We’re all familiar with brands ramping up their marketing in the run up to Christmas - mostly with a wintery, festive theme. These campaigns have varying degrees of success; from the direct (the now traditional heartfelt John Lewis contribution) to the subtly-timed (diet ads starting approximately 30 minutes after the first present has been opened) to the downright bizarre (does bleach really require a festive makeover?!)
Whatever the reason, there is no denying that seasonal campaigns can be a powerful addition to your marketing mix, and the opportunities stretch way beyond Christmas. With Easter fast approaching here are our top five tips for making the most of your seasonal marketing:
Is it relevant?
Before embarking on any kind of seasonal marketing you need to ensure the campaign will ultimately be relevant to your brand and have a strong message that resonates with your audience. For instance last year’s quirky campaign by Wickes encouraging people to put off their DIY projects and enjoy the bank holiday.
Whilst seemingly going against the grain it actually hits every mark in terms of brand positioning, relevance and effectiveness. Whilst people can delay DIY any weekend, captialising on the bank holiday gives the campaign added leverage and helps them stand out against the crowd during a noisy period.
Is there enough time?
The best seasonal campaigns are planned long before the day itself - for example, most Easter campaigns will have been planned and locked in by the time January is done, and the majority of Christmas ads are filmed in October ready to hit the screens from late November onwards. Allowing time for the best ideas, concept development and preparing activity across all relevant channels, including screens, digital ads, events, PR and social media - generally the longer the prep time the better the seasonal campaign.
Does it have longevity?
One of the best ways to get traction with a seasonal marketing campaign is to turn it into an annual event. This can be cost-effective, with some of the key campaign resources from the previous year merged into the new campaign. It also helps to associate your brand with the date in the eyes of your key audiences, helping cement your brand reputation. Does anyone think of St. Patrick’s Day without associating it with Guinness’s now traditional giveaway hats?
Is it creative?
One of the biggest dangers of seasonal campaigns is that they can fast become cliché, relying on the same tried and tested staples; from pink hearts on Mother’s Day to pumpkins at Halloween. Some of the most effective campaigns work to subvert the expected and still deliver a hit; check out this fantastic Halloween campaign by Svedka Vodka as a great example of bringing traditional spookiness bang up to date.
Do you have a purpose?
Whether it’s looking to increase sales of a particular product, draw attention to a cause, or encourage attendance at an event - as with all marketing - seasonal campaigns will only be effective if they have a clear, defined and relevant purpose. If the only answer to the question ‘why are we doing this?’ is ‘because it’s Easter/Christmas/Father’s Day’ the chances are your achievements will be minimal. Ensure that your seasonal activity either has a defined target or plays into a wider marketing strategy for maximum ROI.
We’d love to hear what your favourite seasonal marketing campaigns are if you want to comment below or chat with us on social media.
If your business needs support with generating seasonal campaigns – or marketing activity at any time of the year, please get in touch with the r//evolution team.