We look at a ton of marketing around here. Since our inception in 2012, we’ve infused AI generated language into over 45 million marketing messages on email, Facebook, display, mobile and even offline. So, we and our machine have seen it all. But we can still appreciate a good campaign (subjectively) when we see one. In the spirit of giving, we had some of our campaign managers give props to brands whose 2018 holiday marketing caught their eyes.
A Taste of Humor
Brand: Chubbies shorts, men’s apparel
“The subject line is intriguing, and the interplay between the from-line, subject line and photo in the body is hilarious. In the email body, customers are told if they make a wish list they will be entered to win for free, which encourages engagement with the site.”
– Curran Mahowald
My favorite has to be Chubbies! They sell shorts, and for Cyber Monday they had their own event called ‘Thighber Monday.’ Not only that, on their homepage, they included a “Boss” button that you can click whenever your boss gets near, so it looks like you are working instead of shopping, but things progressively escalate into nonsense.
– Nitu Sidhu
Learning: Chubbies has a fun, jokester brand voice, so this playful marketing fits right in. Find something that fits into your narrative to ensure the marketing creative feels natural.
Expect the Unexpected
Brand: Cards Against Humanity, card game
“Cards Against Humanity does a stunt every year. This time they sold all sorts of things for 99% off. On a day when everyone has the ‘best deals ever’ they found a way to stand out from the crowd and bring a smile to everyone’s face while doing so. One year they charged more for their product, yet another year they sold nothing and made 71k, and this year they charged less for everyone else’s products. In the end, as their name so implies, Cards Against Humanity highlights how ridiculous consumerism can be, e.g., you can download their sole product for free year-round or buy it from them all the same.”
– Dustin Staples
Learning: Despite rumors to the contrary, Black Friday remains one of the most profitable days of the years for brands. Giving customers something to smile about is still all the rage. Marketers don’t necessarily need to pull a stunt to do so, however. For tips on how to go bigger on Black Friday in 2019, download this eBook.
Brand: JetBlue, Travel
“Everyone loves a good pun. JetBlue ties the ‘wander’ theme together from the email subject line to the body and takes a less-traditional approach to holiday travel. This easily could have been about going home for the holidays, but why not celebrate those who might be a little sick of ‘last-minute gift’ emails and need more ‘treat yourself to a trip’ in their lives? Bonus points to JetBlue for not being afraid to customize all areas of their email template, even the most info-heavy fields, to fit the theme.”
– Chelsea Langford
Learning: Market outside the box! At a time when everyone is pushing shopping on a deadline, JetBlue thought more about the customer’s needs. Just one word or two can make a world of difference to the people you’re trying to reach.