25 Of The Best Christmas Digital Marketing Campaigns Of 2014

Brands use video, emo­tion, and even drones to win over cus­tomers.

Lisa Lacy By Lisa Lacy. Join the discussion » 1 comment

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

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

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.

Ikea Spain

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.

Kate Spade

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

The under­wear brand released The Rules of Under­wear Giv­ing, which includes web con­tent and a video with about 9,000 views.

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.


Stella Artois

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.

TGI Friday’s

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.

Old Spice

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.”

Ocean Spray

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 UK

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.

Ted Baker

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.

John Lewis

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?

Lisa Lacy

Written by Lisa Lacy

Lisa is a senior features writer for Inked. She also previously covered digital marketing for Incisive Media. Her background includes editorial positions at Dow Jones, the Financial Times, the Huffington Post, AOL, Amazon, Hearst, Martha Stewart Living and the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

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