Five Brand Leaders in Holiday Advertising

Five Brand Leaders in Holiday Advertising

The holiday season is officially here! And with it, the shopping chaos that comes along with it. While the pressures of holiday shopping may weigh heavy on your shoulders, there is a bright spot: the best holiday ads.

Through traditional marketing methods, ad impressions typically increase 50% during the holiday season. This season, in addition to increased spend in traditional markets, we’re also tracking increased spend across digital platforms. For most businesses, it’s absolutely essential to capitalize on last-minute dollars from holiday spending.

To best capitalize on holiday spend, brands have to stand out from the crowded landscape of the best holiday ads. The best way to do so? Market a product AND evoke a strong emotional response in customers.

While the goal of getting customers in the spirit through the best holiday ads is no small task, we’ve rounded up those brands that are doing it right this holiday season. Whether you’re online shopping or fighting the crowds in stores, what brands have captured your attention in the midst of all the holiday madness?

The Five Best Holiday Ads of 2018

1. The Boy and the Piano

On the topic of holiday advertising brilliance, it seems appropriate to start with this year’s most talked about campaign according to studies. The story created by John Lewis following Sir John Elton through his legendary career starting with the simple gift of a piano resulted in the largest spike in brand mentions- 135 percent– in just minutes after screening. The British department store’s Christmas advertisement tradition first began in 2007 and has since become a media signal for the British culture that the holidays have arrived. The purpose of the advertisement is to emphasize how much a gift can mean to someone, and in the case of Elton John, a thoughtful gift can truly shape someone’s life.

In a press release, John Lewis elaborated on the ad, saying: “The story begins in present day and works backward chronologically through Elton’s life, right until the moment he received the special gift of his grandmother’s piano that changed his life forever because some gifts are more than just a gift.”

2. Believe in Dreams  

According to our WinmoEdge team, Tiffany announced their plan to increase marketing spend across a range of media in September, implying that spending for the remainder of 2018 would be significantly higher than in the past.

We now see where that spend went. With the launch of the new “Believe in Dreams” campaign, Tiffany highlights the magical spirit of the making of the iconic jewelry company’s products, where creativity and craftsmanship come together. Actress and musician Zoe Kravitz stars in the sales professional role touring people through the Alice in Wonderland-like world. The ad highlights new collections and gives a behind the scenes tour of the Tiffany workshop, with the main goal of inspiring Tiffany customers to embrace the spirit of the Tiffany holiday and believe any dream can come true. To coincide with the campaign, a public workshop in Tiffany’s New York City flagship will be on display until the new year.

Tiffany’s digital spend YTD is a reported $4,769,300 with $1,358,300 of that spent in the last 30 days. The spend seems to be effective as Tiffany was added to the list of Gem Award Winners for 2019, an honor for companies raising the visibility and status of fine jewelry.

3. Make Your Play

Not to be forgotten, men take the spotlight in Madden NFL’s holiday ads. This follow-up push for the holidays is typical in order to collect some last minute earnings. The “Make Your Play” ad was originally released in August before the 2018 season began and encourages fans to achieve something great before the year is done. Featuring Lil Dicky, Nicki Minaj, and Chris Red, the holiday ads use humor and celebrity spokespeople to capture attention and collect some of the available holiday dollars.

EA Sports YTD Digital Spend is reported $85,900, which is a decrease to be expected since overall spend has dropped this year due to some PR troubles.

4. Get Rewarded for the Gifts You Give

Kohl’s is making a statement through holiday marketing in 2018, devoting more dollars to holiday ads in 2018. According to studies, in 2017 November-December spend reached $94.6 million. The holiday campaigns began with the Black Friday start, which surpassed all expectations in both in-store and online sales according to sources. There has also been a redirected focus on reward programs along with several partnership and product launches. Kohl’s aims to gift more joy during the holiday seasons by rewarding gift givers with Kohl’s cash to make the holiday shopping easier with incredible savings. The purpose of the “Give Joy, Get Joy” campaign is to reward those attempting to make the holidays special for their efforts.

YTD Digital Spend is reported at $423,304,200, and spend typically spikes in Q4 with the holiday push to make customers aware of the opportunity to save on big brands.

5. Share Your Gifts  

This year’s Apple holiday campaign features a young animated girl who is consumed by a project she is working on creating through her Mac and focuses on a different definition of gifts. This year’s ad follows the “Share Your Gifts” theme and had big expectations after Apple’s 2013 “Misunderstood” ad put them on the A-list of holiday season advertisers. Playing on the idea that 7 out of 10 people feel they’re not creative or living up to their creative potential, at least according to the ad’s creators,  Apple encourages people to use their technology and tools to not only create but then share that creation with the world.

Apple’s YTD spend is a reported $212,081,900. Along with this year’s holiday advertisement, Apple also released a video revealing how the animated story was created, and a behind the scenes look at how creators use Apple products to do their work.

Now that we’ve shared our picks for the best holiday ads of 2018, we want to hear from you! What ads are putting you in the holiday mood? Let us know in the comments.

And, as always, request a Winmo trial for more detailed insights on advertisers, spending, and market moves!

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