The best campaigns follow the same recipe for success: 5 memorable (and feel-good) brand campaigns from 2019

Every time the year draws to a close, companies pull out all the stops to grab the attention of those customers and prospects in the festive spirit. Tapping into the wholesome vibes surrounding the holidays often results in some of the most creative campaigns all year.

This is not to say that creativity doesn’t abound in April or August, but there are a number of holiday campaign practices that could be incorporated throughout the year. In other words, if a particular campaign approach works wonders during the holiday season, chances are a similar approach could be the gift that keeps on giving all year round.

Here’s why feelgood brand campaigns should be run year-round, not just for Christmas.

The holiday season is full of unlikely brand partnerships that just...work

Giving and receiving gifts is part and parcel of the holiday season. And of course, the best kind of gift is the kind that’s least expected. With this in mind, companies such as KFC and Dunkin’ have added seasonal products in addition to their standard fare.

For Dunkin’, their partnership with lifestyle brand Homesick resulted in a series of scented candles providing unique aromas. The collection includes Dunkin’ coffee and donut scents in Original Blend, Peppermint Mocha, and Old-Fashioned Donuts. Although these are not traditionally seasonal scents, they are uniquely Dunkin’ and that ultimately helps drive brand awareness of Dunkin’ during the holidays.

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Likewise, KFC is offering the KFC 11 Herbs & Spices Firelog through their partnership with Enviro-Log. Each log elicits an aroma of Colonel Sanders’ secret recipe. Customers can now enjoy that familiar aroma, whether they have a bucket of the world-famous chicken...or if they’re just sitting around a (chicken-scented) fire.

"Since selling out last year, we have received weekly calls from hopeful fans wanting to get their hands on the 11 Herbs & Spices Firelog"

— Ross McRoy, president and founder of Enviro-Log

Another ingenious partnership is the collaboration between Starbucks and Alaska Airlines. Between November 7 and 10, those holding a Starbucks signature holiday cup while waiting to board an Alaska Airlines flight received priority boarding. This is a nice connection, blending special treatment from an airline while also enjoying one of your favorite beverages.

These examples illustrate the power of unexpected partnerships—a common 2019 trend. First, there is the partnership by pairing strong brands—who may not at first glance be an obvious pair—in a way that is a win-win for both.

While most may not think of these companies as being naturally complementary, it just works.

Any company can marry their brand to another strong brand in surprising fashion for an impactful campaign. If it can be pulled off for the holiday campaigns, then why not during other times of the year?

The power of storytelling to create an emotional connection

Companies such as Chic-fil-A and Apple have developed warm, holiday videos that not only bring families together during the holiday season but incorporate their products as an integral part of the warmth experienced during those special moments.

The Chick-fil-A animated spot follows the day of a young girl whose family is too preoccupied to build a snowman with her. In her sadness and boredom, she follows two mysterious cats into a grandfather clock. While there, she meets a kindly old man and later emerges with a magical card featuring the gift of time she presents to her family. Because of her “gift,” the family realizes they should spend time together and agrees to help her build a snowman. Similarly and perhaps pulling even more on the heartstrings, the Apple campaign follows a family visit to a recently widowed grandpa. While the two young girls are rambunctious and are warned to stay out of grandpa’s way, they come up with an idea after discovering old photos and videos of grandma and grandpa. The girls put together a video, using their iPad, that tells the story of the loving couple during their many years of marriage. The video is stunningly emotional and eventually melts grandpa’s heart, turning him from a grumpy old man into a warm and loving host.

These two examples take advantage of the holiday season traditions surrounding gift-giving and family visits and incorporate their products as a central character in the storyline. In fact, each story clearly illustrates how the featured product is helping to create powerful experiences in the lives of their customers.

The practice of featuring products as the hero in emotionally-driven campaigns is not solely the domain of holiday commercials. This can be done with virtually any product during any time of the year, whether it’s Easter, summer vacation, football season or Valentine’s Day.

Holiday traditions provide a creative focal-point to promote a product with positivity

Two creative campaigns demonstrate how celebrating the Christmas season can go hand-in-hand with enjoying your favorite snack or product. A holiday Ring campaign shows a variety of holiday-themed doorbell covers as well as a video of people from all walks of life enjoying the season—all captured on Ring video.

Another campaign by Frito Lay is highlighted by an Anna Kendrick video singing a Christmas version of “My Favorite Things.” In almost every scene, Kendrick showcases a Frito Lay product, even incorporating the products in some of the lyrics.

These campaigns, while leveraging holiday traditions, are not only viable in December. Each campaign approach can be used throughout the year. For example, a summer version of the Frito Lay campaign can leverage Frank Sinatra’s Summer Wind or California Girls by The Beach Boys. Change a few lyrics here and there and feature scenes from a beach or a park and you’ve got a summer-themed campaign. Ultimately, all the campaigns referenced above use seasonal content to remain culturally relevant and tap into the current emotions of consumers, fostering loyalty beyond the holiday season. 

Personalize the Holidays with Bynder

Here at Bynder, we’re enabling organizations to create seasonal content with a personal touch using our Bynder Holiday Portal—and you won’t need to wait until next year; customized ads and banners can be created in seconds.

Why not give it a go and send your customers a little festive cheer? Our short video below reveals just how easy it is to personalize the holidays with Bynder.

What will your holiday greeting say