Holidays are inspiring, warm and full of wonder. But they are also stressful, frantic and let’s be honest here, a little wasteful. The same is also applicable to holiday advertising.
There’s a plethora of holiday ads these days from the emotional to the outright crazy (think super bowl ads with a big white beard), but only a few manage to capture the holiday spirit.
So what’s the secret for holiday advertising success? It’s insight. It’s about finding that one commonality that connects us in the most subtle way.
For instance, this ad by British retail store John Lewis touches on the insight that when we find the perfect gift for someone, we can’t wait to give it to them.[youtube id=”pSLOnR1s74o” width=”600″ height=”350″]
Now consider this one.[youtube id=”ibJHFCEUcoE” width=”600″ height=”350″]
The Insight: Parents go to extremes to find the perfect gifts for their kids but very often things go wrong (e.g. the toy is sold out) and they have a ‘make it work’ moment.
Here we see an excited dad presenting ‘the perfect gift’ to his daughter but very often things don’t go as planned(cue pony freak-out). Now the ‘make it work’ moment is very calmly handled by mom thanks to eBay.
Sure these ads are exaggerated, but think of that as the glittery wrapping paper that makes the perfect gift (the insight) that much more special.
So now you wonder, what’s the recipe for a bad holiday ad?
Most of the time, it’s trying too hard. Just like a bad pick-up line, a bad holiday ad tries too hard to make you emotional or laugh or just throws everything they got into an overworked mess.[youtube id=”yOQk_pWmisA” width=”600″ height=”350″]
For example, this Folgers spot is trying really hard to get that tear in your eye. The sentimental music, the “volunteer” sewed on his bag, name dropping Africa, and if that doesn’t get you, they hit you with the “you’re my present this year”. Sure it’s not the most terrible ad but it’s dated and has a noticeable cheese factor. There’s no insight, just a desperate attempt to pull on your heartstrings.
When all else fails, just keep it simple and cheerful just like this one from Hershey’s.[youtube id=”4HtSLF4vlrk” width=”600″ height=”350″]
Happy Holidays Everyone!