7 Notable Holiday Campaigns for 2014

Categories: Marketing

During this time of year, it becomes particularly challenging for marketing and social media teams to vie for consumers’ attentions. If you’re not loud enough, unique enough, or interesting enough, messaging gets lost in the crowd. With that being said, I’ve researched some bigger-known brands for their campaigns this holiday season and scored each of them (out of 5 points) based on the three campaign C’s to keep in mind:

Creativity: How out-of-the-box was the campaign? This is based on the content itself, not just whether the idea/concept is completely original.

Clarity: Was the campaign’s message conveyed clearly? The longer it takes to understand the message of the campaign, the fewer points scored.

Cohesion: Are all the posts cohesive? Or does it seem like the campaign is completely separate from the brand’s everyday operation?

7. Folger’s – #12DaysofKeurig (Twitter)

During my research period for this post, I stumbled upon Folger’s. This campaign is up on this list for its pretty and enticing tweets.

However, it looks like the partnership between Keurig’s and Folger’s parent companies isn’t quite equal; Keurig easily overshadows the Folger’s brand, even though they’re complementary products. And for that reason, I give this campaign average ratings for clarity and cohesion.


Clarity: Rating (2.5/5) Cohesion: Rating (2.5/5) Creativity: Rating (3/5)



6. Best Buy – #HintingSeason (Twitter)

Cute and thematic images decorate Best Buy’s Twitter account for its holiday campaign. However, when I first looked at this campaign, it took me a little while to understand what they meant by #HintingSeason– was it a typo and they meant “HuntingSeason”? It’s a clever hashtag, but perhaps a little too clever. Unfortunately, I had to dig my way back in mid-November to figure out what #HintingSeason was all about.

Creativity: Rating (3/5) Clarity: Rating (2.5/5) Cohesion: Rating (4.5/5)

5. USPS – “Magical” Mailbox Holiday Experience (Direct Mail, app)

This is actually one of my favorite campaigns that could have been super awesome but a few minor issues really set it back for me. I received one of these holiday “playbooks” in the mail, pointing me to visit http://ourseason.com and download the USPS AR app. The really neat thing about the app is being able to scan some of the images in the playbook, bringing them to life in real-time. Those of you familiar with 3DS AR cards will understand what I mean.

But the small issues that arise are enough to hold this campaign back from flourishing. When you open the AR app, you’re required to scan either a flat rate box or a postal box (can be the printed photo in the playbook or the real thing!) before proceeding to what seems to be the app’s main menu.

While I absolutely love this idea, making it a whole app begs the question: why do I need to download this to find out this information? From the consumer’s point of view, it doesn’t seem to do much than entertain (or cause confusion).

Creativity: Clarity: Rating (3/5) Cohesion: Rating (3/5)

4. Lego – #CreatorChristmasCountdown (Instagram)

This next one is a really adorable campaign with one related Instagram post each day leading up to Christmas. There’s not much to say about this one other than– #WhatsUpWithTheLongHashtag?

Image from Lego’s Instagram account

Caption: Day 1: ‘Tis the season…for presents! Why not build your own? #LEGO #CreatorChristmasCountdown

Creativity: Clarity: Rating (3/5) Cohesion: Rating (3.5/5)

3. Hershey’s Kisses – #MerryKissmas (Twitter)

Many of you may remember that Hershey’s Kisses are a pretty big hit during the holidays with its melodic television ads. So what’s so special about this mute social media campaign? The image-driven Twitter campaign makes for a very lovely curation of recipes and fun ideas to utilize for the holidays. Aren’t they so cute that you could just eat them?

This campaign gets high ratings for both clarity of message and for making sure these posts are cohesive with its brand.

Creativity: Rating (3.5/5) Clarity: Rating (4/5) Cohesion: Rating (4.5/5)

2. UniqloUSA – #GiveColor (Instagram)

This year, UniqloUSA started their holiday/winter campaign back in November. They encouraged users to generate their own color boards and tag @uniqlousa as well as up to 5 friends for a chance to win $100 each to spend at their stores. From a marketing perspective, it’s genius; savvy “grammers” create neat content that Uniqlo can regram, thereby fortifying an inclusive and easy-to-like brand.

Image from UniqloUSA’s Instagram account

Caption: Not so mellow yellow. Regram this yellow color board and tag up to 5 friends for a chance to win our #GiveColor contest. Just make sure to use the hashtag #GiveColor.

The clarity of this campaign is super loud, super clear, and super bright. I give it full marks for clarity and cohesion because they are consistent with each of their posts. It’s obvious that Instagram works well for this fashion brand, but they really know how to work it.

Creativity: Rating (2/5) Clarity: Rating (5/5) Cohesion: Rating (5/5)

1. Nintendo – #SettleItInSmash (Instagram)

Perhaps I’m a little biased in selecting this particular campaign as my favorite, but Nintendo’s got a great element of humor while promoting its product without being too product-driven. Just take a look:

Image from Nintendo’s Instagram account

Caption: No need to debate what gets served at your holiday party. There’s an easy way to decide! #SettleItInSmash

For those of you who are familiar with the Super Smash Bros. video game franchise, this is an absolutely brilliant campaign. What better way to determine the winner by fighting it out via pixels, your favorite video game character versus mine?

Creativity: Rating (4.5/5) Clarity: Rating (4/5) Cohesion: Rating (5/5)

Obviously, I preferred some of these over others because I could better relate to the social media teams’ efforts. So take my ratings with a grain of salt; I may not be in the target demographic, after all!

Brain poke of the day: What do you guys think of the rundown? Do you agree or disagree with any of my ratings? Did I miss a campaign that you thought was great? Let me know in the comments below!

Featured Image Credit: Photo by PublicDomainPictures. CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay.

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