Coca-Cola has been delivering Christmas for decades. The Christmas trucks have become a symbol that the most wonderful time of the year is upon us. And in 1956, they were responsible for something equally as impressive when they commissioned the original Charlie Brown Christmas cartoon – a programme that was viewed by over half of all Americans at the time, and has become a firm family favourite watched every year since.
For a moment, forget that Charlie Brown’s Christmas is a TV show, and that Christmas trucks exists as TV ads and experiential activity. It’s the strategy behind these executions that provide lessons for a successful Christmas marketing plan.
The run-up to December can be a daunting time for any marketing department. A chief executive officer asking, ”What’s our Amazon strategy?” A finance director demanding a “big” period to prop up the last 12 months. And the most expense and competitive landscape of the calendar year.
With this backdrop of intense pressure, it can be tempting for marketers to roll out a programme of digital tricks. A spreadsheet showing all the people that are being targeted, contacted and re-contacted.
But don’t forget, every other marketer in your industry will have a similar spreadsheet that they will be using at the same time, and with a lot of their annual marketing budget.
So how do you make your digital tactics winning ones?
It’s simple to say but hard to do. You need ‘Christmas Magic’. Whatever your budget, whatever your plan, whatever your messages — you need to be striving to be part of Christmas culture.
At this time of year, people are looking for moments of joy, optimism, and fun. And brands that deliver this through their communications will be rewarded. John Lewis will use multiple channels from now until December 25th. Their stores, bespoke products, digital communications and of course their much discussed TV ads.
But at the heart of everything they do is the commitment to make a proper Christmas Magic moment. Starbucks have created Christmas magic by committing to their ‘Red Cups’ idea. For people up and down the country, both of these brands are now a fundamental part of their Christmas.
Programmatic wizardry, a brilliant approach to Facebook, a solid e-commerce platform, and seamless delivery experience are all essential ingredients of a campaign. But if they don’t have Christmas Magic, they won’t be successful. Wherever and whenever you interact with a customer, Christmas needs to be delivered, not just sold.