Deck the Halls With Something Social: The 5 Best Social Christmas Campaigns and How You Can Capture Their Magic

amplify Dec 12, 2019

Christmas is only a few weeks away and if you haven't been living under a rock or in the Grinch's icy cave, you already know that Christmas apps, commercials, and social campaigns are in full swing. (You've probably also noticed that Home Alone is always on at least two channels simultaneously. "Merry Christmas, you filthy animal.") I am always excited to see what brands are going to come up with for the holidays. Aren't you? This is the time that companies really pull out all the stops. After all, they are about to go head-to-head to snag the prize of creating the kind of magic that draws their audiences to their doors.

In honor of the holiday season, let's take a look at some of the 5 best Christmas social campaigns in recent years and how you can snag their brand of magic for yourself:

Target Celebrates “The ULTIMATE Shopper” That We ALL Know Too Well…

If you don’t know an overly enthusiastic holiday shopper… you’re it. We all know that one person who insists on getting up at 3 a.m. to go Black Friday shopping with their Groupon in tow. This is NOT the person we are talking about. We are talking about the person who doesn’t even go to bed, camps out, and gets in the occasional fistfight over the last BOGO frying pan. They don’t even need a frying pan.

All jokes aside, Target nailed it back in 2011 when they poked a little fun at the kind of super-shopper that comes out in everyone when the holiday rush hits. They also reminded shoppers who were this dedicated that they were real heroes for caring so darn much about the people on their nice lists. The Rocky-Esque music really helped to drive it all home.

Capture the magic:

  •       Humor sells. Don’t be afraid to poke fun at yourself or to make a friendly jab at your audience.

OfficeMax Tells Us to Go “Elf Yourself”

With a clever tag and an even more clever concept, OfficeMax kind of reinvented the “Hamster Dance” for a new generation. This unique yet somehow wildly simplistic idea helped anyone who wanted to participate to use their own photographs and bring a dancing Christmas scene to life. You probably remember using it when it first came out,  It was hilarious, right? Elf Yourself was social media gold because it made itself so sharable. Everyone was eager to see their friends look ridiculous and then eager to make themselves look ridiculous. Win/win.

Capture the magic:

  •       The best, most unique ideas are often incredibly simple.
  •       While you want your audience to know what you offer, you don’t always need to focus on products or selling yourself. Show the likable personality of your company. It can be just as effective.

Best Buy Speaks to the Ego of Every Parent

We pull extra hours at the office, take second jobs and stay up all night wrapping gifts only to be woken up at 4 a.m. (aka the moment we fall asleep) then, Santa comes along to eat our cookies and take all the credit. When Best Buy showed us the portrait of a mother who FINALLY brought home a better gift than Santa... she became our spirit animal. “Game on, Santa,” the ad echoed. Game on, indeed.

Capture the magic:

  •       Know your audience. Reach them by understanding them in memorable ways.
  •       Simple taglines are easy to remember. You may have even said it in your head as you checked out with that hoverboard this year. Game on, Santa.

Macy’s Reminded Us What Christmas Was All About

Macy’s Believe campaign was magic. Every time a child dropped a letter off to Santa in one of their mailboxes, the company would donate to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Not only did this show what kind of heart Macy’s had, but it also took the opportunity to realize that everyone loves to be a cheerful giver at Christmas. Parents would drive their kids to Macy’s to drop off letters and probably stay to shop. Smart move. It accomplished two goals. It also ran a very nostalgic coinciding social campaign that made us all feel like kids again.

Capture the magic:

  •       Giving back is good for your business… and even better for your soul.
  •       Anything that makes your audience feel like children again will take you far. We all long to go back to simpler times and recapture that feeling of magic.

Coca-Cola Reminded Us it Was OK to Shake Up Christmas  

Coca-Cola is almost synonymous with Christmastime. From the iconic polar bears on ice (you're picturing them right now, aren't you?) to those images of a jolly Saint Nick lifting a cold bottle of Coke to his lips, Coca-Cola tends to keep Christmas classically classy. Their Shake Up Christmas campaign was an adorable take on their brand personality and had Santa sending the whole world sliding around when he shook up his snowglobe that was actually the real globe.   This campaign really worked across the board. It reminded parents of their own childhood and the iconic images that we are used to from Coca-Cola, but it was also a fresh take on what they did best. If anyone understands the brand story it's Coke.  

Capture the magic:

  •       Be who you are. You don't need to reinvent the wheel to stay fresh.
  •       The brand story is still alive and well. Keep the momentum going in everything you do and your customer will ALWAYS know who you are.

The holidays are definitely a different kind of arena when it comes to good marketing, but your efforts should always be true to who you are as a company or brand. Your main goal should always be to make some kind of magic. Christmas is all about the kind of magic that makes us feel something and these are the kinds of social marketing strategies that we all remember best.   While it isn’t always easy to know which kind of magic to make – the humorous kind like Target, the whimsical kind Coca-Cola or the heartfelt kind like Macy's, if you can make magic for your buyer, any kind of magic, your campaign will make magic for you too... and you might just find your company on one of these "best of" lists someday.



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