‘Tis the season for cars with big red bows appearing in the driveways of beloved family members across America. Or, at least that’s the trope many automotive manufacturer ads might have you believe this time of year. (Aw, who’re we kidding. We’re gearheads. You can send us a car with a bow on it, we won’t complain.)
Clichés aside, the holidays are a time where creative ad campaigns really shine. Whether moving us to tears, launching us into fits of laughter or giving us something new to consider, there have been plenty of memorable ad campaigns over the years that we as marketers appreciate. Here are some of our favorites, as submitted by our associates:
“I’m a big fan of REI’s #OptOutside campaign. It’s a bold move for a retail brand to close its doors on Black Friday, but that’s exactly what REI does, staying true to their brand promise and challenging shoppers to kick off the holiday season outside.” – Heidi Burgess, Copywriter
#OptOutside is now a permanent installation at REI! Check out their 2016 commercial here.
“They have some solid commercials that tug at the heartstrings.” – Todd Steen, Executive Director of Business Development
“Publix… every dang year. Straight to the heart, with many tears.” – Mo Bearden, Account Supervisor
“I am a sucker for the sentimental holiday commercials. My three kids think I am crazy because some heartfelt ads make me cry in less than 30 seconds! This year’s Publix holiday commercials get me every time because I am very close with my mom. I love the relationships between the adult woman and her mom in both of the Thanksgiving spots! The ads don’t just advertise foods or specials; they are about how important it is to stay connected with family.” –Kasey Tant, Account Supervisor
Check out this year’s holiday ads from Publix, A recipe for what matters and Let’s keep giving thanks.
“Personally, I’m incredibly charmed by Amazon’s “Joy Is Made” Christmas ad. Directed by Academy-award-winning director Taika Waititi, this feel-good story has it all. It’s whimsical, heart-warming and packs a punch with an ending that encourages viewers to create their own joy. 10/10 would recommend.” – Lainie Fickau, Social Media Specialist
Watch: Joy is Made
“Although clearly trying to sell cars, Mercedes annually does a nice job with Christmas commercials like the Mercedes Santa and Golden Retriever or the Mercedes One Wish. But I also really like how they linked to their motorsports brand in this Christmas commercial: Mercedes AMG” – David Jones, CMO / EVP
“Thinking of prior holiday seasonal ads, what really stands out is the Hershey’s kisses commercial where the kisses are used as bells and play, ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas.’ Those commercials are timeless and simple but impactful. We always got kisses in our stocking growing up and now my kids get the same. I love the red, green and silver packaging for the holidays.” – Kasey Tant, Account Supervisor
“…and the Hershey’s kisses, because they’re adorable.” – Mo Bearden, Account Supervisor
Rewatch the classic here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ljeh6MEYW88
NORAD Tracks Santa
“This one is a bit off radar (bad pun, I’ll see myself out). For 67 years, NORAD Tracks Santa has helped to make Christmas a little more merry for countless kids and, from a marketing perspective, create awareness of an organization that most would never think of or discuss. This is also a great story to point out how important proofreading* is.” – Elliott Kelley, PR and Social Media Manager
*Editor’s note: If you’re not familiar with the backstory, a misprinted phone number led to the creation of NORAD. Hence the importance of proofreading! Read more here.
NORAD began tracking Santa’s progress on December 1st! And, they put out a pretty cute video this year, too.