This President's Day, get the most from your Benjamins

When does a holiday advertising blitz make sense for your brand?

Happy Presidents’ Day! Now, let’s go shopping.

Established in 1885, today’s holiday initially honored America’s first president, George Washington. Decades later, Congress broadened it to commemorate all presidents and simultaneously moved the holiday to the third Monday in February. Those early lawmakers probably envisioned a solemn and patriotic occasion, replete with flags, parades and historical reminiscences.

Instead, savvy retailers have seized on the three-day weekend to offer major sales. Presidents’ Day is now synonymous with special deals on everything from cars to home goods to appliances. The same “blowout” sales occur on other holidays as well, with Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day chief among them.

The question for marketers: Is this a winning strategy for your direct-to-consumer brand?

First, know your funnel

The most effective advertising campaigns deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time. So, for holiday-specific or discount-driven ads to work, first examine your ideal buyer. How much does timing matter to him or her?

Typically, using a three-day weekend for a promotion helps brands that require a greater investment or more complicated decision-making. The extra day gives consumers more time for consideration and action.

Your sales funnel also plays an important role. An advertising strategy that builds brand awareness—a “top of the funnel” activity—will look very different from one designed to boost online purchases or in-store traffic—activities that occur later in the buying cycle. Ads that focus on pricing and short-term discounts are less about cultivating brand affinity and more suited to driving immediate opportunities. Be clear on your campaign goals.

Tailor your offer and airplay

Your brand’s approach to pricing is another factor to consider. Most Presidents’ Day promotions revolve around special deals and deep discounts—strategies that not every brand will want to embrace. If it’s more important to stand for quality, exclusivity or innovation, for example, then a weekend of low prices may not be in your best interest.

Here, testing your ad creative with actual audience response data can help you hone in quickly on what matters most to your target consumer.

When a holiday-themed promotion is the right fit for your brand, where you air your ads will also factor into your success. Make sure to tailor your media buy so your ads stand out during a crowded advertising weekend. Today’s television landscape offers a myriad of options (beyond the major networks) to reach your target consumer.

Lastly, when you do pursue a deep-funnel ad strategy that centers on a holiday or peak period, remember to target additional marketing messages at other times of the year for a steady flow of communications. It’s critical speak to all stages of your buyer’s journey.

Is a sales blitz right for your brand? The right offer can make or break your ad campaign. With more than 20 years’ experience in accountable brand advertising, we’re here to help you craft a sure winner. Contact us for messaging examples that succeed at the top, middle and bottom of the sales funnel.