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Holiday Marketing Ideas Sourced From the Best Campaigns

The holidays are here!

This time of the year heralds a flurry of marketing activities from every known brand and business. With every competitor in the race, marketers have to pull out all the holiday marketing ideas they have in their hats to be visible to their audience.

All avenues can be explored, be it TV ads, YouTube videos, social media posts, or email campaigns!

This flash flood of holiday marketing campaigns starts around Thanksgiving and continues until the new year. The lineup includes Thanksgiving, Halloween, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year. There is also Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and the list continues.

All the buyers go on a shopping frenzy, making it an ideal time for businesses to capture the market with a unique holiday campaign of their own.

According to the National Retail Federation, a total of 200.4 million people shopped during the Thanksgiving holiday to Cyber Monday, surpassing last year’s record of 196.7 million.

Most brands bring their A-game in marketing during this time of the year, coming up with the most innovative holiday marketing campaign ideas. Coca-Cola, Google, and Cadbury are some of the brands to look out for.

You can draw inspiration from these campaigns to create something unique and valuable for your brand and business objectives.

Holiday Marketing Ideas Executed Right

Now, let’s dive into the holiday spirit and take a look at some outstanding Christmas marketing ideas executed expertly by those familiar brands.


This brand always does something special during the holidays, like introducing new festive-flavored drinks and membership offers. But the highlight of the holiday campaign at Starbucks has been its Christmas-themed red cups since 1997.

These cups have become a part of holiday traditions for loyal customers. The campaign has become such a phenomenal hit throughout the years that 16th November is celebrated as the “Red Cup day.”

This day of the year garners the maximum sales for the company out of all other days in the year, making it one of the busiest days.

The designs of these signature cups change every year, making them akin to collectibles. That’s why people eagerly await for Starbucks to unveil their Christmas cups of the season.

However, in 2016, it took a different approach. The go-to coffee brand had invited customers across the globe to show their artistic sides and submit a red cup design of their own.

Campaign Concept: All entrants had to buy a cup of coffee from the store and scribble their design using that same cup as their canvas, which they would then have to submit as their entry in the contest. Nearly 1,200 designs were received, out of which 13 were then selected to feature on the Christmas red cup covers.

Takeaway: These seasonal specialties are a hit for a reason. Besides giving something tangible to the customers, the limited availability of these cups creates a sense of urgency in the customers. They are eager not to miss out on these, flooding the Starbucks outlets, which leads to sky-high sales figures.

Designing the cups into the perfect blend of festive and their own brand identity is the move that has helped the long-standing success of this campaign. You should try picking the right icon that represents your brand, too!


The global soft drink brand always manages to make an impact with its Christmas marketing ideas. They create short video advertisements yearly around the holidays, which feature emotional stories, evoking the holiday spirit and a sense of togetherness among the viewers.

The idea of connecting an iced soda drink with the winter holiday seems absurd on paper. But believe it or not, the brand makes it work every time. This is because Coca-Cola has worked very hard to harbor ideas of community, joy, and happy emotional experiences. The fact that their main brand color happens to be red also helps.

This time around, they have upped their game even more by incorporating AI to bring gamification into their holiday marketing campaign ideas.

Campaign Concept: Coca-Cola is running a campaign called ‘Create Real Magic’ through which they have invited people to use their generative AI platform to create their own unique digital creatives. The campaign had been going on since March 2023, but Coke transformed the platform with a festive aesthetic for the holiday season.

Campaign Concept

Style references and customizations are available to give these pieces of digital art their touch. However, any design generated will have the Coca-Cola logo in it.

People can make these designs into Christmas cards, which can be downloaded and printed. Other than choosing to publish it on the Community page of the campaign, these designs are also shareable on social media platforms. The selected designs will be featured on Coke’s digital billboards in New York’s Times Square and London’s Piccadilly Circus.

Takeaway: The wise usage of AI to evoke the audience’s creative side has been a great move by the brand. But, fostering creativity using interactive elements can be a massive hit amongst the masses. You can provide your audience with a stage to create content that would, in turn, act as UGC for cross-platform promotion.


The holiday season is a time of hyperactive marketing for nearly all brands. Black Friday, in particular, garners epic sales due to impressive discounts. Any business deciding not to take part in this hubbub is unimaginable. But thats exactly what this brand does.

REI retails recreational equipment and gear, primarily for outdoor activities. So it’s not out of the norm that it would preach the importance of spending time outdoors. Since day one, REI has been fueled by the spirit of making exploration accessible. This unwavering commitment to a unique brand value has been their guiding light throughout.

This may be the reason that #OptOutside as a campaign resonated with the target customers of Recreational Equipment, Inc.

Campaign Concept: Launched in 2015 when the brand turned 77, REI opts to keep its stores closed so the staff can spend time outside. This means they remain closed the day, which is considered to be one of the most profitable days of the year. The brand encourages its employees, customers, as well as the general public to spend the day out and share their experience on social media with the #OptOutside.

In 2023, along with their tradition of opting outdoors, REI also promoted and commemorated the Outdoors for All Act, which supports the cause of making public parks accessible to everyone.

opt outside

Takeaway: REI has proved itself to the public as a brand that stands by the values it promotes. It forgoes the possibility of making huge sales every year to ask people to spend time amidst nature. This portrays that REI truly cares about people and the environment rather than just making money.

This selfless approach executed during the holiday season hits the mark when people are filled with emotions of togetherness. So, try to think about holiday marketing ideas that highlight your brand value rather than the discounts you offer.


The holidays pretty much go hand in hand with partaking in all kinds of beverages, alcoholic more than non-alcoholic. Between the Christmas eggnog and drinks on New Year’s Eve, people tend to take risks to drive home while being drunk.

This momentary lapse of judgment can lead to tragic consequences. More than 6,000 fatal crashes in the U.S. have happened due to drunken driving from the year 2010 to 2018 during the holidays.

Budweiser is a famous beer brand known all over the world. And holidays are the times of great sales for the brand, just like many other businesses. But rather than going for standard festive advertising of partying and discounts, the brand made a smart play.

They picked a serious issue to address but also incorporated a new product into the campaign.

Campaign Concept: The campaign by Budweiser in 2017 was called ‘Wise Men Don’t Drink and Drive,’ and it discouraged people from driving under the influence of alcohol. They sent out the message of drinking responsibly rather than refraining from it.

With this, they introduced their new product, Budweiser Prohibition Brew, a non-alcoholic beverage that would give a beer-like taste to the drinker without the intoxication.

Campaign Concept

Takeaway: This campaign was like killing two birds with a single stone. Budweiser found the perfect concept to back up their new product launch. We might not know which came first, the product idea or the cause of reducing drinking and driving, but the nifty marketing campaign blended the two seamlessly.

Regarding Christmas marketing ideas for small businesses, if you plan to launch a new product during the holidays, we suggest finding a relevant concept to support it. This will give people a reason to root for you and create an image of self-awareness for your brand.


A retail brand like Macy’s has to find new holiday marketing ideas for every festive season. This time, they have gone for a simple but effective approach for the holidays.

Haven’t we all faced the dilemma of finding the perfect gifts for our loved ones year after year? Macy’s has targeted this sentiment in their latest Give Love Give Style campaign.

Campaign Concept: With a series of video ads, Macy’s shows a kid roaming the store, trying everything. At the end, he is seen to find Santa, who has been sitting in his chair to greet customers. Instead of receiving anything, the cute little boy gifts a pair of warm and fuzzy shoes to Santa Claus himself, making him emotional as the boy’s parents look on proudly.

Macy's shows

Justifying the sentiments evoked by the ad, Macy’s has a Gift Finder platform on its website. This platfrom has a vast collection of items divided into Him, Her, Kids, Home Decor, and more categories. This is meant to make holiday shopping simpler for the Macy’s customers.

Takeaway: The campaign has tried to address a common issue that almost everyone encounters during the holidays: selecting gifts for your loved ones. They have tried to improve their customers’ overall holiday shopping experience.

For holiday marketing ideas, creating special offers and experiences suitable to the festive theme goes a long way. And since gifts are an integral part of the whole end-of-the-year holiday package, incorporating the concept of gifts into your marketing plans is a wise move. Customized gift suggestions go a long way in convincing prospective customers to start shopping.


Nothing feels better than Christmas nostalgia, memories of the good ole’ days. And nothing is better at doing that than holiday-themed movies. No one can deny that watching Christmas movies with their whole family is a part of their Christmas traditions.

In 2018, Google tapped into people’s feelings by centering their holiday marketing campaign ideas for the year around one such beloved Christmas movie, Home Alone, bringing back old memories with a modern twist.

Christmas nostalgia

Campaign Concept: The ad kicks off just like the movie, with Macaulay Culkin reprising his role as Kevin McCallister, waking up on Christmas morning to discover his family is mysteriously absent.

This time, a more grown-up Kevin comically relives the iconic moments from the film, all made possible by the wonders of Google Assistant—a nifty voice-activated smart home device.

Post this video ad, Google also ran Christmas social media campaigns with Home Alone-themed polls and quizzes. They also asked people to share their own home-alone moments with the hashtag #HomeAloneAgain.

Takeaway: This ad neither preaches any values, supports any social issues, nor is it trying to make any sales. It’s just using the emotions entwined with a memorable movie from our childhood to draw a few smiles.

However, we can see how effective the ad proved to be just because holiday-themed movies have a special space in our hearts. So incorporating movies into your holiday marketing ideas is a safe bet.

These were some of the memorable and successful holiday marketing ideas executed the right way. Smaller businesses can always draw much inspiration from these concepts. The idea behind holiday marketing campaign ideas is not to make it big like these big brands we have quoted.

The trick is to make something that resonates with YOUR target audience.

What Makes the Holiday Season Such an Important Time of the Year?

The reasons are no-brainers, really. When schools, colleges, and offices are closed, people have a lot more free time than they normally do. Holiday spirits are taking over, people go on trips or visit their families, exchanging gifts, which, of course, warrants shopping. This is a merry happenstance for retail, travel, and many other sectors.

Also, they spend more time browsing the internet and social media, are receptive to promotional content, and are likelier to click the “BUY” button.

The culmination of all these and many other factors leads to a rapid rise in purchasing seen in all audiences.

So smartly targeted Christmas social media campaigns are a great way to leverage people’s holiday shopping spirits. From boosting website or in-store traffic, skyrocketing sales, and spreading brand awareness to launching new products successfully, holidays are the best time to double down on their efforts.

Things to Remember While Planning Your Holiday Campaigns

Coming up with Christmas campaign ideas takes brainstorming and a lot of planning. We tend to miss out on some details in the hustle of holidays that we usually would not ignore. So here are some pointers for you to remember while planning your holiday hoopla.

  • It is recommended to start early and stick to the timelines
  • Take into account every channel where you can reach the masses
  • Get creative and have fun with your holiday content
  • Rope in an influencer or two to promote your campaign
  • Incorporate gamification to bring engagement
  • Try to promote a good cause at the core
  • Create hashtags specific to your campaigns
  • Schedule your holiday social media content way ahead in time
  • Give your social page and website a holiday-themed makeover

There you have it. Just get into the holiday spirit and start exploring because inspiration may strike at any moment.

Hence, We Conclude

We hope the above campaigns have set your minds awhirl with new ideas. By strategically planning, your team can craft a unique holiday marketing strategy that elevates your seasonal sales.

Whether delivering personalized experiences or expressing gratitude, your business has various options to promote itself effectively during this festive season. Holidays are a time of miracles. There is no limit to the creativity that you can attain in your holiday marketing ideas.

So get cracking!


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