Creative Social Media Holiday Campaigns

holiday social media campaign Keeping seasonality in mind for your marketing campaigns and social media efforts is always a good idea – but with the inundation of holiday related marketing, advertisements and retailer push to get people in the door and spending money, it can be difficult to design a campaign that sticks out and gains attention this time of year.

That being said, the holidays are all about connecting with people, sharing traditions, and building memories so it’s only natural that social media has become an integral part of the holiday season, and is even enhanced this time of year. As I wrote earlier this year, Thanksgiving recently became a record breaking event on Instagram, and the upcoming holiday season is sure to bust that previous set record.

Here are a few examples of memorable holiday social media campaigns:

Sephora Claus

sephora holiday social mediaSephora has long been among the leading brands willing to get creative with their digital and social campaigns. In 2009, Sephora launched their Twitter and Facebook based Sephora Claus campaign The popular beauty emporium enticed fans to tweet their holiday beauty wish list (up to $150 for the website) on Twitter with the #sephoraclaus hashtag.

The beauty company then granted one wish per day for 30 days. The campaign garnered 50,839 tweets over the course of the month.

Sephora created a dedicated microsite that turned tweets into falling gift tags and kept track of both the number of wishes and the number of wishes granted. The use of @messages as a form of entry helped make the campaign visible.

The Sephora campaign was successful because the method of entry was super simple and the awarding of wishes was fun and whimsical. It also was successful in that it got lots of people talking about what they wanted from Sephora right around the holiday buying season – allowing their consumers to tweet product names and help drive marketing efforts.

Old Spice MANta Claus

Old Spice has had man social media wins in the past couple of years (they made our list last year as one of 2011’s best social media campaigns, ads, websites and videos), and 2011’s MANta Claus campaign featuring Isaiah Mustafa was no exception.

The concept of the campaign was that Isaiah would promise to buy gifts for all 7 billion people on earth—one at a time. The campaign kicked off with videos posted to YouTube addresses to specific Twitter accounts (@beautyjunkies, 25 of his closest internet friends, city of Baltimore, and Australia)

The campaign also included social media outreach on Facebook and Twitter and even a print ad component and local television spots.

The cross platform campaign was a huge success, with the YouTube videos garnering millions of views, high social media engagement and sharing rates and even exposure in the mainstream media.

Gap – Pin to Win

gap holiday social mediaGap’s new holiday campaign shows that it is a forward-thinking brand when it comes to digital marketing – using newer platforms like Postagram and Pinterest. Consumers can visit Postagram’s Facebook app to turn their photos from Facebook, Instagram and elsewhere into real postcards that will be mailed to their loved ones at no cost, courtesy of Gap.

In addition, users who pin Gap’s favorite holiday items to their Pinterest wish lists are automatically entered to win a Gap gift card. Five winners will be selected each week through December 24. Additionally,, Gap’s digital catalog includes curated gift guides from well-known fashion bloggers. It’s a new take on the gift guide, since traditionally brands and retailers just push their own products. Having an outsider point of view makes it more authentic – a growing trend in the fashion industry.

>>Read my post on The Fashion Industry and Instagram

Maker’s Mark – Ugly Bottle Sweaters and Mock Gift Boxes

maker's mark holiday social mediaMaker’s Mark Bourbon has done a great job of building a strong community of bourbon brand lovers on social media over the past several years. Every year, the liquor company identifies a group of influential brand evangelists, which they call The Embassy. Each year, this group receives  a holiday present. In 2011, Maker’s Mark sent each of them an “ugly holiday bottle sweater” and encouraged them to take pictures of their bottle of Maker’s wearing the sweater.

This year, the bourbon makers sent The Embassy three deceiving mock gift boxes. The mock gift boxes deceivingly display ridiculous fake products on the outside design (like “Me-Wow Cat Weights”, “Vintage Fruitcake”, and a chest hair waxing, tanning and styling kit), but are actually meant to hold a bottle of Maker’s Mark, giving the gift recipient a special surprise. A letter accompanying the boxes instructs the gift giver to film their friend’s reaction while they open the gift and then to upload that video to the Maker’s Mark Facebook page to “share the laughs with everyone.”

The creative campaign is a great way to engage their community and allow brand ambassadors to create great social content for the brand. Over the past several years, their holiday campaigns have generated a lot buzz—with pictures found on multiple platforms including Tumblr, Flickr, Facebook, blogs, Instagram and more. It’s a brilliant way to encourage engagement and create buzz that is true to the brand personality and connects well with their core audience.

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Julie Blakley
This entry was posted in Social Media Marketing by Julie Blakley.

Julie Blakley was the Digital Marketing Manager for Postano, where she was in charge of managing everything from content creation to social media to SEO. A University of Oregon Journalism graduate, Julie found herself working in the world of digital marketing and media after college and hasn't looked back since. Five years later, she's applied her innate curiosity (and inner geek) that led her into journalism to the world of tech, web writing, social media and marketing businesses online. Follow Julie on Twitter Follow Julie on Google+