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5 Outstanding 2013 Holiday Advertising Campaigns

Every year businesses large and small do their best to capitalize on sales from the holiday season. The average shopper is looking to spend more money than usual, and businesses are looking to boost their end of the year sales.

It’s also at this time of year that many businesses offer sales and do tried and true advertising campaigns that wish their customers a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Yet there are some businesses that get creative and think outside the box to do something unique. In this post we’re going to talk about five such campaigns that wow customers with a unique and amazing holiday ad.

Ad #1: Soma

Soma is a new company with a product that came out just this year. The company was birthed in Silicon Valley with the goal of offering a new spin on a very old product: water filters. For years people having been using Brita filters as a way to filter, store, and dispense water. Soma took the product category to the next level by designing a beautiful filter that’s faster than a Brita and filters water so that it tastes great. It also looks so nice you’d rather show it off than hide it in your fridge, and it’s environmentally friendly as well. So what advertising campaign did they run that’s worth talking about?
About the ad: Soma sent an e-mail on December 17th with the subject line “Soma’s simple and completely unbiased gift guide.” The subject isn’t your usual salesey headline and is also unique which means recipients basically had to open it to find out what it was all about. The fact that it’s an infographic gives even more reason to click through. Here’s what recipient’s found:

It’s a simple guide that’s ever so slightly biased and leads every answer down to buying a Soma water filter. Since they only sell one product, it’s obvious they need to promote that single product, and this infographic is a fun way to do it in a non-overly salesey way. We give Soma 5-stars for a well-done, unique, and fun marketing campaign.

Ad #2: WestJet

WestJet went out of their way to wow customers with a video ad that was primed to go viral. At the time this article was written, the video 30,032,727 views on Youtube and was still climbing after only being posted for 10 days. So how’d the do it?

About the ad: WestJet started with a digitized Santa booth that asked flyers what they wanted for Christmas after they scanned their boarding passes. WestJet employees then made a list of the requests and rushed around to purchase the gifts before the two flights landed at their destinations. Once they did, the travellers were pleasantly surprised with meticulously wrapped gifts with their name on it. In addition to being a great idea, the video is extremely well done and is an example of buzz marketing being used at its finest. Oh, and just remember this: If WestJet ever asks what you want for Christmas, remember not to ask for socks and underwear.

Ad #3: Apple

Apple is known for creating holiday ads with Apple products in seasonal settings. This year’s ad titled “Misunderstood” may be the best yet.

About the ad: In this year’s ad, a teenage boy seems distracted by his iPhone while the rest of the family is doing fun family holiday activities, a theme that’s played out around the world as youngsters get lost in their phones for hours at a time. But there’s a twist. The whole time he’s been shooting a video and plays it for the family on Christmas day. It’s a very touching ad, and we love the fact that it integrates Apple’s product so well and highlights the fact that high quality videos can be shot on an iPhone. And to top it off, they have the full-length version of the video shot on the iPhone for added viewing pleasure (and additional product demo). Both can be viewed below.

Ad #4: John Lewis

John Lewis is a chain of upmarket department stores in Great Britain. They sell everything from clothes to toys to home and garden products. They also created a brilliant holiday ad for 2013.

About the ad: For their video, John Lewis created a 2 minute and 10 second long video that tells the story of the one animal that never was able to celebrate Christmas: a bear. But a hare has an idea that will allow the bear to join the Christmas celebration. It’s beautifully produced with an amazing soundtrack, and it’s a great example of creating content people want to consume versus creating an ad that sells. At the time this post was written, the video had received 11,129, 920 views. You definitely don’t want to miss out on this video so go ahead and watch it now.

Ad #5: Copyblogger

Copyblogger did something clever this season by creating a poem for an e-mail ad instead of a regular, sales-first e-mail. The subject for the e-mail was “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

About the ad: For the ad the Copyblogger team adapted the intro to the poem How the Grinch Stole Christmas as a way to create a unique e-mail inviting subscribers to the Authority Intensive coming up in May 2014. It’s unique, clever, fun, well-done, and effective. Here’s the copy from the e-mail.

Every Who
Down in Who-ville
Craved authority a lot …
But the Grinch,
Who lived just North of Who-ville,
Did NOT!
Now, Authority Intensive is not until May,
But your wallet may suffer if the Grinch has his way.This particular Grinch is procrastination, you see.
Those who register by year’s end are pleased as can be.
But those who wait longer might not be happy at all.
Left out with their marketing brains two sizes too small.
Join us for smart speakers, plus parties and mingling.
You’ll leave with a roadmap and a mind that’s a-tingling.
So register now, without further delay …
Ensuring your brain grows three sizes in May!
And if this post has you contemplating a noose,
You’ll have to forgive me — I’m no Dr. Seuss.

Join us May 7-9, 2014 in Denver, Colorado
Save $500 when you register for Authority Intensive before December 31, 2013 at 6 pm Pacific time. And enjoy your Grinch-free Holiday Season!

Your Thoughts…

What did you think of these holiday ads? Did you learn anything new or find them inspirational? If yes, please share this post to spread the word about these amazing holiday ads from 2013.


Guest-Author-Joseph-PutnamJoseph Wesley Putnam is the proud owner of 5 North Marketing. He helps startups with copywriting, content marketing, and conversion rate optimization. You can follow him on Twitter and , schedule a call on Clarity, and read more of his posts on the 5 North Marketing Blog.