The War In Christmas Marketing

The War in Christmas Marketing - Social Media - Branding
The War in Christmas Marketing - Social Media - Branding
The War in Christmas Marketing. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL. 2015

 

It goes without saying that commercialism of the holiday season is at an all time high. One needs no further proof of this than the REI Black Friday announcement, the TJ Maxx commercial on being closed on Thanksgiving or the Starbucks holiday cup discussion. From Twitter to CNN, everyone seems to have their own opinion on how businesses should handle the holidays and advertise to them.

The topic of the “War on Christmas” seems to be a hot button or easy media content to fuel discussion among the masses during these last few weeks of the year. However, it isn’t the War on Christmas brands and consumers should pay attention to, but it is the War in Christmas Marketing. The war is in what brand will be the most memorable and what emotions will they evoke. Who will rise to the top with the most sales? For this time of year, it is all out war for the mighty dollar. For the companies who have not focused on creativity, relevance and agility, they can expect to lose once again this holiday season.

I must say the way Dunkin’ Donuts joined the conversation on seasonal holiday cups was a boss move. It was the coup de grace to the other coffee industry giants. Whether it is decorations or advertisements, this is the season for marketing departments everywhere to pull out all of the stops. As we see, they are doing just that.

The great thing about marketing in today’s world is we now have the ability to be nimble with our efforts. The chance to take creativity and join it with relevant discussions from an agile stance. Technology through the internet and mobile phones allows brands to successfully reach consumers in minutes instead of days. Social media has given brands the ability to publish content whenever they see fit. Waiting for the annual catalog to drop or a host of commercials to run is no longer the primary thing for businesses. A simple text message on sales and people are immediately taken online to shop. And in war, being quick to strike helps to gain small or large victories. These catalogs and commercials help and of course have not gone anywhere, but when you have Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Android systems, you can obtain feedback sooner and tweak messaging at a faster rate now (i.e. newsjack).

Brands like Dunkin’ Donuts have proven they are not afraid to get into the conversation. The War on Christmas was not going to be a missed opportunity for them to experience an easy win in the War in Christmas Marketing. (Truly Starbucks should have predicted this one based on the #AllDayBreakfast promotion McDonald’s ran in October which I mentioned in the “How to Hijack a Hashtag Like a Boss” post.) Besides, why not take advantage of a topic occurring in your industry about a competitor? It is very difficult to cut through all of the holiday noise and stand out. One must grab the media’s attention while they can, right? A cup of Joy fit into the conversation perfectly and a victory in the war was attained.

There are only so many ways to make a toy store stand out against a big box store. There are only so many ways to make sweaters stand out from brand to brand. This War in Christmas Marketing calls for creating great content, but taking strategic steps to stand out at the right moments. The road map to holiday victory comes with successes, just barely getting by and massive explosions (crises) which injures brands. However, with a dynamic strategy, brands can still win.

The War in Christmas Marketing is not taken lightly for the retail industry. Black Friday and Cyber Monday may help set the pace for the remaining weeks.

How do you feel the War in Christmas Marketing is going thus far? Leave your comment below and it may be used for future articles.

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Above Promotions is a digital marketing and public relations agency with B2C clients that promote brands in the food, fashion and family entertainment industries. We build and protect brands by creating and executing digital resources to sell products or build positive public sentiment. From a local to international market, Above Promotions Company can provide the exposure that goes above your expectations. Visithttp://www.abovepromotions.com today.

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Ebony T. Grimsley-Vaz is the Creative Director and Owner of Above Promotions Company. She is also the author of “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation” which is sold on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other stores and a contributor to various media outlets.

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How to Hijack a Hashtag Like a Boss!

Brands Hijack McDonald's #AllDayBreakfast Twitter Promotion. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL.
Brands Hijack McDonald’s #AllDayBreakfast Twitter Promotion. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL.

 

Let me be clear. Successfully hijacking or newsjacking (our internal definition – attempting to tie or takeover a current news topic for the purpose of marketing your brand or cause) a hashtag is not easy, but neither is social media. Many will and can take on sharing a popular hashtag with the hope of going viral. However, experts know most things posted by novices and even experts will not make it outside of their current active fan base, especially when the fan base is initially small with no engagement from  influencers. Often times the social share one does, will not be shared to the point of great success. To make matters worse, doing it wrong accomplishes viral status, but in negative ways. In fact, the real challenge of hijacking a hashtag is not being trolled after attempting to be relevant.

Now with that said, I know these little truths will not stop non-experts from trying to hijack a hashtag.

Truly the following tips are not just for making a slam dunk with hijacking a hashtag like a boss, but for being successful in getting your content shared online. Whenever items we share online for customers fall flat, I can 85% of the time tie it back to skipping one of the three principles below.

Generate good content. You cannot merely copy the original topic or post. You must create the series of clever words or images tying your brand to the hashtag. Remember the slam dunk Oreo made during the Super Bowl? Original good content for a current new story.

Be authentic. Imagine the National Rifle Association suddenly taking an interest in climate change or abortion rights. Some things just do not fit. People will not positively bite on your posts that are not authentic to your typical statements or mission. Be true to your voice and vision to dominate your real interests.

Stay relevant. Don’t pick topics not related to your industry. For instance, with McDonald’s #AllDayBreakfast, Denny’s and IHOP showed they were not impressed in a cheeky manner that had great publicity success. A plumber attempting to jump in and take over the interest of fans from either of these restaurants would more than likely be ignored or even worse trolled for attempting to jump into the mix.

While it is not easy to knock it out of the park on social media, you at least have access to news 24/7 to try, try, try again. (Please note: I would not recommend focusing only on pushing someone else’s story, but to make your own like a real boss.) Again, be prepared for backlash if you get it wrong.

So, are you ready to hijack a hashtag or two? Do you have a story to share on your past experience in doing so? Share your experience below and you could possibly be included in a future post.

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Above Promotions is a digital marketing and public relations agency with B2C clients that promote brands in the food, fashion and family entertainment industries. We build and protect brands by creating and executing digital resources to sell products or build positive public sentiment. From a local to international market, Above Promotions Company can provide the exposure that goes above your expectations. Visithttp://www.abovepromotions.com today.

********************
Ebony T. Grimsley-Vaz is the Creative Director and Owner of Above Promotions Company. She is also the author of “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation” which is sold on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other stores and a contributor to various media outlets.