3 Excellent 2015 Holiday Marketing Campaigns

The holiday season is the time of year when consumers experience the highest deluge of advertising and marketing. With the increased competition, it is incredibly difficult to make marketing stand out. Sales are so common that they practically become invisible and nearly everyone has draped their marketing campaigns in hues of red, green, and white.

If you want your holiday marketing to stand out, the best way to do that is to learn from the few marketing teams that have managed to stand out in the crowd.

REI – #OptOutside

REI is a retailer that sells outdoor sports equipment. Like a handful of retailers this year, they publicly refused to open their store on Thanksgiving. Additionally, they took that one step further and also refused to open on Black Friday, instead opting to spend that time engaging in outside activities and encouraging others to do the same. The results were that almost 1.5 million people joined the #OptOutside campaign.

Image Source: http://optoutside.rei.com/
Image Source: http://optoutside.rei.com/

The main takeaway from this is that many consumers are getting tired of the constant commercialization of the holidays at the cost of family time. By emphasizing the traditional values of the holidays and standing by the values of the company (outdoor living), REI showed that it was a company that didn’t put profits above the holiday season.

Even if that didn’t result in immediate profits, the good will is certain to pay off for the rest of the holiday season and probably into 2016.

Z-Man Games / Pandasaurus Games – 12 Days of Giveaways

Z-Man Games and Pandasaurus Games are two independent board game companies that happen to be running nearly identical Facebook campaigns. Both are offering a game a day for free. The “cost” of entry is to share and like the posts (and comment as well for Z-Man Games).

Pandasaurus is a small company, with less than 4,000 who like the page, but it is seeing about 100 entries a day. Z-Man is liked by 22,000 and the first day almost 1,700 entered the contest. Those are pretty good numbers for Facebook.

Receiving 100 visitors and nearly 2,000 visitors a day is great for both companies, but even more importantly, all those visitors are sharing with all of their friends. That is excellent marketing for the small cost of a few games. These types of giveaways tend to work best during the holidays when people are looking for gift ideas anyway and a shared post from a friend may spark an idea.

12 Days of Deadpool – 20th Century Fox

“Deadpool” is an R-rated superhero movie that is slated to be released in 2016. From the very start the movie has used internet marketing to excite consumers. Despite that, this most recent holiday campaign is truly unique. It started on 12/14/2015 with a video released on YouTube. This video not only spelled out the concept of the campaign, but did so with the kind of smart humor that has been used throughout the film’s marketing.

Looking at the video, you will find a veritable road map to how to make a successful holiday marketing campaign. It is designed to resemble a traditional advent calendar, albeit online, but the content lightly makes fun of traditional Christmas concepts (like the man in the red suit and eggnog). The campaign also outright states the benefit that consumers will get for sticking with it to the very end: a new trailer.

The most important technique used here, though, can be seen by stopping the video at the 0:26 mark. This is where the video shows the upcoming advent calendar. On eight of the twelve days, a different website or company will be revealing the surprise for that day.

This means that 20th Century Fox has teamed up with eight different outside companies, all of which now have a stake in helping the movie succeed. It also means that regular visitors to the websites of those companies will become aware of “Deadpool” if they weren’t already. Internet marketing is rarely this efficient or effective.


Article by

Mickey has degrees in linguistics and logic from a top 25 university. He has been writing online for the approximately five years, specializing in gaming, hobbies, and media. He has never missed a deadline. Quality and speed are equally important to Mickey and he'll never sacrifice one for the other.

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