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5 Holiday Campaigns That (Jingle Bell) Rock

It’s time to start prepping for your holiday campaign—if you haven’t started already. Find inspiration from brands like IKEA, Aldi, and Starbucks!

We’ve talked before about the importance of holiday marketing campaigns . . . and why we recommend you start early on your preparations. Well, in the interest of inspiring you to get this year’s Christmas campaign up and rolling, we thought we’d share a few more of our favorite holiday ads. (Plus, why we think they’re effective.)

If you’re ready, grab your Santa hat and buckle up! Here we go.

IKEA’s 2019 Christmas Campaign

IKEA hit the ground running with its first-ever Christmas campaign in 2019. They identified a pain point we all experience during the holiday season: home shame. What’s more, they did it in an unexpected way–with an original grime track voiced by D Double E.

Because they focused on a universal experience in an undeniably charming and funny way, the campaign was an instant success. Watch the video, linked above, and you may also feel inspired to silence your inner critics with a few cleverly placed home upgrades from IKEA.

The Takeaway:

Christmas campaigns don’t have to be sentimental or reverent. A lighthearted and tongue-in-cheek approach is sometimes just as effective. But if you do go the rowdier route, make sure you take IKEA’s approach and ground the campaign in something tangible and relevant, like home shame.

Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot Campaigns

When most people think of Aldi, they think of Kevin the Carrot. This adorable and tenacious little vegetable has been the star of every Aldi Christmas campaign since 2016. And that should come as no surprise, considering Aldi saw more than a 15% increase in sales after Kevin’s charming debut.

Curious and charismatic, Kevin the Carrot finds himself in new adventures every holiday season. And loyal customers anxiously await to see what the new year’s ad campaign will bring. In fact, searches for “Kevin the Carrot” outnumber searches for “Santa Claus!”

The Takeaway:

Brand mascots aren’t right for everyone, but they are immensely effective under the right circumstances. Ronald McDonald, Flo from Progressive Insurance, Toasty from ToasterTubs, and Tony the Tiger are just a few other examples of brand mascots done right.

If you are willing to put in the work to build a unique mascot that stands out from the crowd, there are plenty of advantages to make it worth your time. They’ll boost brand engagement, make your business much more recognizable, and keep customers coming back for more.

Starbucks Holiday Cups

Not all ad campaigns must take the form of video marketing. In fact, some of the most popular and effective holiday campaigns involve promotional products.

Take, for example, the Starbucks holiday cup phenomenon.

The brand unveiled its very first holiday cup way back in 1997. In 1999, they made the switch from magenta-hued holiday cups to festive red ones, and a cultural icon was born. Every year since, consumers across the globe have flocked to their local Starbucks throughout the holiday season for a chance to sip coffee from festive red cups.

Sound silly? It is, a little. But it’s also immensely effective at boosting Starbucks’ sales during this time of year. It’s also boosted their brand recognition in incalculable ways. Many of the brand’s loyal customers now consider its first Starbucks Red Cup of the year to be a favorite annual tradition.

The Takeaway:

If you have a loyal customer base, promotional products/services can be a great way to say “thank you.” They may also help to increase your brand recognition and generate buzz about your company. Plus, done right, promotional advertising can be a cost-effective marketing strategy!


People love to support a brand that gives back! If your company takes part in an annual giving tradition, share the message across your preferred marketing channel.

Cadbury’s Secret Santa Postal Service

We’ve seen a lot of creative and modern holiday campaigns over the last several years. But Cadbury’s Secret Santa Postal Service may be our favorite, and most innovative, of the bunch.

The brand’s first Secret Santa Postal Service took place in 2022 and was a huge success. Cadbury placed posters in various locations throughout the UK. Then, they let it be known that the lucky individuals who spotted these campaign-specific ads could scan the QR code and anonymously send a free chocolate bar to a loved one.

This campaign offered a modern take on the Season of Giving and was successful enough in promoting the brand that they repeated the campaign in 2023. To further boost their message of giving, Cadbury also donated 75,000 chocolate bars across 200 UK food banks.

The Takeaway:

If QR marketing is not a strategy you’ve considered before, it may be time to bring the idea to the drawing board. At Myriad, we’ve helped clients add helpful QR codes to pamphlets, product tags, and other promotional materials with great success! It’s a great way to bridge the gap between physical and digital marketing products.

Also, people love to support a brand that gives back! If your company takes part in an annual giving tradition, share the message and spread the good vibes across your preferred marketing channel. Your business and your community will benefit.

Myriad’s 2023 “The Night Before Christmas” Campaign

For a full breakdown of our 2023 holiday campaign, check out its related case study. Or hop over to our YouTube channel to see the video that got nearly 10 thousand views!

We know we’re biased, but we’re really proud of the work we did on this campaign. It was a beautiful, personalized take on a Christmas classic and it helped us grow our YouTube subscriber count by more than 1,000%.

The Takeaway:

If you want to really blow your customers away with a stellar Christmas campaign, the time to begin is now. We started prepping for last year’s campaign more than a year in advance! So if you need some creative energy to help get you started, you know who to call.

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