There’s no doubt these are tense times. Whether consumers are shopping for themselves and family during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday period, or for friends and colleagues after Thanksgiving and in the run-up to Christmas and beyond, there has never been a more-needed time for the advertising industry to step up and deliver good vibes this shopping season.
There are many ways for marketers to address good tidings and cheer, so we turned to members of the Ad Age Amp community on effective holiday marketing trends and themes this season, as well as messages that are not just compelling and effective but also suitable to the times.
’Tis the season … of stress and anxiety
For much of the past decade, more and more advertisers have been leaning into the holidays, following the lead of U.K. retailer John Lewis and its famous tearjerker ads. But this holiday season, a consensus is building that brands need to go the extra mile to relieve the myriad pressures consumers are feeling due to everything from sociopolitical and economic anxiety to wars and disasters around the world.
“Love Thismas Not Thatmas,” Mother’s recent ad for British retailer M&S, pokes fun at common holiday stressors from creating decorations to entertaining, culminating in “Ted Lasso” star Hannah Waddingham throwing paper Christmas party hats in a wood chipper and ending with the actress pondering whether to toss in an Elf on the Shelf to the tagline “This Christmas, do only what you love.”