The holiday season always brings out the creative industry’s best ideas. Aside from the Superbowl, Christmas 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.
- Statista: over 50% of US and Canadian shoppers and 40% of UK shoppers intend to spend less this silly season
- Klarna: Only 24% plan to spend less, while 31% plan to splash out and 36% will spend the same
- Mastercard: US sales are expected to increase 7.1% this holiday season (not adjusted for inflation)
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 2022.
Key Takeaways for Media Planning in the 2022 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 2022
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.
According to the 2022 Annual Holiday Consumer Shopping survey from Roku and Harris Poll, 56% of shoppers – including 70% of millennials – will save up to afford gifts this year. And 25% said they started shopping as early as September.
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 2022 holiday season. The Mastercard SpendingPulse™ annual holiday forecast found retailers were anticipating in-store sales to rise 7.9% from last year.
However, eCommerce remains the big opportunity. According to the SpendingPulse forecast, online retail sales should grow 4.2% in 2022, an increase of almost 70% since 2019.
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.
- Last year, Uber’s rival Getir saved Christmas in their first-ever holiday campaign
- PETA’s 2022 Christmas campaign (their first) tells a clear and heartwarming story
- Discount grocer Aldi plays into World Cup hype with a fan-favorite character
In 2022, value and trust will continue to drive purchase decisions more than almost everything else.
Klarna’s 2022 Holidays Unwrapped survey showed that sticking to a budget and finding a good deal were equal top priorities for shoppers, with 60% of survey respondents indicating one or both. Only one in five respondents (20%) said their focus was getting the gift they wanted at any price.
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’ 2022 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 2022 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 2022 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 2022 holiday campaigns.
The Best Holiday Campaigns of 2022 (so far)
Etsy (US and worldwide)
Etsy launched two Christmas creatives this year, “To The Travelers” and “To The New Parents”.
The online craft marketplace is bucking the trend of deals and discounts. Instead, Etsy’s campaign by 72andSunny emphasizes how special a thoughtful gift can be. And they’ve clearly done their research by targeting two distinctly different audience segments.
Lego (Denmark and worldwide)
Lego’s biggest-ever holiday campaign taps an A-list cast, including Katy Perry and Ironman. But the kids are the real stars of this energetic, imaginative campaign created by Lego’s in-house agency.
The 90-year-old Danish toy maker handed the reins to kids, letting them build what the holidays mean to them. There’s no snow, festive feasts, or sleigh rides. But there is an inflatable giraffe riding a rocket-powered castle.
Klarna (Sweden and worldwide)
Rather than an ad, Swedish fintech favorites Klarna decided to give their customers the gift of insight.
The 2022 Holidays Unwrapped survey breaks down shopping and payment trends to help retailers prepare for the holidays. The interactive infographic has a load of interesting first-party research on budgets, behaviors and buying patterns.
Klarna also curated an advent calendar of great deals for budget-conscious customers.
John Lewis (UK)
No list of holiday campaigns is complete without John Lewis & Partners. UK audiences eagerly await the department store’s holiday campaign each year.
This year is no exception. John Lewis’ 2022 Christmas spot by Adam & Eve/DDB is funny, heartwarming, simple and meaningful.
Spanish National Lottery (Loterías y Apuestas del Estado, Spain)
Like John Lewis, Spanish audiences await the national lottery organization’s ad campaign every Christmas. This year, Loterías y Apuestas del Estado produced three emotive short films with moral punchlines and moody color grading.
The spots have a more explicit CTA than John Lewis, but like Etsy, are targeted to distinct audiences.
See the Spanish National Lottery 202 Christmas campaign here. Looking for a better way to plan, track, manage and optimize your 2022 Christmas campaign? Give yourself the gift of Mediatool, the all-in-on media planning solution for growing brands and busy agencies.