‘Tis the season when creative holiday marketing ideas are as plentiful as eggnog and company holiday parties.
This holiday season, Popeyes, who earlier this year hit the viral marketing jackpot with its chicken sandwich, has gone back to the “scarcity creates additional demand” marketing playbook with its chicken sandwich, except this time it is with an ugly sweater.
The fast-food chain created a limited-edition chicken sandwich sweater. And just like the sandwich it is based, the sweaters sold out in record time, creating more positive press for the restaurant.
Because the holidays are a time of reflection, here are some creative holiday marketing initiatives I think you will enjoy reading about.
Closing on Black Friday
For the last several years, outdoor chain REI has zigged while other retailers have zagged during the first day of the holiday shopping season. While most stores battle for shoppers on Black Friday, REI closes its doors and shuts down its online store. The reason, so employees can take a paid vacation day to enjoy the great outdoors. The company also encourages customers to follow suit by promoting the hashtag #OptOutside. This unique marketing ploy has garnered a lot of attention for the brand.
New Twist on Yule Log Classic
In 2015, Scottish distiller Lagavulin combined a holiday classic with celebrity cachet to stand out during the holiday season. The distiller produced its own version of the famous yule log burning video. But instead of just a log crackling in a fireplace, the Lagavulin version includes Nick Offerman—best known for his man’s man spoof in the hit comedy series Parks and Rec—sitting next to the fire with a bottle of Lagavulin whisky. He says nothing,nods every once in a while, and takes a sip of whisky. The video goes on like this for 45 minutes.
Joining Forces to Deliver Christmas Trees
Not only is the holiday season a time for giving, it is also a time for brand collaboration. In 2013, Uber and Home Depot joined forces to announce a unique Christmas-specific service. For one day, consumers in 10 U.S. cities were able to use a special app to purchase a Home Depot Christmas tree with an Uber driver delivering the holiday conifer right to their door. This limited service, hyped by both companies, created significant buzz in the cities the service was offered.
Sponsor a Parade: A Holiday Marketing Classic
One of the oldest holiday marketing ploys is still the best. When you think of the beginning of the holiday shopping season, you think of one event—the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Since 1924, the department store has produced a parade through the streets of New York. The parade, originally called the Macy’s Christmas Parade, was a way for the company to promote the expansion of its New York City store while making the brand top-of-mind for holiday shoppers. With approximately three million watching in person, and 50 million TV viewers, this classic holiday marketing promotion is still one of the best.