Holiday Marketing: Hits and Misses

The holidays are a powerful time to align with consumers. As companies connect with more diverse…

Holiday Marketing: Hits and Misses

We have a long history of holiday marketing!

The holidays provide a powerful time to align with consumer needs and desires. 

As companies hope to connect with more diverse consumers, marketing continues to expand into cultural holiday traditions such as Hanukkah, Diwali, Kwanzaa, and Chinese New Year, to name a few. 

This long history of holiday marketing lets us evaluate the hits and misses of aligning with target audiences. Let’s explore some great examples of what—and what not—to do.

The Christmas Pickle 

This 1890s ornament was likely marketed by its accompanying legends. The campaign promoted imported blown glass ornaments. The messaging aligned with the Victorian middle class, who could now afford unique and meaningful imported items. (source)

Coca-Cola’s Santa Claus 

This 1950s image still informs Kris Kringle’s iconic look. The original illustrator captured the essence of a loving and jovial grandfather, which resonated strongly with the post-World War II consumer. These were customers who wanted assurances of security, safety, and joy, images to counteract the war. (source)

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 

This coloring book was a genius campaign by Montgomery Ward. Its themes of the underdog are timeless. The campaign resonated so strongly that it became a holiday television special, now the longest running holiday special ever. (source)

We don’t have to look far for examples of what happens when marketing is not consumer-informed!

Holiday Misses

Holiday Marketing | Pillow with "Oh deer Hanukkah is here" deer with menorah antlers. Pillow with "Why is this night different from all other nights? Happy Hanukkah". Drizzled chocolate pretzels.

2021 Hanukkah at Bed, Bath & Beyond

Offerings included a reindeer with menorah antlers printed on throw pillows and other poorly designed cushions. Pasting a culture’s observance onto Christmas messaging and imagery is a recipe for failure. (source)

Happy Diwali at Edible Arrangements

Connecting with South Asians and their rich culture during Diwali is a prime opportunity for consumer focus. But first, take a lesson from Edible Arrangements and their Happy Diwali platters of chocolate covered strawberries and sprinkled cheesecakes. With such a rich tradition of flavors and foods, Edible Arrangements misses the opportunity to focus on its consumer’s wants for traditional flavors. (source)

Not all attempts at diverse marketing are failures. RITZ’s’ 2022 holiday campaign: A Taste of Welcome, is an example of the modern marketing trend of holiday inclusivity. Campaigns such as this aim to connect with the consumer using universal and timely messages of friendship, family, and acceptance. 

Holiday themes offer powerful connection points between you and your consumer. 

Connecting with your target audience during the holiday season can be one of the most successful campaigns of your marketing year. Do the research and get the cultural input needed. It will be well worth the investment.

How about you? Do you want to learn how to know your customer and how best to market to them?

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Holiday Marketing | Smiling woman holding coffee cup.

We’re here to help you create holiday marketing hits, not misses.

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