give Back Friday, Not Black Friday - Cambio Market
Disclaimer: I am the founder of Cambio Market and it may seem a bit strange to include my own brand on this list, but the response we received from our campaign was so powerful that I HAD to include it.
In protest against Black Friday last year, Cambio Market organized a campaign called Give Back Friday (Not Black Friday). Rather than buying things for yourself, we wanted to encourage customers to be more mindful about their actions, and to purchase more responsibly. We skipped the typical sales and deep discounts everyone else was doing, and instead donated 20% of every sale to Lifeline Syria, a non-profit supporting Syrian refugees in Canada. The response was so positive that our customers still talk to us about it.
3. 12 Days of Christmas - Krochet Kids
Remember the magic moment as a kid when you wake up on December 25th and run down to open your presents? This element of surprise and delight is what Krochet Kids tapped into during their 12 Days of Christmas campaign last year.
Playing on the classic holiday song, every morning you’d wake up to a new email from Krochet Kids with a new sale or holiday offer. One day they had a free beanie with your order, another day they had 25% off all backpacks. It was delightful to imagine what you’d wake up to the next day. How can your own brand conjure up those same emotions?
4. What We’re Thankful For - Hinge
My favourite part of the holidays is the feeling of joy that abounds. The time spent with friends and family, carrying out childhood traditions, reminiscing about the year and looking forward to the future. Hinge tapped into all those emotions with their What We’re Thankful For campaign. Hinge is a dating app that went through a rebrand last year, and re-focused on helping people find meaningful relationships.
In November, they sent an email out to their clients asking them what they’re thankful for. Hinge then used this opportunity to talk about their recent rebrand, their successful growth on their platform, and invoked the desire to spend time with someone special (rather than the “swipe left/right” culture we now live in). This campaign hits all the right chords when it comes to playing with people’s sentimental nature and their heart strings.
This is also a prime example of how as a small business, you don’t have to do anything flashy or expensive to stand out.
What are your plans for the holidays? When it comes to marketing, no matter the season, the opportunities are endless whether you go big and bold, or go classic with a traditional sale. Whatever you do, find a way to add your own twist to it.
Want to create memorable campaigns for your brand? Book a free consultation with our team and let’s chat!