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Winter Wonderland Winter Wonderland: The Holiday Season and Millennials

As my inbox becomes cluttered with subject lines claiming ’Gift Central!’, ’Free Shipping in time for Christmas’, ’The Perfect Gift for Everyone on Your List’ and similar holiday-centric catchphrases, I know it is probably time to buckle down and start buying presents for friends, family and colleagues. With the multitude of options available, how is anybody able to decide where to start their holiday shopping? Brands have become increasingly innovative in their holiday campaigns in order to stand out in the crowded holiday shopping market.

It will come as no surprise that brands are willing to put in the extra work to create a holiday-themed campaign in this lucrative season. Total US holiday season retail sales are expected to amount to $863 billion, $72.4 billion of which will be spent online. This is an increase from $822 billion, $62.1 billion of which was spent online, in 2013. Holidays are a time for brands to appeal to all consumers, existing and new, so as to obtain a share of the tremendous potential holiday profit. Additionally, with a growing percentage of sales being transacted online, brands need to be sure they are offering attractive holiday content and convenient shipping options.

Some brands are catering better than others to the holiday-shopping Millennials. Here is my round-up of the 4 top campaigns for the 2014 holiday season:

Hot tweetawayHot tweetaway: 4 #Millennial-proof campaigns for the 2014 #holidayseason insit.es/16pCpQL by @GilaAllswang via @CoolBrands #GenY #coolbrands

1. Starbucks

Starbucks is known for its year-round marketing prowess. It has managed to maintain its popularity with Millennials through its social media campaigns and Millennial-friendly loyalty program. Starbucks really kicks its marketing into a high gear during the holiday season: limited time holiday drinks, free gift card offers with the purchase of its holiday coffee blends and even dressing their employees in red Santa hats. This year, they took it a step further in the USA by introducing the it’s a wonderful card contest. Customers are given a receipt with a code after a purchase in a Starbucks store, which they can enter for a chance to win free Starbucks purchases for life. Should the store’s festive red cups, Christmas carols and delicious Peppermint Mocha Lattes not be enough of an incentive to visit a US Starbucks this holiday season, perhaps this exciting offer will win over consumers!

It's a wonderful card

2. Burberry

This luxury brand has created a video starring Romeo Beckham, son of David and Victoria Beckham, which has already reached over 8 million views on YouTube. Inspired by the golden age of cinematic musicals, this ad tells the tale of a young couple falling in love through song and dance. The video encompasses the magical aspects of the holiday season and appeals to Millennials through the beautiful imagery, perfect for sharing on social media channels.

3. Ghirardelli

Ghirardelli’s mouthwatering flavors and variety of options are always appealing to the chocoholics amongst us. The holiday season gives them the opportunity to really go wild and offer limited-time peppermint flavors and holiday-themed packagings. This limited time availability excites Millennial consumers and inspires them to share their Ghirardelli experiences on their social media channels. A search for #ghirardelli on Instagram reveals over 35,000 posts, with recent ones portraying the latest holiday packaging.

Ghirardelli Chocolate Company

4. Macy*s

Living around the corner from Macy*s on 34th street in Manhattan ensures that I never forget the impending holidays. From its expertly designed holiday window displays to the Christmas trees and ornaments that liven up the interior of the store, Macy*s is an expert at handling the holiday season. Beyond the superficial decorations, Macy*s organizes an annual ‘Believe’ campaign, which donates $1 to the Make-a-Wish Foundation for every Santa letter they receive, up to $1 million. Charitable brands appeal to Millennials, who work hard to contribute to charities within the means of their limited disposable incomes. Macy*s has also been working on innovating its app to allow users to browse and buy directly through their phones. As online shopping represents a large portion of the total retail sales this holiday seasons, this is a vital step in staying competitive.

Macys Believe campaign

I can’t wait to see the campaigns that are still to come this holiday season! Happy Holidays! And don’t forget to share your favorite campaign 😉

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Posted in Campaigns