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2015 Christmas Ad Campaigns: Frightful or Delightfully Successful?

3 minute read

With a projected $885 billion in Christmas season retail sales in play, holiday advertising may be the most important marketing investment many companies make. For some, that means pulling out all the stops to create dazzling campaigns that capture attention and keep it—in very unusual ways.

Target Hits the Bullseye with Integrated Christmas Campaign

That creative Target Halloween video campaign we talked about a couple months ago was apparently just a warm-up for the busiest retail season of the year. Target’s Christmas video series and television commercials tell a story. The 30-second videos, filled with magical, wonder-of-Christmas visuals, invite you to visit the site for the full story. The full story does, indeed, appear on the retailer’s website, in the form of a free digital book narrated by Neil Patrick Harris.

Of course, that’s not all visitors find when they follow the link: the page also features Bullseye (the Target mascot and the dog from the video series) with a “let’s go” button across his chest. Click the button and he’ll run through the snow, leading you to an opportunity to create your Christmas wish list. The page also features gift suggestions by age group and other advertising. With Practical Ecommerce predicting that about 9 percent of holiday retail sales—about $79 billion—could take place online, the web-based focal point makes sense.

There’s subtle messaging everywhere in this integrated campaign, which also includes in-store displays. For instance, the peppermint-sailed Lego ship in the second video in the series bears the name “S.S. Free Shipping

While Target is building on a history of entertaining, integrated video campaigns, they’re mixing it up rather than sticking to formula. The in-room shopping opportunities featured in the Halloween series are nowhere to be found, with the only way to move into the shopping experience from this video series is the relatively subtle “full story” URL.

Duracell Geeks Out, Goes after Grown-Ups

An epic, high-tech fantasy battle on Christmas morning may sound like the stuff kids’ dreams are made of, but this high-action, high-budget Duracell commercial was designed for the grown-ups. After all, it’s grown-ups who buy the batteries. And, epic battle aside, it’s the grown-ups who can’t resist anything Star Wars related.

Batteries themselves may be a boring necessity, an afterthought to the shiny toys and brightly-colored wrappings, but this marketing effort takes center stage. The droids and storm troopers in this advertisement are the very same droids and storm troopers you’ll see when the new film hits theaters, and the tie-in is irresistible even before the buzz begins: after the light-saber wielding boy saves his sister from the minions of the dark side, the focus shifts and the spot ends with a reminder that the next installment in the saga will be in theaters on Dec. 17.

But, it doesn’t end there. By design or not, the commercial has attracted widespread attention because it contains a possible spoiler. With online speculation running rampant and reaching large-circulation publications like The Huffington Post, the ad is attracting attention from all corners and has already been viewed more than 8 million times on YouTube.  

Why Do These Christmas Campaigns Work?

Though the audiences are very different, each of these beautifully-executed ad campaigns provides a fantasy adventure to its target market, allowing us to nearly (or, perhaps, entirely) forget that we’re being solicited. And what’s the critical element to achieving this? Seamless marketing messaging and shopping experiences via all channels, A.K.A. omni-channel marketing.

In the DR world where every move is calculated to encourage a specific action from the consumer, it’s never been more important to build a unified campaign across multiple channels. That’s why this year, Marketing Architects is going big for the holidays with half-price sales of our very own lovable line of seven-pocketed stuffed animals, Stuffies.

We’ve crafted a half-price holiday message using classic holiday icons and hero shots of a handful of characters that will be used throughout every media channel involved in our campaign. Our sales messaging continuously flows from TV and digital ads to our website, fully integrated in our shopping experience. The goal is to ensure that our customers have a seamless experience with the Stuffies brand, from the first ad they encounter to the last confirmation button they push on the checkout page.

If you’re looking to engage with your target audiences through videos, digital downloads and print materials using recognizable imagery like Target, Duracell and Stuffies did, or you’re seeking expert advice on how to get started building an effective omni-channel strategy, give us a call today. We can offer you nearly two decades of DR experience in all industries.

Rob DeMars

By Rob DeMars

Chief Creative Officer

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