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The Best Holiday Campaigns to Inspire You


Best Holiday Campaigns

The holiday season always brings out the creative industry’s best ideas. Aside from the Superbowl, the Christmas season is the biggest advertising and media planning event of the year.

Across the holiday season, which stretches from Halloween to January (in the US), an estimated $45.6 billion is poured into digital advertising. 

But this year will look a little different. 

Inflation and economic stagnation are driving budget cuts in the billions. Consumers are also feeling the pinch, although spending forecasts are a mixed bag. 

Despite the challenges facing advertisers, you can still have a merry Christmas and start the new year happy. The key is leveraging high-quality marketing data to launch innovative, customer-focused Christmas campaigns.

Keep reading to see some of the best media planning examples launching for Christmas 2023.

Key Takeaways for Media Planning in the 2023 Holiday Season

  • Online advertising is getting fiercely competitive 
  • Be deliberate and decisive with media planning
  • Plan an integrated marketing campaign
  • Personalize wherever possible
  • Use data to make informed decisions

Digital Marketing and Media Planning Tips for Christmas 2023

The holiday season starts at different times around the world. Here in Sweden, we see the most activity in December, while our US friends have been decking the halls since November 1.

Wherever you are, the most effective way to plan a productive holiday marketing campaign remains the same.

Understand your audience, communicate clearly, and embrace agility. 

Like Rudolph with his nose so bright, let high-quality marketing data guide your media planning decisions.

Start Early

The 2023 Holiday Shopping Survey by Accenture reveals that current economic challenges are prompting consumers to maximize their spending in inventive ways. The concept of ‘creative pragmatism’ is gaining traction, with 64% of consumers reducing gift-giving to close family and friends, and 55% opting to purchase materials for crafting homemade gifts. Additionally, there’s a shift away from early shopping habits, as 51% of consumers plan to commence their holiday shopping in November or December.

Proactive media planning gives you a head-start on the competition. It also gives you more time to build brand awareness, hone messaging, and make mid-campaign adjustments before activity peaks in early December.

Consider the Cross-Channel Customer Experience

Foot traffic to retail stores is expected to increase in the 2023 holiday season. The Mastercard SpendingPulse™ forecast found retailers were anticipating in-store sales to rise 3.7% from last year. 

However, eCommerce remains the big opportunity. According to the SpendingPulse forecast, it’s predicted that consumers will shop through various channels, expecting a 6.7% rise in e-commerce and a 2.9% year-over-year growth in in-store sales.

Knowing where your customers are and how they interact with your brand will be crucial to converting more purchases this holiday season. Savvy marketers will craft an integrated marketing campaign that:

  • Builds an engaged audience
  • Reaches buyers at the right time
  • Responds to audience behavior signals
  • Remains consistent across channels
  • Reinforces a personal message

Complex campaigns are tricky without the right tools. Find out how Mediatool enables you to manage integrated marketing campaigns. 

Deliver What Your Customers Want

Although the holiday season is a frenzy of activity, the winners aren’t always household brands with unlimited budgets. Smart, insightful campaigns cut through the noise.

In 2023, value and trust will continue to drive purchase decisions more than almost everything else. 

2023 Deloitte holiday retail survey showed – as consumers anticipate increased prices, they’re adapting their spending strategies to extend their budgets. This includes purchasing fewer gifts (eight compared to nine in 2022), allocating more funds towards gift cards ($300 compared to $217 in 2022), and taking advantage of sales, with 66% (up from 49% in 2022) planning to make purchases during Black Friday and Cyber Monday week.

Customers are looking for ways to stretch their gift-giving budgets. They’ll be searching for the best deals online, monitoring prices, and making decisions earlier. 

For your Christmas media planning, that means:

  • Maintaining consistency in cross-channel campaigns
  • Showing your audience that you understand them
  • Keeping an eye on the competition
  • Delivering authentic value

Customers buy from brands they trust – but a good deal can be very persuasive. If your digital marketing campaign can deliver value and authenticity, you’ll have many happy returns.

Be Decisive, Deliberate, and Agile

The holiday period isn’t a time to indulge in indecisive media planning. As more customers browse online, your competition will be there to meet them. So marketers’ 2023 Holiday campaigns must be innovative, insightful, and decisive to cut through the noise.

Clever creative is one part of the challenge. The more significant component is using data to make informed and efficient marketing decisions

  • Launch your 2023 Christmas campaign ASAP
  • Use data to drive media planning and marketing strategy
  • A/B test creative and channels 
  • Aim for the highest possible ROAS
  • Monitor campaign performance closely
  • Adjust course mid-campaign to prioritize high-performing activity

Marketers only have a short window to make a good impression. You can’t afford to waste time digging through spreadsheets or investigating inconsistent data.

Bring your 2023 Christmas Marketing Campaign Together with Mediatool 

With Mediatool, all your digital marketing channels unite in a user-friendly dashboard. Collaborative media planning tools help to streamline campaign launches, and real-time target tracking enables in-campaign optimization. You’re covered from start to finish.

Data-driven intelligence is the defining factor for the best holiday campaigns. Mediatool puts media planning and performance data at your fingertips, freeing up your time to launch creative campaigns that strike a chord.

Here are a few of our favorites to inspire your 2023 holiday marketing ideas. 

The Best Holiday Ad Campaigns of 2023

The holiday season is a prime time for brands to launch their most creative and engaging marketing campaigns, aiming to capture the hearts of holiday shoppers and boost holiday sales.

In 2023, several campaigns stood out for their innovative approaches and successful engagement with their target audience.

Here’s a look at some of the best holiday marketing campaigns that made a significant impact:

Joy Ride (Amazon):

Amazon Holiday

Amazon’s “Joy Ride” campaign was a festive hit, showcasing the joy and excitement of holiday gift giving. The campaign featured a heartwarming narrative of delivering happiness through Amazon’s services, emphasizing the convenience and wide range of options available for holiday shoppers.

The success of “Joy Ride” lay in its ability to resonate with viewers’ desires to find the perfect gift, enhancing Amazon’s reputation as a go-to destination for the holiday shopping season.

See Amazon’s “Joy Ride” campaign here

Pets Aren’t Just Pets, They’re More (Chewy):

Chewy holiday campaign

Chewy tapped into the deep emotional connection people have with their pets during the holiday season with its “Pets Aren’t Just Pets, They’re More” campaign. Highlighting pets as integral members of the family, Chewy’s holiday marketing strategy offered a range of holiday gifts and treats specially designed for furry friends.

This campaign successfully engaged pet owners, encouraging them to include their pets in the holiday festivities and driving sales for Chewy’s holiday offerings.

See Chewy’s “Pets Aren’t Just Pets, They’re More” campaign here

Twins (Etsy):

Etsy's "Twins" campaign

Etsy’s “Twins” campaign stood out for its focus on unique, personalized gifts that celebrate individuality and connection. By showcasing the story of twins with different interests finding the perfect, thoughtful gifts for each other on Etsy, the campaign highlighted the platform’s vast selection of handmade and custom items.

This approach effectively engaged holiday shoppers looking for meaningful gifts, reinforcing Etsy’s position as a source of one-of-a-kind holiday treasures.

See Etsy’s “Twins” campaign here

Fuzzy Feelings (Apple):

Apple's "Fuzzy Feelings" campaign

Apple’s “Fuzzy Feelings” campaign captured the holiday spirit through a narrative that celebrated creativity, family, and the joy of sharing. Featuring the use of Apple products to create and share special holiday moments, the campaign underscored the brand’s role in facilitating emotional connections during the festive season.

The success of “Fuzzy Feelings” was in its ability to showcase Apple products as not just technology but as tools for fostering holiday cheer and togetherness.

See Apple’s “Fuzzy Feelings” campaign here

A Wish For The Holidays (Disney):

Disney's "A Wish For The Holidays" campaign

Disney’s “A Wish For The Holidays” campaign was a magical addition to the season’s festivities. The campaign invited audiences into heartwarming stories inspired by Disney’s iconic characters and themes of hope, dreams, and the magic of the holiday season.

Through enchanting visuals and storytelling, Disney engaged its audience, reminding them of the wonders of the holiday spirit and the joy of dreaming big.

See Disney’s “A Wish For The Holidays” campaign here

These holiday marketing campaigns from Amazon, Chewy, Etsy, Apple, and Disney were successful because they tapped into the emotions and desires of their target audience, leveraging the festive period to create memorable, engaging experiences.

By focusing on themes like gift giving, family, individuality, creativity, and the magic of the holiday season, these brands were able to attract customers, engage holiday shoppers, and drive sales, all while spreading holiday cheer.

Wrapping Up (pun intended)

Reflecting on the standout holiday ad campaigns of 2023, it’s evident that the holiday season is a golden opportunity for brands to showcase their creativity and connect with audiences. Campaigns like Amazon’s “Joy Ride” and Disney’s “A Wish For The Holidays” underscore what defines a great holiday marketing campaign: creativity, emotional resonance, and audience understanding.

These campaigns successfully incorporated holiday gift guides and narratives that capture the essence of Christmas Eve, demonstrating the power of storytelling in boosting holiday sales and deepening customer relationships. They highlight the importance of aligning with the holiday spirit—through the joy of gifting, the value of family, or the enchantment of dreams—to engage holiday shoppers effectively.

Looking ahead, the key to a memorable holiday ad campaign lies in embracing the festive spirit to craft messages that resonate. These insights offer a blueprint for future campaigns to spark holiday cheer, making every holiday season memorable. Here’s to the continued creativity and impact of great holiday marketing campaigns.

Looking for a better way to plan, track, manage and optimize your 2023 Christmas campaign? Give yourself the gift of Mediatool, the all-in-on media planning solution for growing brands and busy agencies.

Create your single source of truth and start making smarter media investment decisions

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