The 2013 holiday season brought in billions of dollars for retailers nationwide, which could have had something to do with these five heartwarming marketing campaigns.

Holiday campaigns overall began even earlier this year, with Kmart being one of the first to roll out their seasonal commercial in early September. The competition for customers’ attention was intense. Retailers needed to differentiate themselves more than ever before, especially with six fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

  1. IKEA: “Holiday Gathering” 
    As a woman plans her holiday party, she readies her home for how she thinks her guests will be most comfortable. She adjusts a plate meant for cookies out of the reach of little hands. She tests out the sofa-to-table distance by stretching out her legs. She tries out a chair where someone might pop open a bottle of champagne, and so on. This campaign shows that Ikea understands how much consumers do to make the holidays perfect.


     
  2. Target: #MyKindOfHoliday
    Target rolled out a series of advertisements, many of which included the hashtag #MyKindOfHoliday. This campaign was inspired by customers’ stories and memories about their own holiday traditions and how they celebrate throughout the season. These ads spanned all channels including TV, radio, in-store, catalog and online/social media, which is important in today’s multi-device world; catch consumers on each device they might be using.Target also teamed up with event producer David Stark for an engaging party-planning resource on Pinterest.


     
  3. Apple: “Misunderstood”
    One of my absolute favorites of the season, Apple’s holiday commercial strikes a chord with any member of the family. We’ve all seen the quiet teenager, lost in the world of a smartphone, laptop, or tablet. Apple’s spot highlights the power of their newest iPhone through a succinct narrative. In it, a teenage boy heads to his grandparents’ house for the holidays. Throughout the first few days shown, he is glued to his iPhone; seemingly oblivious to the merry-making going on around him. On Christmas morning, he presents his family with a fully-edited video documenting their time together. Best gift ever? You decide. This commercial pulled at the heartstrings of many Americans, especially moms, and proved that emotional connections to a brand do matter. 


     
  4. M&M’s: “Fainting Santa”
    Even though this ad has been repurposed over the last few years, it’s still one of the most memorable in the holiday commercial lineup. Two M&M’s prepare to set out some chocolate as a treat for Santa. Much to their surprise, they run into Santa himself, both exclaiming “They do exist!”. This ad proves that the newest campaigns don’t take the top spot. Especially during the holidays, traditional messaging and imagery go a long way. 


     
  5. Kohl’s: “Holiday Surprise”
    Another ad that goes straight to the heart, Kohl’s commercial uses Bob Dylan’s version of “Forever Young.” A young couple sneaks into an apartment and decks it out for the holidays (with merchandise from Kohl’s, of course). At the end, it’s revealed that the couple surprised an elderly neighbor with a fully decorated apartment. Truly a Christmas miracle! This commercial connected with many viewers, especially ones who donated their time to help others during the holiday season.


     
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Posted by Amie Reardon