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Momentum Blog

Our Favorite Holiday Marketing Social Media Campaigns

Posted by Telina Johnson on Dec 10, 2018 9:40:13 AM

What three words strike fear excitement in the hearts of advertising professionals?

Holiday. Marketing. Campaign. 


Holiday marketing campaigns are a bit of an enigma in the advertising industry. Long before social media (long before television and print ads, actually), retailers across the globe competed to see who would have the most enthralling, most heartwarming, most engaging, and most importantly, most lucrative campaign every holiday season since the early 1900s. One source cites the Industrial Revolution as being the genesis of holiday marketing with the suddenly increased availability of plate glass making it possible for store owners to display their best-selling products in their storefronts. That's actually when the phrase ‘window shopping’ first became a thing.

 But it was during the early 1900’s that major retailers in the three of the largest cities at that time--New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia-- unwittingly began the holiday marketing campaign competition by turning their window fronts and doorways into vibrant displays of gift-worthy products meant to lure in the masses. In 1938, beloved retailer Lord & Taylor stepped up the window-front marketing game by making a switch from displaying their best products to decorating their windows in an alluring display of gilded holiday bells synced to the sound of recorded bell music. The air of mystery and sheer awe of the display was meant to draw in shoppers through curiosity and wonderment. And it totally worked.


Since then, holiday marketing strategies have soared from glass storefronts to the screens on our favorite devices. And though Christmas window displays will never lose their awe appeal and continue to play a major role in holiday marketing strategies, the ages of print, television and digital advertising have broadened the possibilities and widened the competition of retailers from local to global markets.


Today’s holiday marketing campaigns now compete across multiple platforms including television, print and digital. We could write a book on our favorite holiday advertising campaigns on all three platforms but for this article, we’ll just stick to one, digital, specifically social media. The following campaigns are just a few of our favorites with each holding a unique quality that made them stand out among the rest.


L.L. Bean: Twelve Days of Puppies

This holiday campaign has become a seasonal favorite and new tradition for people of the Internet age. Each year, the apparel company holds a contest for...you guessed it...the cutest puppies! Winners are displayed in twelve cuter-than-words photos shared daily on social media. It’s really no wonder why this campaign is among our favorites. The Twelve Days of Puppies is everything we marketers dream of during the holidays -- awe-inducing, eye-catching, consumer-engaging, and all-around fun.


Poopourri: Merry Spritzmas

You know a campaign has gotta be good when you actually want to give bathroom spray as gifts after seeing one of PooPourri’s hilarious and, at times, poetic Instagram posts. We won’t say much about this campaign since it speaks quite well for itself. Wanna see more? Just hop on Insta, search #MerrySpritzmas, and thank us later.


Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Scares

In 2013, Kellogg came up with a genius way to “reach” customers by way of the Internet and in real life with their “Free Rice Krispies Scares” campaign. The campaign began in the real world when Kellogg placed vendors advertising free Rice Krispies in public areas along with hidden cameras and an actual person to terrify passersby who stop at the machine to grab a free treat. Kellogg then uploaded a video of reactions to their prank on YouTube and the rest became Halloween history.


Starbucks Red Cup Contest

Every basic white girl goes nuts for this campaign which began as a challenge from Starbucks to their Instagram followers to create a dazzling picture featuring the famous red holiday cup from the coffee giant. And each year, Starbucks lovers find new and rather creative ways to make their red cup shine. Who knew great social media campaigns could be as simple as highlighting a cup?


HotelTonight’s #VisitDontStay Campaign

This brilliant campaign featured hilarious pictures depicting uncomfortable scenarios that happen all too often at family gatherings. The posts were funny and, most importantly, relatable, and they definitely encouraged travelers to think twice before choosing Mom and Dad’s guest room over booking a hotel for the holidays.



New York Public Library Black Friday 100% Off Campaign

Think holiday campaigns are only for retail? New York Public Library ran a full page ad in the New York Times that mimicked traditional Black Friday ads. The ad expanded last year’s campaign which ran on digital media only. NYPL doubled the usual amount of online library card sign ups in a day and logged 30,000 views of a campaign microsite. See their special offer here.


 Got a favorite holiday marketing campaign that didn't make our list? Share them with us in the comments or on our Facebook page! 


Topics: Social Media Marketing, Social Media

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