The cranberry sauce hasn’t jiggled out of the can for Thanksgiving yet, but Christmas ads are already sprouting up on television. At first, you try to fight the advertisements, but the holiday spirit catches up to you and by December 1, you’re fighting the crowds at the mall and cursing the tree lights.
Christmas is an often stereotyped and cliché subject, and most ads can seem like last year’s recycled wrapping paper, but a really great holiday ad can not only sell a product, but make even the most stubborn Scrooge feel warm and fuzzy inside. Here are a few tips for creating a classic holiday ad.
Capture that addictive holiday spirit
Successful Christmas commercials create an emotional connection in consumers. The holidays are a time for goodwill and peace on earth, and if you can capture the spirit of that and relate it to your brand, you, my friend, will have ad gold. John Lewis, a department store chain in Great Britain, does an amazing job of producing lump-in-your-throat spots that tug at the consumer’s heartstrings. Genuine emotion is always powerful in advertising, but during the holidays, it’s everything.
Stay true to your brand
Anyone can do a holiday ad, but the true greats that stick in a consumer’s mind are the ones that incorporate their brand seamlessly into the holiday. M&M is a great example of how brands can associate with the holidays in a genuine way. In their “They Do Exist” spot, the brand is able to incorporate the fantasy of talking M&Ms with the fantasy of Santa in a cute and humorous way. The candy company has been running this commercial for years, but it continues to be effective around the holiday season.
Creating an original holiday spot is easier said than done, but in order to stand out among hundreds of bad Santa costumes and screaming kids, brands need to get creative. Excentric’s “Digital Nativity Story” is a perfect example of standing out during the season, and social media has never looked so endearing. This year, Lego already came out with a beautiful spot about a father and son. Kids using their imagination is old hat at Christmas time, but the brand took a different spin on it and told the story of how parents can bond with their children over a classic toy (and Nan’s knitwear).
The holidays are great subject matter for classic and memorable advertising, and when done right, can warm your heart, give you goosebumps and make you a little less annoyed by the woman in front of you paying with a check.
What’s your favorite holiday ad?