7 Holiday Campaigns To Cure the Christmas Blues

03 Jan


Holiday Campaigns

Now the Holiday season has drawn to a close and the nation is back at work, we’ve created a list of campaigns to keep away the new year’s blues. These 7 Christmas campaigns are beautiful, innovative examples of experiential marketing, targeted at the holiday consumer. Hopefully they’ll help keep the Christmas cheer alive for just one more day.



Coca-Cola Holiday Truck

We’ve talked about the Coca-cola holiday truck before, however I can’t write a Christmas article without referencing perhaps one of the most famous (and effective) pieces of Christmas marketing ever. The touring red truck has become synonymous with the festive season and deeply embedded in our culture.



Why we like it

The Coca-Cola Holiday truck builds effectively on an extremely popular 1995 TV advert, which still runs today years on! The campaign draws crowds in over 40 locations across the UK every year. We love it because it has become a Christmas staple. Each year the truck does the rounds and each year the crowds come out to see it. People come from far and wide to take pictures (create content) and enjoy a free coke (sample the product). Winning formulae are like gold dust and that is definitely what Coca-Cola has found in the Holiday Truck.



Hamleys Christmas Toy Parade

Continuing from last year’s success, the world’s most famous toy emporium hosted their Christmas Toy Parade again this year, to great success. The parade featured floats, buses and over 400 actors dressed as children’s characters, from Ghost-busters to Disney princesses. The event took place on London’s regent street and an estimated 750,000 spectators watched the entertainment pass by.



Why we like it

This is THE biggest parade of its kind in the world! Hamleys, in a similar vein to Coke, have carved themselves an annual slot in consumers’ calendars and it’s safe to assume “pester power” was in full swing this year. The event synergises beautifully with digital channels, providing a perfect opportunity to co-create content as parents capture photos of kids posing with their heroes.



Carlsberg tree

In 2015, Carlsberg decorated the giant fir at Observation Point, covering it top to bottom with beer bottle baubles and replacing the traditional star with a giant hop. However, perhaps the best feature was that it had a fully functional beer tap at the bottom, dispensing free lager to passers-by. As an added incentive, the first 100 visitors were given “beerbles” of blown glass to drink from.



Why We Like it

Again this campaign perfectly epitomises the Christmas spirit of giving. There is no direct call to action, consumers are simply left to enjoy their free gifts. This builds a far deeper relationship than one with an agenda in mind. Dharmesh Rana, senior brand manager at Carlsberg UK confirmed this, saying “We wanted to give something back to our consumers with our final activation of the year,” showing great awareness and astute thinking from the brand.



TGI sleigh ride

Again in 2015, TGI Fridays surprised diners with a Christmas trip to Lapland! Well almost, the famous eatery provided guests with VR headsets  which allowed them to experience a virtual dog-sled ride through the Finnish region. The 90 second long video was a fully immersive 360 experience captured by a trekker 85 miles north of the Arctic circle in Kiruna.



Why we like it

This is a perfect example of a company making VR work for them, not the other way round. TGIs saw the opportunity given the time of year and the nature of their business, mainly high dwell times, to deliver a unique customer experience. The VR adventure also carried the added benefit of keeping guests entertained between courses at what is the busiest time of year in hospitality.



West-Jet Christmas miracle

We’re going back to 2013 for this one! WestJet passengers flying from Toronto and Hamilton were asked by an on-screen, life-sized Santa Claus what they wanted for Christmas, with WestJet employees taking notes quietly. When the planes landed in Calgary, the presents appeared on the baggage carousel resulting in laughter, surprise and a dash of tears. Overall 250 passengers received their Christmas wish in yet another beautiful holiday campaign.



Why We Like It

What’s not to like, it’s philanthropic, it’s heart-warming and it reeks of Christmas! WestJet took advantage of a given in the airlines industry, a group of consumers who you can track the exact movements of for an exact amount of time, to create a wonderful Christmas experience for them. The video of this campaign has since reach a whopping 45,000,000 views so it’s safe to say that WestJet didn’t go wanting as a result.



Air Canada: Home For Christmas

This campaign took place in the Maple Leaf Pub, London, 2014. The venue is a famous watering hole for Canadian expats, particularly those who, during the holiday season, cannot afford the trip home. Two Air Canada pilots walk into the bar (not a joke) and mingle with customers, asking them what they miss about home. The pilots then stand up drawing the bar’s attention to them saying “Because we are in the holiday season, I’d like to take this occasion to offer everybody here, present this evening, a round,” everyone cheers at the thought of free booze, but the other pilot continues, “When we say a round, we mean round trip tickets for everyone to go back to Canada for the holiday season.” This leaves the room in stunned silence with sporadic cheers and tears thrown in.



Why We Like It

This is a perfect ‘feel-good’ Christmas campaign, similar to West-Jet’s, showing Air Canada as a collection of real people, rather than a faceless corporation. This campaign genuinely brightens the day of those it serves, both those who received the tickets and those who watch the video, which has subsequently received over 3 million views. This truly philanthropic gift captures the spirit of Christmas perfectly, which is what makes it so genuinely heart-warming to watch.



Blippar AR Experience

This December, popular AR app Blippar teamed up with 140 businesses in Covent Garden to create a truly ambitious and memorable experience for holiday shoppers. The app featured an AR overlay over the 50ft Christmas tree which displayed offers for the various local businesses. In addition to this, there was an AR Santa’s Grotto, where users began a hunt for Santa’s reindeer, culminating in a giant virtual reindeer flying around the famous piazza.



Why we like it

We love this campaign for its ambition, getting 140 businesses to buy in was crucial to the apps success and the results have been lucrative for all. In addition to this, Blippar teamed up with fashion editors from X to create an AR style guide for 40 clothing shops in the area, demonstrating a deft knowledge of influencer power.


If you’re looking to run an experiential campaign and need staff, contact us today, we’d love to help!

Featured image source