For brands and advertising agencies, Christmas is more than just a festival- it’s an unparalleled opportunity. An opportunity to drive sales and brand awareness through ads that strike a chord with the celebrating public. In fact, Christmas is such an important date in the advertising calendar that brands who miss out on the opportunity can suffer losing business to competing brands who don’t. If you had different plans for your festive advertising budget, you need to think again. Follow this simple guide to create video that will win over your clients this Christmas.
From young start-ups to multinational conglomerates, every brand has its own strategies, budgets and plans for Christmas advertising. But almost everyone is including videos in their campaigns as they are a highly efficient way of driving home the message through a wide range of emotions and tones. However, not all campaigns are equally effective – while some leave the audience mesmerized and hooked, others leave them confused and disinterested.
But worry not, this guide will help you understand the art of Christmas advertising, and give you tips on how to master it.
Emotions Work Wonders
Brands make use of emotions in their advertising through the year, but Christmas time sees a sharp rise in these kinds of ads. And it’s not without reason. Professional surveys have shown that emotional ads are strong brand promoters. For example, the recent Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience Study analysed how video ads affected the EEG readings of audience members. The study concluded that emotions ads (ads with above average EEG points) deliver around a 23% uplift in sales volume – a significant number for any brand.
Another report by Field, IPA and Gunn, named “Selling Creativity Short” concluded that emotional campaigns were at least 10 times more effective than non-emotional campaigns. A real life example is that of English brand John Lewis. The company recorded a 4.1% increase in its revenue to £1.8 billion in the last six weeks of the year ending on January 2, compared to the same period one year ago. What did they do differently? You guessed it – their new ads were driven by strong emotional content that persuaded consumers to opt for them.
Other popular Christmas time emotional campaigns include the “Christmas Miracle” campaign by Canadian airline WestJet, and “Heimokommen” – a dark, emotional campaign by German supermarket brand Edeka.
Identify the Right Emotions
Emotions can sell, but not all emotions can sell equally. It is important to first identify which emotion you want your brand campaign to evoke. Is it laughter, sadness, nostalgia, happiness or something else?
Confused? This will help you decide better – A study of previous Christmas ads has shown that the emotions that resonate most strongly with audiences during Christmas time are warmth, nostalgia, happiness and sadness. Other emotions including amazement, exhilaration, inspiration and pride that were used by ads that were included in the survey performed either below average or very low.
However, don’t pick up one of those four emotions in haste. Ask yourself what kind of emotion will help people connect with your brand? For instance, it makes sense for airline and travel companies to make nostalgic ads during the Holidays since this is the time when most people are traveling home to meet their family. But on the other hand, it would be tough to sell a high tech gaming console via nostalgic ads.
Identify the Right Target Market
Determine who your audience is before deciding which emotion to pick. It becomes much easier to set a tone for video campaigns if you have a clear idea of who you are talking to. Is your audience young, middle-aged, old or a mixture of two or more of these groups? Are you trying to reach out to men, women or both? Classify your audience group using basic differentiators like these and then think which emotion will resonate with them best.
The latest Christmas campaign by Irn Bru may have created controversy for its quirky playfulness but the brand knew exactly what it was doing. The video campaign was directed at influencing youngsters to try their drink, and they were successful in achieving this. As long as your ads resonate with your target audience, it does not matter how the ad is received by other people as they are highly unlikely in influencing the sales of your product or service.
Strategize the Campaign Release Date
Statistics show that almost half of all videos shared weekly are shared across just 3 days, between Wednesdays and Fridays. Fridays experience the most number of shares, and the least numbers are recorded during the weekend.
If you are planning to release your campaign through YouTube, then keep in mind that the highest three day cumulative shares happen post a Wednesday launch. A video ad released exclusively on YouTube will experience the highest number of shares in the first three days after its release, and Wednesday releases have been found to garner the most number of shares in these three crucial days.
However, things change slightly for video ads that are released via both YouTube and Facebook, or only Facebook. In these cases, the maximum number of shares happen in the first two days itself. Analysis of previous ads shows that the highest 2 days cumulative shares are enjoyed by ads released on Thursdays.
So simply put, if you are planning to release your ad via YouTube only, do so on a Wednesday. However if Facebook advertising is also included in the plan, then Thursday is the best day to launch your video.
To reiterate, remember that emotions help drive your sales provided that you first identify the right tone for your brand. It is important to identify your target audience in order to pick the right emotional response. Lastly, remember to launch your ad on either a Wednesday or Thursday, depending on the medium of release.
One last tip I’d like to share is that video advertisers can also extend their campaigns to mobile apps through some great video monetization platforms. This is an exciting new medium of video advertising, and the field is wide open for creative, emotional and impactful mobile advertising.