So you have your holiday planning guide in front of you and your audience targeting mapped out. What’s next? To wrap up our holiday content series, we’re putting the spotlight on all things creative. Before you bring out the holiday stereotypes, green and red color themes and elves, hold up a second.
This year is your chance to do things a little differently—if economic indicators have anything to say about it, it’s going to require more effort from advertisers to stand out from the crowd this quarter. “In an economic downturn, the knee-jerk reaction is just to go for those quick conversions—go lower-funnel, go cheaper. But you don’t want to sacrifice your long-term goals for short-term gain,” said Stacey Larson, Chief Investment Officer at OMD in an interview with Ad Age. The beauty of Connected TV advertising is that you never have to make a trade-off of one thing or the other—you’ll drive full-funnel results that impact both your short- and long-term objectives.
Last Year’s Crowd Favorites
Let’s take a look at some of last year’s winning holiday campaigns to help inspire your next creative idea.
Coca-Cola: There’s nothing more iconic than the refreshing fizz of downing a bottle of Coca-Cola than the soft-drink giant’s annual holiday campaigns. This year, however, you won’t see any sign of a bottle or soda can to be found until the last ten seconds of the commercial. This ‘Real Magic’ campaign tells the story of a young boy who rounds up his neighbors to create a makeshift chimney out of cardboard boxes to welcome Santa.
Chase Bank: You can’t spell the holidays without seasonal movies, like watching Home Alone for the umpteenth time. Chase Bank pays homage to this classic holiday favorite, with the film’s original actress Catherine O’Hara (Kevin McCallister’s mother) looking for her Kevin—and reenacting that famous scene where she’s looking for her son. Except, Macaulay Culkin is nowhere to be found, and she’s looking for comedian Kevin Hart instead.
Apple: Oscar Nominated directors (and father-and-son duo) Ivan and Jason Reitman direct ‘Saving Simon,’ a commercial filmed entirely on the iPhone 13 Pro, highlighting the brand’s technological prowess while also telling the story of a young girl who tries to save her snowman Simon throughout the year (including putting her beloved snowman in an esky over the summer and checking in on it).
Thinking Outside the Box, in the Box
Since your creative testing period is right around the corner in September, you’re going to want to make the most of the month by testing different creative, messaging and audiences. We hope the campaigns we shared above got you started on some ideation, but here are some other ideas for consideration.
Don’t Just Sell, Educate: You might want to add this creative asset to your toolbox in your testing cadence to see how it performs. Instead of going in for the hard sell, why not use this as an opportunity to provide information for your target shopper by utilizing messaging that calls out tips for the season. For example, if you’re a wine retailer looking to reach users over Thanksgiving weekend, you could suggest different pairings of wine to complement each type of dish (like turkey and pumpkin pie).
Be Thankful: Holidays are a time to give back and reflect on the year past. It’s also a great time to show some appreciation to your loyal customers. Consider setting aside a couple of seconds within your 15- or 30-second Connected TV ad to tell your customers how grateful you are for their business and support, especially through the tough economic times that are causing many shoppers to think twice before purchasing. Another idea is to run a promotion where you give your customers a gift every time they buy something for others. This incentivizes someone to buy a gift from you knowing they’re getting extra value and a little something for themselves.
Exclusivity Matters: Marketers and psychologists know how powerful exclusivity can be in advertising. Utilizing messaging with words like VIP, Private, Wait List, By Invitation Only, Only For You, create a sense of scarcity and mystique in anyone who sees or hears these words. While you might think that these types of campaigns are better suited to another channel like email, you’re sorely mistaken. Connected TV advertising platforms like MNTN Performance TV also enable brands to target the first-party customer base—which means you could upload your list of loyal customers and send them an exclusive offer directly on their television screens.
If you’re looking for more ideas and insights to fuel your holiday campaigns, check out our Ad Creative Analysis section on our recently launched MNTN Research website. We cover elements including storytelling, emotive messaging, ad length, creative testing and much more.