How Organizations Present Holidays

Ok, bear with me here, I know this is an amusing topic but really think about it! Companies use seasonal events and holidays to do special marketing campaigns that we witness. Specifically, I wanted to talk about the all-encompassing holiday season that begins November 1st and ends at the beginning of the new year.

After Halloween, the stores keep the orange colors from the day before, but this time they throw in turkeys and some questionable historical figures/practices. After that, it's the slew of all those cultural, religious, and even secular holidays that sprinkle in all through December.

This time of year is my favorite and I have such vivid memories from now and growing up. This time of year we are entering, especially as students, is so stressful. The semester is ending, finals are coming, graduation maybe, and we may be going gift shopping for friends & family… it’s overwhelming. There’s a lot going on and sometimes all I can say is “OMG” and keep moving forward! During this entire time, we see what other people are also doing either through news media, social media, commercials and so much more. Many organizations take advantage of this and utilize the colors of red and white (and green sometimes) for their marketing strategies. Let’s take a look at some of these iconic holiday branding campaigns.

Santa is a very popular figure during this time of year. I’m sure you’ve heard of him. Coca-Cola does a good job of creating light-hearted, funny, or even sometimes emotional Christmas commercials. What is interesting about these is that the product itself does not change. It is usually just accompanied by (in most instances) winter-themed imagery. My favorite ads by Coca-Cola involve the polar bears enjoying a good ol’ bottle of Coca-Cola.

When it comes to holiday imagery, I like subtle things that make me feel the holiday spirit. For Starbucks, their simple red cups that capture the simple aesthetic of the holiday season garnered them some controversy.

Despite the presumed attack on Christmas, Starbucks kept the perfect aesthetic of the red cups. It’s just so perfect, what more do you want me to say?! I think this has been the most recent example of an effective and popular holiday marketing campaign.

I know, it’s another food-themed campaign… but there are just so many ways to go with food! Whether it’s the food you’re actually eating or the cup you are drinking from, brands use this time of year to decorate their products like presents. Donuts are a favorite among seasonal treats as they are easy to decorate to apply to the season or holiday they are being sold. In this case, Krispy Kreme utilizes that to sell holiday and winter-themed donuts. It's a simple, effective, and delicious way to sell your already amazing donuts during a time of celebration and happiness.

Just with those few examples, I believe brands and organizations can make a difference during this festive season to bring joy and happiness to their customers and create that atmosphere of this time of year. Examining trends and making them fit your own organization can only be beneficial.

But through all this, it’s crucial that you know what may be too far or insensitive, so proper research is necessary in order to maximize the enjoyment people have during this time of year while also still being an intelligent brand. With all that said, maybe stay inside this year and social distance. The party can wait til next year! 🎁

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