This time of the year, it seems like everyone’s in the holiday spirit, which means marketers like you need to be too.
While businesses are running around to secure their tools, partnerships, and plans for next year, consumers are far more interested in finding gifts for their loved ones and making memories.
That's why, regardless if you’re B2C or B2B, you need to have a holiday campaign or greeting in place to stay relevant, top-of-mind, and resonate with your audience on a deeper level during this season.
Now, when you think about it, television commercials are the original video marketing and you can learn a lot about visual storytelling and seasonal messaging from them.
With that in mind, to get even the Grinch-iest of marketers in the spirit (and inspire some last minute videos before New Years), here are 14 of the world's best holiday commercials from the past few years.
1. Mercedes (US): "One Wish"
Everyone has that one elusive holiday gift they never got growing up.
In this sentimental commercial, Mercedes uses this shared experience to relate to viewers and further position itself as an aspirational, luxury brand.
2. Amazon (US & UK): "Give"
With a few clicks of your mouse or a taps of your finger, Amazon will ship"a little bit of your love" to your friends and family, and in this short, but sweet ad, the eCommerce giant does a great job of reminding us it made that possible.
How's that for value?
3. M&Ms (US): "Faint 2: A Very Yellow Sequel"
20 years after watching Santa faint on Christmas eve, M&Ms finally tells us what happened next, in this 90-second saga.
Now, this is "historic optimization" at its best. Rather than starting from scratch, M&Ms took one of its most beloved ads (practically a holiday tradition) and updated it for 2017.
Even Mr. Peanut is celebrating. In another ad from a few years back, Planters not only promotes its product line as the “perfect party snack,” it makes its message seasonally relevant with the help of an over-zealous nutcracker and holiday party backdrop.
6. McDonald's (UK): Reindeer Ready
If you don't think "McDonald's" when you hear the words "holiday dinner," you just may start after watching this.
The fast food chain riffs off of the children's tradition of leaving cookies for Santa and lets you know it has treats for reindeer too -- at least in the U.K.
You’ve probably seen or at least heard about this one over the years. In this heart-wrenching video, the German grocery store, Edeka, uses the traditional family dinner (and a dramatic plot twist) to position itself as an integral player in your successful holiday.
8. Samsung (US): "Giving is a Gift to be Shared"
Now, this one really pulled at my heart strings.
In our complicated social environment, Samsung uses this holiday ad to tell the story of an apartment concierge who goes out of his way to make residents of all different cultural backgrounds feel welcome.
Then, of course, it positions itself as the perfect gift for someone who shows such kindness. Clever, Samsung.
Featuring Sam Smith's "Palace," this Apple ad transforms an ordinary city into the ideal winter wonderland with the help of their AirPods earphones. Could it create the same magic for you? Apple certainly hopes you think so!
In yet another holiday tearjerker from 2015, Spanish State Lotteries tells the story of Justin, a security guard in a mannequin factory.
Working the night shift, Justin grows lonely and yearns for the companionship his colleagues share during the work day so he starts making his presence known, setting up the mannequins in playful ways for them to find.
Come December, Justin is treated to a holiday surprise, compliments of his daytime peers and the Spanish State Lottery.
Last, but not least, in this creative commercial, Cristiano Ronaldo gives us his rendition of “Jingle Bells” using everything around him as an instrument.
While giving us an inside look at the soccer star’s luxurious lifestyle, the video also showcases his “Roc by Ronaldo” headphone line by Monster, perfectly aligning it with the holiday season.
As mentioned above, even if offering a “holiday special” or sale is not fit for your business, aligning your brand and its messaging with the season will humanize your brand and help keep you relevant during this time.
Whether it be a video, blog article, simple graphic, or a full-fledged campaign, experiment with a fun piece of holiday content. When the marketing naughty or nice list comes out, you’ll be happy you did! Happy Holidays, everyone!
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As Content Marketing Manager, Ramona approaches marketing not only as a profession, but as a creative outlet. She has a passion for all things artistic and strives to create content that is educational, yet quirky and entertaining as well.
With a B.S. in Marketing from the UCONN School of Business, Ramona is a frequent contributor to the HubSpot blog and a nonprofit consultant. Outside of IMPACT, she is a design, movie, and pop culture buff, and a fierce advocate of free hugs.