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The holiday season is a time of tradition. You have your favorite movie, your favorite dish – and your favorite commercial. We know it’s not just us. Just like The Christmas Story, certain ads get airtime year after year because of how well-loved they are. True marketing magic is creating ads that capture the spirit of the holidays and the brand. What makes a great holiday commercial? Here are a few tips on how to create a timeless holiday ad.
Strong Story Stories compel us. A great ad tells a great story. It can be 6 seconds or it can be 60, all that matters is that it pulls you in. John Lewis’ “The Beginner” is a wonderful example of this. From the very first frame, it grabs your attention and keeps you asking where is this going? The final delivery is as heartfelt as it is memorable. Great stories stick with you.
  Cheery > Cheesy Sainsbury’s “1914” commercial works so well because it’s a strong story inspired by true events. By finding inspiration from real-life Christmas day history, you show the magic of the season without feeling like a Hallmark movie. It’s moving because it’s not fabricated, it’s factual. True stories give your commercial authenticity and jolt the viewers with real feelings.
  A Bit of Whimsy This list wouldn’t be complete without a mention of Coca-Cola. The brand excels at Christmas marketing. Not only did they create the modern image of Santa Clause, but they also gave us everyone’s favorite polar bears. Their commercials featuring the fuzzy creatures were charming and whimsical. The bears introduced people to a new side of the North Pole – and reappeared again and again over the years.
  Simple Yet Striking You don’t need elaborate sets and a bus-full of extras to be memorable. Sometimes all it takes is a little music and some kisses – Hershey’s Kisses that is. In this holiday classic, there are no words, just some chocolate pretending to be bells. The magic touches are the little details like the shape of a Christmas tree and the final Kiss wiping its brow at the end. There’s a reason this one continues to light up your screen every year.
  Have Some Fun(ny) Not all holiday commercials need to pull the heartstrings. Hitting the silly bone is just as good. A great example of this is the “They Do Exist” commercial by M&M. It’s light, fun, and oh-so seasonal. This is another that is so popular it’s still playing more than 15 years after it originally aired.
  On Donner! On Vixen! On Brand! None of the storytelling prowess matters if the commercial isn’t on brand. When your commercial can mix holiday and brand perfectly, you hit the sweet spot. Corona did this extraordinarily well with its “Feliz Navidad” ad. You know it’s a Corona ad the instant you see it but the Christmas palm tree gives it a holiday flair.
  Holiday Magic Meets Marketing Magic All of the ads we’ve highlighted work because the creative team knew the brand inside and out. If you’re looking to give your marketing a jolt, our team perfectly meshes creative ideas with on-brand solutions. Do you have questions about branding or creating memorable commercials that are on-brand? Connect with us and we can answer all your marketing questions. Happy holidays from everybody here at Creative Arcade!