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    From festive branding to magical ads, the holidays are always chock-a-blocked with merry moments of value for audiences to enjoy. 

    But seasonal entertainment is only one ornament on the big marketing tree this year. We think it’s a good time to shine a light on what brands can do other than ask Santa for fantastic ROAS from their campaigns. 

    Today, you’ll learn how brands can go the extra ethical mile throughout the holidays and lead you into the new year being your absolute best. 

    1. Create Ads With Emotion 

    It’s tempting for your goal to be “buy our products, so we make money”, especially when other brands are throwing deals around like snowballs.

    But ads focusing heavily on the product-to-consumer aspect of the holidays won’t always resonate. For example, take M&S’ 2018 Must-Haves ad, where they created one giant showreel of all the products in store. Though it did – slightly – increase sales for the brand, its materialistic approach comes off, ironically, very ice cold. 

    When we think of the best festive ads, we remember the ones that emotionally engage, tugging heartstrings and reminding us what the holidays are all about; being thankful. 

    The John Lewis ads, such as their 2022 spot, The Beginner, are always value-focused, utilising ad space to tell resonating stories instead of selling products. It’s no coincidence that people get excited every year for the John Lewis campaign drop and why the brand is well-respected. 

    So, if you’re trying to decide what story to tell in your campaigns this holiday, start by identifying your brand values and weaving them into a story people can connect with. Remember, be authentic with your message; 88% of consumers say authenticity is a major factor when deciding what brands to support. 

    Brand values need to be universally understood and achievable. If you’d like some ideas on how to build brand values into something distinct – check out our blog all about that here.

    2. Or Create No Ads At All? 

    Ads and campaigns are expensive, especially during the holidays. So maybe, a good way to keep costs down whilst also doing your part this festive season is by not making one at all. Hear us out. 

    Companies can contribute and engage with communities without being at the forefront of the conversation. In fact, that’s the best way to go about it. 

    A perfect example of this is Co-op’s decision to “switch off” holiday ads this year and instead focus on supporting those who need help. The Co-op will be hosting a live stream from Your Local Pantry, highlighting community-led food initiatives providing support to people facing food insecurity all year round due to factors such as the cost of living crisis. 

    Understandably, smaller brands potentially can’t afford to cut such a significant campaign from the roster; but that doesn’t mean you can’t contribute to causes. Social media platforms are an excellent place for brands to spotlight smaller businesses or community issues arising through the holidays. 

    3. Launch Community Campaigns 

    Better yet, why not create a campaign centred around customer donations? Highlighting concerns and prompting people to contribute shows how your brand is actively aware, engaged and interacting with people to strive for positivity. 

    That’s what we’re doing right now! Arke’s Raise Your Heart Challengecough donate, please cough – aims to raise money to purchase a defibrillator for public use in Brighton. The catch is we need to get our team’s blood pumping and are pledging to walk, cycle or swim 1000km. We won’t lie, it’s been tiring… but rewarding!

    The takeaway here is that you don’t need a fancy campaign demonstrating your values to engage with audiences. You just need to be engaged. 64% of consumers are likely to buy – or boycott – from brands depending on their social position and how genuine they are demonstrating values. 

    So speak up, start a conversation and get to work on something everyone can contribute to – ‘tis the season for it!

    Looking to better your brand values and shape them into something more authentic? Creating a campaign this holiday but unsure how to get audiences involved or engaged? Contact our award-winning team now; we’d be happy to help!

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