Winter brings a chill in the air but also many reasons to celebrate and things to commemorate. Some of these incite more spending from advertisers because of their importance. Others are a little more niche but still relevant for many businesses. Check out these fun winter holiday ad campaign ideas to discuss with your clients.

Hanukkah (December 7-15)

The Festival of Lights brings families together for eight nights to celebrate with food, gifts, games and, of course, the lighting of the menorah. The massive amount of effort that goes into Christmas advertising and marketing can overshadow Hanukkah. Despite this, advertisers should still be looking at opportunities to connect with people during the holiday. Doing so not only helps advertisers foster a relationship with those who celebrate, but it also helps connect advertisers to consumers who appreciate and value inclusivity. For example, 77% of companies believe that diverse marketing communications drive brand impact.

Hanukkah benefits retailers since gift giving is part of the tradition, and 61% of U.S. consumers begin shopping for the holidays in November. Consider adding some Hanukkah-themed ads around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Social media and digital ad campaigns are effective for these kinds of shopping events.

Christmas (December 25)

Christmas is the most prominent winter holiday. Its celebration is both secular and sacred. You’ll likely find that many advertisers “bundle” all the December holidays into one. Developing the right wintry mix for their advertising goals will depend on the advertiser.

Christmas ad themes can vary from holiday shopping (which we covered in November national day campaign ideas) to religious acknowledgment to simply ads of celebration.

Companies have the chance to be fun in ad campaigns or more earnest. What may catch your advertisers’ eyes is something different. Consider where their products or services most impact the Christmas buyer’s journey.

For example, specialty retailers likely promote gift giving and could run ads from Black Friday through Christmas Eve. Those promotions will probably change the closer it gets to the big day. Keep that in mind when mapping out a plan on how messaging will change. Items may start at 20% off and increase to 50% off by Christmas Eve. After Christmas, the discounts may get even deeper. 

Another example is a local catering company that may want to promote Christmas dinner deals for last-minute plans. These ads are more urgent and would likely run within the two weeks before the holiday. 

Some general ideas include:

  • Countdown to Christmas: Retailers may discount specific items on specific days, while restaurants could have a seasonal deal in the weeks leading up to the holiday.
  • Dear Santa: In this campaign, advertisers can feature “letters to Santa” in a cheeky or endearing way to draw attention to certain products or services.
  • Treat Yourself: Not every consumer has a long shopping list; some may be looking to gift themselves. Plus, the Christmas season can be stressful for many. Spas and other self-care services could use this campaign idea.
  • Christmas Giveaway: Your customers may also want to hold Christmas giveaways that involve registering in-store or online, increasing traffic in both areas.
  • Christmas Donations: Another option is philanthropic; local advertisers may designate a charity to receive a portion of profits or other donations. The key is to make sure this isn’t boastful but simply an act of goodwill.

So, what types of ad tactics work well here? A multimedia campaign is your best bet to cover reach and targeting. A mix of radio, TV, social media and digital advertising is a great package. You can also recommend SMS marketing and email campaigns to cover existing customers. 

Kwanzaa (December 26 – January 1)

Kwanzaa is a celebration of African-American culture. It lasts seven days and emphasizes seven principles. While rooted in African culture, people from all backgrounds are welcome to join the festivities. For advertisers that want to mark this, it can be a way to educate the public about African heritage. Some local businesses may have events or partner with nonprofits to raise awareness and give back to their communities. 

New Year’s Eve and Day (December 31 – January 1)

New year, new you — that’s the promise of every December 31. New Year’s is a time to look back and look forward. Many Americans still make New Year’s resolutions. In 2022, the most common resolutions were exercising, eatinghealthier, losing weight, saving more money, and spending more time with family and friends.

Image: Statista

Reaching consumers with these aspirations should be a priority for gyms and personal trainers, healthy restaurants, health and beauty brands, meal planning services, financial products, and hospitality and travel.

The key is to define messaging that will resonate with those who want to make a change. You don’t want your advertisers to deploy tired and cliché themes here. You can recommend embracing that people rarely follow through with resolutions; so, why should 2024 be different? Brainstorm with your advertisers on authentic language and promotions, as they will likely get the most traction.

You can propose an ad mix of radio, TV, social media, search engine marketing (SEM), email, and digital ads targeted toward those with specific demographics or attributes. An integrated campaign that local consumers may experience in multiple ways reinforces messaging.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 15)

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a time to honor and remember his work. Many groups and associations hold special events in his honor to further the conversation about racial equality in America. Commemorating this day is an excellent way for your advertisers to express their support. 

Advertisers could choose to run ads on the day that are truly just awareness. Some may be working with organizations hosting events they want to promote. Others may donate a portion of revenue for the day to nonprofits that work on social issues.

Propose social media marketing, digital ads and radio for these campaigns. 

Chinese New Year (February 10)

Chinese New Year is the official start of the new year for the traditional Chinese calendar. Chinese New Year 2024 will be the Year of the Dragon. Such observances often include historical Chinese festivities filled with dance, food and gatherings.

You’ll want to connect with local Chinese businesses and cultural groups to discuss their celebration plans and how you can help promote and support them. These events can bring in lots of revenue for your customers, and you can help them.

Because of the visual nature of Chinese New Year, video ads are a great channel to show scenes from past events to attract new attendees. Social media will also be a good area to advertise. Additionally, email campaigns will work to reengage past customers, and radio can increase reach for the entire metro area.

Mardi Gras (February 13)

Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is best known for the outlandish parades in New Orleans, but you don’t have to be there to celebrate. The focus for this holiday is jubilation and celebration. It’s a day for a fantastic party. 

Advertisers that will want to participate are bars, clubs and restaurants. They may be throwing a party with all the visuals we’ve come to expect on Mardi Gras and adding special drinks and food to their menu.

In positioning these ads, the demographic they want to attract likely skews young, especially in college towns. So, you’ll need to go where they are: social media and OTT. Target ads based on demographics, when possible, to get the best response for your advertisers.

Valentine’s Day (February 14)

In 2023, U.S. consumers spent $25.9 billion on Valentine’s Day, a $2 billion increase from 2022. Those dollars represent gifts to significant others, family members, friends, pets, co-workers, teachers and others meaningful in their lives. So, Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples. It can be a celebration of love — even self-love!

Plenty of traditional advertisers will advertise for the holiday — retailers (especially jewelers), florists, restaurants and spas. They can benefit from a campaign to promote specials up to three weeks before the day. However, some gift givers wait until the last minute, so pushing ads up until the day makes sense.

Consider working with advertisers for bundles, such as spa treatments plus dinner, or different mix-and-match gift cards or baskets. Advertisers can co-brand to make their budget go further. Those goodie baskets can be a great way for people to send gifts to those they can’t see in person, too.

There are also non-traditional advertisers like specialty pet retailers, as that’s a growing area of Valentine’s Day spending.

Other opportunities fall into the self-love category. Why shouldn’t people treat themselves on Valentine’s Day? Traditional advertisers could look at running a portion of ads on this theme. “Single” activities could also resonate well, such as “Galantine’s” promotions that bring friends together.

Another option is for brands to show love to a charity for the day with a donation of profits. That could drive traffic to their stores for a good cause.

These ads will align with all media options, including radio, TV, video, display ads, social media, email and SMS.

Presidents Day (February 19)

Presidents Day is a national holiday, with many businesses closed, including government. Some advertisers, especially car dealerships and furniture stores, use it as time for a big sale or promotion. As a result, you’ll likely see a lot of repeat ad buys for this holiday. If they’ve only advertised in specific channels before, advise them to combine broadcast and digital for a greater impact.

St. Patrick’s Day (March 17)

St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday that meshes cultural ideas with revelry. Irish bars love to host bar crawls and bring in authentic performers. Promoting these to younger demographics makes sense, just like with Mardi Gras. 

However, St. Patrick’s Day can also be family friendly, so don’t forget about restaurants that tend to cater to this. Another option would be Irish heritage associations that may be hosting events.

Both event types could drive traffic from radio, TV and digital ads.

Retailers can also try their “luck” on the 17th by offering 17% off certain items. Those promotions would work well via email and SMS to existing customers, as well as on social media.

Winter Holiday Campaign Ideas: A Season for All Types of Celebrations

There are so many winter holiday campaign ideas coming up this season. Talk to your advertisers early about these opportunities so they can earn some of the spend from consumers.