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Important considerations for a successful Christmas marketing campaign

September 27, 2023 | By The Dairy
Important considerations for a successful Christmas marketing campaign

It’s that time of year folks. Mariah Carey is defrosting, the brussel sprouts are preparing to make their way to your local supermarket, and we can almost smell the cinnamon candles. We’ve officially entered the lead up to Christmas.

With a lot to think about at what is arguably the busiest time of year for many of us, don’t let your Christmas marketing campaign slip to the back of your mind. In the same way that the secret to a successful Christmas dinner is in the preparation, a successful Christmas promotion can only be achieved through thorough planning and strategising.

Know your audiences

Do you fully understand your target audience(s)? Christmas offers marketers the perfect opportunity to appeal to people’s emotions. From the positive excitement we enjoy in the build up to the big day, to the emotions that come with sharing such a special time with those closest to us, the emotional rollercoaster of the festive period offers many angles from which campaigns can pull on heartstrings and fill people with the joys of the season.

John Lewis excels in its understanding of how to play on emotions – which was personified perfectly in 2022 with an advert that touched on the topic of adoption. The campaign, in partnership with Action for Children and Who Cares Scotland? told the story of a man who learns to skateboard because he and his wife are adopting a young girl – who also loves to skateboard. The campaign closes by revealing the shocking number of children in the care system, while also matching the girl up with her perfect family – a touching blend of sadness and happiness in one hit.

But in order for John Lewis to continue to formulate successful campaign strategies year after year, it has to truly understand its audiences first – and after many years of asking “When is the John Lewis Christmas advert launching”, we can safely say that the JL marketing team have nailed this crucial piece of strategic thinking.


Let’s get tactical

Once you fully understand your target market, it’s time for the next question. Where is your audience most likely to see your campaign? 

The majority of brands don’t have the resources or the need to be showcasing a new three minute advert on TV for their Christmas campaigns. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t make an impact.

Whether it’s digital channels such as web, social or PPC campaigns, or traditional marketing tactics such as billboards, printed collateral or CSR initiatives, brands must always ensure that their tactics align with their audience. 

For example, an older demographic might not be savvy with social media or if they are, they might not use every channel. You need to understand their behaviours and motivations before diving into the tactics.


Perfect your creative

Creating the perfect Christmas campaign relies on your ability to successfully execute your brand. Look back at previous campaigns as a reference point and craft messaging and creative work that speaks to your audiences perfectly, while remaining consistent with your values and proposition. Set up internal ideas sessions, play around with moodboards and really spend time getting under the skin of what it is you’re trying to achieve this festive season.

It’s for all of the reasons above that having brand guidelines which state your desired tone of voice and creative approach is important for any business and brand. It’s the only way to ensure consistency throughout all of your marketing work.


Final notes to remember

This is a Christmas campaign so it’s a missed opportunity if you don’t embrace all things Christmas because otherwise, what sets this campaign apart from any others? 

You also need to remember cultural relevance. In 2022, TK Maxx released an advert in which the protagonist was crowned for securing presents for low prices. This advert was one of the few to remain sympathetic to the cost-of-living crisis – which prompted a warmer response from audiences and in all likelihood, enhanced brand loyalty for TK Maxx.

Other brands have linked their CSR work to their Christmas campaigns, to raise awareness of specific causes. Christmas is known as a time of giving, so this approach links back perfectly to how we as marketers can use an audiences’ emotions to our advantage.

So when you’re deciding on the perfect content for your Christmas campaign, take a minute to evaluate trending topics and opportunities that align with your brand and your business.


If you need a sprinkling of Christmas magic when planning your 2023 Christmas campaign, then get in touch with us.

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