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Unwrapping Emotion: Our Favorite Holiday Campaigns & Brand Storytelling Magic

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

The holiday season is a time of joy, connection, and reflection. It's a time when brands strive to create emotional connections with their audiences through compelling storytelling. At SLTC, we understand the power of a well-crafted narrative, especially during this time of year… so we asked our team for their favorite holiday campaigns, and they weighed in!

Our favorite holiday campaigns are the ones that touch our hearts and remind us of the power of storytelling to build lasting connections. Even years later, a familiar jingle or tagline can bring back incredible memories - for example, have you seen Home Alone Again with Google Assistant? Kevin is 38 years old but still seems out of place with the house to himself (again).

A great holiday ad has a way of bringing you back to an exact moment, one that you’ll never forget.

These ads left us teary-eyed, nostalgic, and wrapped in the warmth of the holiday spirit. Take a walk down memory lane with us.

Folgers: Brewing Warm Memories

For many on our team, the Folgers "Home for the Holidays" campaign is a timeless favorite. The ad, with its heartwarming scenes of a son returning home to surprise his family for Christmas, captures the essence of the season. The familiar jingle, "The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup," has become synonymous with the comfort and togetherness that the holidays bring.

“Even though I was so young, I remember thinking - oh, that will be me one day (because I always wanted to venture far away).” -Jenee Naquin, Content Strategist, and former Brooklynite who lived in NYC for 15 years but moved back to her hometown in Louisiana

Best Practice: Create relatable and nostalgic narratives that resonate with your audience's emotions.

Budweiser: Clydesdales and Christmas Magic

Budweiser has a knack for creating emotional commercials; their holiday ads are no exception. The iconic Clydesdales pulling a wagon through the snow and delivering beer to a small town has become a symbol of holiday magic. These ads tap into a sense of nostalgia and tradition, making us feel a connection to the past while celebrating the present.

“Right off the top of my head… the Budweiser Clydesdale commercials always make me cry!” - Lauren Liggett, Project Manager and the ultimate #horsegirl.

Best Practice: Use symbols and traditions that evoke a sense of nostalgia and tie them into your brand narrative.

Microsoft: Celebrating Inclusivity

Microsoft's holiday ads often touch on themes of inclusivity and the power of technology to bring people together. The 2022 ad, for instance, showcased the joy of gaming across generations, illustrating how technology bridges gaps and fosters connection, even when miles apart.

“This is the perfect amount of heartfelt (with the music) and comedy (at the end when she talks to the reindeer). Really good execution from Microsoft!” 

- Nina Duong, Marketing Strategist who always finds a way to make everyone feel seen and heard

Best Practice: Highlight values and themes that resonate with your brand identity and the spirit of the season.

The Art of Brand Storytelling During the Holidays

1. Know Your Audience: Understand what resonates with your target audience during the holidays. Is it family, tradition, or a sense of community? Tailor your narrative accordingly.

2. Embrace Emotion: The holidays are a time of heightened emotions. Whether it's joy, nostalgia, or warmth, tap into these emotions to create a memorable connection.

3. Consistency in Branding: While telling a holiday story, ensure your brand remains at the forefront. Maintain consistency in messaging, colors, and tone to reinforce brand identity.

4. Multichannel Approach: Utilize various channels to share your holiday story – social media, email, video, and more. Consistent storytelling across platforms enhances brand recall.

The magic of the holidays lies in the stories we share. As brands, the ability to craft narratives that resonate on a deep emotional level is a gift to both the audience and the brand itself.

Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones! We look forward to doing great things with you in 2024.


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