This holiday season, plenty of brands have rolled out special content – many of them videos. This is especially true of airlines this year, which can perhaps be attributed to WestJet’s viral video last year. Another big theme for 2014 is tugging at viewers’ heartstrings and/or making them feel good. And, interestingly enough, 2014 even included a mobile mistletoe drone program from one brand. Here’s Momentology’s roundup of the 25 most noteworthy holiday efforts of 2014.
The airline, which struck gold with its real-time giving video last year, played on a similar theme this year in another video, which it says brought “a snowy Canadian Christmas to a community in the Dominican Republic.”
The 2013 video has over 37 million views to date. The 2014 version has around 2.8 million so far.
Air Canada’s #ACGiftofHome gave “Canadians living abroad one of the best gifts imaginable” and, the video says, “Their reactions were pure magic.”
According to the brand, Canadians living in London frequent a bar called the Maple Leaf to “gather for a taste of home.” In the video, two Air Canada pilots enter the pub and give roundtrip tickets to everyone to go back to Canada for the holiday season.
The campaign invites consumers to follow their stories with #ACgiftofhome.
As of December 17, the video has 3.2 million views.
In Santa Flies Coach, Santa “flies around the world earning Expedia+ points to donate to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in their fight against cancer.”
In turn, the campaign asks viewers to donate their own Expedia+ points or money to St. Jude.
Since it was posted December 2, the video has racked up about 77,000 views.
Per St. Jude, Expedia began its partnership with St. Jude in September 2010 when it launched its inaugural St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign.
British Airways also created a video, Thank You, that it says includes images submitted by consumers from their travels.
The video has a modest 5,000 views, although the brand says it will also play on the airline’s inflight entertainment system.
In addition, the brand says it is asking consumers to recommend destinations for 2015 on Instagram using #FLYBA2015 and tagging @British_Airways.
The shipping company launched Your Wishes Delivered, a campaign that, as the name perhaps implies, asks consumers to share their wishes with the hashtag #WishesDelivered. In exchange, the brand says it will donate $1 to one of its charity partners, which include Boys and Girls Clubs of America, the Salvation Army, and Toys for Tots.
The #WishesDelivered campaign has resulted in a number of videos with the theme “every delivery starts with a wish,” including one with a 4‑year-old boy who wants to grow up to be a UPS driver that has netted 2.5 million views so far.
The retailer is asking customers to “Jingle More Bells” in a video stunt that says it “wanted to find out if it’s better to give or receive” and has 1.7 million views to date.
The campaign also includes the hashtag #JustGotJingled, which asks “customers to share the moments when they’ve been able to “Jingle More Bells” this holiday season” and “is intended to inspire a movement that encourages people to “jingle” it forward by spreading holiday cheer, capturing it on video or photo and then posting it to their favorite social media channel.”
It is also includes the JustGotJingled.com microsite.
The consumer electronics brand was another that went the emotional route with its The Song video, which debuted December 14 and had more than 2 million views just three days later.
The furniture brand is another that went for the heartstrings in its The Other Letter spot in which children wrote letters to their parents to tell them what they wanted for Christmas. The video has about 3.3 million views.
The fashion brand enlisted actress Anna Kendrick for its The Waiting Game video, which has about 150,000 views and encourages viewers to use the hashtag #MissAdventure. And, per Mediabistro, at least, there is also an interactive version of the video that allows users to “click on the items throughout to view behind-the-scenes footage and shop all of the Kate Spade looks featured.”
Fruit of the Loom
“Underwear is a great gift, but giving it to the wrong person can make things weird,” the video says. “Have a less awkward holiday by knowing who you should and shouldn’t gift underwear to.”
The website includes a quiz to help determine who in consumers’ lives should receive underwear.
The retailer has launched Bullseye Playground, or what the brand calls “a first-of-its-kind holiday mobile game experience that features Target’s mascot bull terrier, Bullseye,” which asks consumers to find codes around stores to unlock game extras.
According to a blog post, the effort is a result of a partnership between Target and Google’s Art, Copy & Code team.
“And at a handful of stores, guests can experience an immersive, 3‑D adventure with Bullseye’s Playground as they walk the aisles with Google’s prototype Project Tango Development Tablets,” the post says.
The beer brand created #SparkMyParty, or what it calls a holiday delivery service that brings holiday “plus-ups” to consumers’ doorsteps and gives “their parties an epic boost.”
To participate, New York-based consumers can tweet @Heineken_US using #SparkMyParty. In turn, they are entered for a chance to receive a special delivery of “real-time party plus-ups.”
According to a press release, in addition to music, treats and decor, four parties will receive an “added spark,” including “a DJ live at their party, a roomful of balloons, a NYC event photographer to capture the evening’s festivities and Uber gift cards to get all of their guests home safely.”
Residents in other cities had the opportunity to win “an assortment of holiday sparks ranging from a Thanksgiving sous chef and New Year’s Day brunch to Uber and Perk gift cards,” the release said.
The beer brand is telling a series of stories in its #GiveBeautifully campaign in part as a nod to its origins as a holiday gift to the people of Leuven, Belgium. The videos feature props like a piano, film camera, holiday lights and snow, which the brand says “are, in fact, real-life gifts.”
Stella says it will tell the tales of “the emotional moment the gifts meet their lucky recipients” through a series of short films like this one with the hashtag #givebeautifully.
“This season, Stella Artois chose to lift up and celebrate real-world examples of thoughtful, timeless gift-giving,” the release says.
The electronics giant worked with actors Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell in a spot that shows the couple getting ready for the holidays as they “do it big for the holiday season.”
The deodorizing toilet spray brand has a somewhat interactive holiday video, Even Santa Poops, which has nearly 11 million views.
The auto brand has extended its Happy Honda Days campaign, which includes nostalgic childhood toys, with a few holiday-themed spots, including one with Skeletor and He-Man singing “Jingle Bros,” which has about 285,000 views; another with Jem and GI Joe singing “Fa La La La Love,” which has about 300,000 views; and a third with Gumby and Pokey singing, “Whatever Comes to Mind,” which has 300,000 views.
The restaurant chain launched Fridays Mobile Mistletoe in select restaurant locations to “entice guests to make their social time more spirited.”
According to a press release, the drones will “hover over couples and when they kiss under the floating mistletoe, they are awarded special gift cards to continue their holiday merriment.”
“No kiss, no gift card, so guests better prepare to pucker up,” the release adds.
Calling itself the first singles bar, Fridays says it “knows a thing or two about what makes a successful couple, so they were surprised to find how few adults had actually kissed under the mistletoe.”
However, according to reports, the mistletoe drone left a Brooklyn woman “bloody and missing a piece of her nose.”
The disinfectant brand partnered with actress Ana Gasteyer to create Spread Cheer, Not Germs, “an over-the-top video teaching families how they can help keep illness at bay and focus on what’s important – quality family time and celebration – rather than recovering from cold and flu,” a release says.
Lysol says it will also engage families buying gifts for loved ones with cheerful Lysol handwashing stations. Interactive sinks and mirrors at malls will “engage travelers with jokes, songs and trivia, encouraging them to wash their hands and help prevent the transmission of illness-causing germs,” the brand says.
The male grooming products brand launched its phil-Man-thropy initiative, which it says pays homage to its Dadsong holiday spot, which has nearly 4 million views.
The effort includes a nationwide used toy drive that “rewards acts of kindness with the gift of manhood,” or Old Spice Re-fresh Body Spray. It benefits Second Chance Toys, a non-profit that says it is “dedicated to keeping plastic toys out of landfills by donating them to children in need throughout local communities in the U.S.”
The cranberry brand is asking consumers to help it choose its holiday TV greeting by sharing their favorite version of the three available on the Ocean Spray Holiday Hub. In exchange for each share, Ocean Spray says it will donate a can of cranberry sauce to a U.S. food bank up to 100,000 cans.
The winning holiday greeting will air during “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which will air on NBC on Christmas Eve.
McDonald’s in the U.K. has launched Knitmas Greetings, which invites users to create a virtual stocking and “spread some winter warmth.”
Users can select a top and lower trim for their stockings, as well as a pattern and greeting and then share them on Facebook and Twitter.
In Ted Baker’s #TedsElfie campaign, the brand says Santa’s elves have gone AWOL after the holiday party and so he’s asking Ted Baker fans to “help find them in his virtual winter wonderland” by following @TedsElfie on Instagram via a mobile device or tablet, as explained in this video.
The brand also asks consumers to follow it on Twitter and Instagram, where it says it will drop hints about where to look and it encourages consumers to look out for #TedsElfie “to be kept up to date.”
As of December 16, @TedsEflie had 3,500 followers on Instagram.
The quick service chain released a video, The Boy Who Learnt To Share, which says it is the “touching tale of 6‑year-old Charlie who learns the joy of sharing at Christmas over a KFC [bucket of chicken].” It has about 31,000 views.
The brand is also pushing #KFCSharesies, which asks consumers to complete challenges by tweeting photos and videos to @KFC_UKI with the hashtag #KFCSharesies for a chance to win prizes.
Save the Children
The charity spoofed Southern Comfort’s Whatever’s Comfortable campaign with actor Harry Enfield in order to encourage participation in Christmas Jumper Day. The video generated about 130,000 views.
In another campaign featuring holiday sweaters, the UK-based grocery store chain’s Dads in Christmas Jumpers has about 1.6 million views to date.
Calling it an “amateur dad dance crew,” the video invites viewers to download the full track of the remix of the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy on SoundCloud.
The spot follows Sainsbury’s official Christmas spot, which it says was inspired by real events from 100 years ago, and has 15 million views.
And, finally, the UK department store’s #MontythePenguin spot has also tugged viewers heartstrings en route to nearly 21 million views to date.
What was your favorite branded holiday effort this season?