The Black Friday deals are (mostly) over and Cyber Monday has officially passed. Now that two of the biggest shopping days of the year are behind us, many brands are shifting gears from sales and promotions to deeper, more important messages this holiday season. But for some companies, blowout deals and doorbuster sales were never the focus of their brand spots in the first place. Five companies have been making a splash this holiday season with ads that center on more positive, impactful messages. Family, cultural acceptance, female empowerment and more, the refreshing messaging of these five holiday ads are scoring big with consumers and turning them into viral spots.
Heathrow Airport – Coming Home for Christmas
You thought you’d seen all the adorable holiday ads in the book, until you see this touching spot from Heathrow Airport featuring two teddy bears flying home for the holidays. Heathrow’s ‘Coming Home for Christmas’ ad centers on the importance of reconnecting with loved ones during the holiday season and has garnered over 4 million views on YouTube in just two weeks.
Amazon Prime – A Priest and Imam meet for a cup of tea
Amazon Prime delights consumers with an ad that rises above cultural and religious differences this holiday season. While Amazon Prime boasts free shipping and speedy delivery for members, the ad gets this message across without ever displaying a deal or promotion. Instead, consumers get a refreshing reminder that while we all have differences, there are more things that connect us than meets the eye.
Xfinity – Hooking up Grandma’s House
Xfinity takes a comedic approach to holiday advertising in ‘Hooking up Grandma’s House,’ a spot that pokes fun at both tech-savvy millennials and their tech-lagging grandparents. Instead of plastering the spot with numbers and promotions about their service, Xfinity uses a unique storyline to show how unifying digital can be. While this ad has received some mixed reviews from consumers, its overarching message of unity and reconnecting with family during the holidays is something to be admired.
Marks & Spencer – Christmas with love from Mrs. Claus
Marks & Spencer takes a unique stance on the story of Christmas Eve by following Mrs. Claus’ whereabouts instead of her husband’s. After Santa leaves for the evening, Mrs. Claus trades in her comfy clothes for leather gloves and a helicopter and takes it upon herself to make a boy’s holiday wish come true. The ad is heartfelt and touching and gives power to the female in a traditionally male-dominated storyline.
Apple – Frankie’s Holiday
Frankenstein can sing? Not necessarily. But that’s not the focus of Apple’s spot, ‘Frankie’s Holiday.’ While many holiday ads suggest spending time with friends and family during the holiday, Apple reminds us that our loved ones may not be the only ones who need comfort this holiday season. This emotional ad breaks through the holiday noise and makes an important message of acceptance and inclusion clear.
So what’s the common thread? Why have all these brand spots been so successful? Instead of pointing out what the ads share, it’s what they all lack that makes them stand out: promotional deals. During the holiday season, focusing on more culturally-impactful messages could launch your brand into the spotlight and gain admiration from consumers who are sick of deal-centric messaging. So forget about 50 percent off and buy one get one, make your brand shine for its creativity this holiday season.
Have any favorite ads that didn’t make the list? We’d love to hear your thoughts.
See how Coca-Cola, Jet Blue and REI are standing out with their holiday campaigns in How to work the holidays like a brand star.