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Looking Back at the Best Holiday Digital Marketing Campaigns of 2017

Tinsel hanging in shop windows and Mariah Carey playing in every store means only one thing: It’s December! With Christmas and the peak shopping season just a few short weeks away, many business-owners are putting the final touches on their holiday marketing campaigns, ready and eager to snap up some of the $25 billion Australians are projected to spend on Christmas this year.

If you haven’t started creating your campaign, don’t worry – there’s still time. At Impressive, we want every business owner to have a very money-making Christmas and a profitable New Year, so we’ve pulled together a few examples of campaigns from 2017 that can help you get out of a creative slump and beat marketer’s block. Read on and learn how you can make Christmas 2018 the merriest time of year for you and your customers.

Accessorize – helping you find that perfect gift

Everyone has one, many have two, and some unlucky souls have even more. There’s always at least a single person in your family or friendship group who is just impossible to get a gift for. Whether they’re the person who has everything or they’re the fussy type who wants only the best – or at least better than the people around them can afford – it’s the Murphy’s Law of Christmas that there’s always one person you agonise over during the holidays.

With the Christmas Nitpicker such a universal problem, it’s surprising more brands don’t try to lend a hand. Fortunately, Accessorize decided to tackle the challenge. In November of last year, the much-loved UK High street retailer sent out a series of gift guides via email, helping their subscribers be a bit more prepared for the holidays.

Accessorize Best Holiday Digital Marketing Campaign EDM Image

Santa’s little helper

Fashion’s a funny thing – needed by all, followed endlessly by many, but always hard to give as a gift. Accessorize made it a little bit simpler, getting customers thinking about what their friends and family would want, need and love in Christmas more than a month early. Each email contained a mixture of products chosen for their simplicity and practicality – think jeweller boxes, leather gloves and kids’ bags. The range of products offered were often one-size fits all or didn’t come with any sizing, meaning customers spent less time stressing about buying the wrong sized dress or pants that needed to be taken up at the recipient’s expense.

What’s more, gifts were cheap. Accessorize understood that one of the key components of a successful eCommerce store was a strong grasp of price psychology. Featured items started below 15 AUD and tended to stay under 50 AUD. This meant that customers agonised less over individual purchases and were more likely to stock up for a few friends in a single transaction, potentially picking up a few higher priced items that would just be perfect and making up for any loss leaders.

Christmas Stress Digital Holiday Campaign Image

What this means for you

Gift guides like the ones in Accessorise’s EDM campaign are always a hit because they recognise one of the fundamental but often unspoken truths of the holidays – Christmas is hard. Between organising catch-ups with family and friends, preparing a meal and – yes – ticking off people on your gift list, there’s a lot to do between December 1st and the big day.

When they are as well-timed as the Accessorize email blast was, these campaigns can be a breath of fresh air at a time when people are just beginning to realise how much they have to do before the 25th. That sense of relief can have a real dollar value attached to it. We’ve discussed the importance of understanding your customers’ requirements before, but it’s worth restating that being there for your customers with exactly what they’re looking for before they even realise they need you is so powerful.

More than just creating goodwill, a gift guide is also a chance to move some underperforming or niche products that might otherwise be overlooked in the Christmas rush. Think about stirring some uncommon choices through the best-sellers and you’ll often be surprised what gets snapped up as a gift.

Bulgari – the spirit of the season

As many luxury brands fail to adapt to a digital world, Bulgari stands apart with one of 2017’s most beautiful and memorable campaigns. On paper, they don’t seem like the kind of business that would be succeeding in the digital age – a jewellery business founded in Rome by a family of silversmiths in the late 19th century.

Typically, these kinds of businesses survive through low-volume, extremely high-value sales, relying on repeat business from the ultra-rich alongside tentpole events like fashion shows to keep them in operation. Many of these businesses are such household names that they often don’t need to market, instead leveraging sometimes literal centuries of good press to keep their pockets full.

Wish upon a star

A 134-year-old international luxury brand, Bulgari has created many masterpieces of jewellery-making that are more artwork than consumer good. Their prestige is such that Bulgari is a brand that doesn’t need to advertise in the same way as a business founded this century does. Despite this, Bulgari took the bold step of trying to meet a new generation of potential buyers where they felt comfortable – online. Digital marketing is foreign territory for many businesses, but especially for a company founded before both World Wars. In November of 2017, they launched their Wish Upon a Star campaign. Part avant-garde animated film and part social media charity drive, the campaign set to commemorate everything that was great about Christmas – the little luxuries exchanged between loved ones, the splendour of the lights and decorations, and the warm feeling of holiday charity.

A 90-second animated film touring a house with rooms modelled on famous Bulgari creations was supported by a social media campaign called #SeeMyWish. #SeeMyWish invited social media users to share the animated film and post a selfie of themselves making a wish with their eyes closed. For every hashtagged selfie and share of the animated film, Bulgari would donate $1 to longtime charity partner Save the Children. In a marketplace where many Christmas campaigns can feel a bit inauthentic and saccharine, Wish Upon a Star managed to thread the needle, creating something that both evoked the roots of the brand while moving it forward into the 21st century, while also capturing the feeling of Christmas in an unconventional way. By centring the giving aspect of Christmas, Bulgari was able to attract significant free press, receiving write-ups in several luxury goods and marketing publications.

See My Wish Digital Marketing Campaign

How you can make this work for you

Most smaller businesses won’t have the capital required to commission a high-quality animated film as Bulgari has, but the campaign around the film has several lessons for anyone looking to make their Christmas campaign more engaging. The campaign’s real stroke of genius was in harnessing people’s generosity and desire to do good for the purposes of promoting the Bulgari brand. Directly tying the success of the corporate charity campaign to the spread of the hashtag created an obligation in social media users to participate, helping the campaign reach thousands of people.

Finding a way that you can use your own customers’ good will around the holiday season could be a great way to help your business reach more people. Pledging money for each instance of relevant social media engagement as Bulgari did could quickly become expensive for smaller businesses, but there are alternatives. If your business is capable of doing it, consider setting aside a lump sum to donate once a campaign reaches a certain number of shares. This helps you control costs while still creating the same target for your social media followers to chase.


It’s not enough to have a new product in time for the holidays. If you want to outperform your competition this Christmas, you need to be offering something more. Get rid of the headache of not knowing what to get a friend, or help them feel like they’re making a difference by participating in charity or organised giving. Businesses that can solve problems, reduce stress and make people feel good about themselves are always going to do better than competitors who can only stick their hand out.

If you’re looking for help crafting your perfect holiday digital marketing campaign, speak to the specialists at Impressive today.


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