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Storytelling Through Social Media: Creating Emotional Christmas Campaigns

Oct 19, 2023

Marketing News

Storytelling Through Social Media: Creating Emotional Christmas Campaigns

From the glowing twinkling lights and perfectly decorated Christmas trees, to the smell of mince pies and candy canes, nothing beats that Christmas feeling. 

There is a certain air of childlike awe that takes the world the second the calendar switches over to December. These emotions that we all can’t help but feel during the festive season are incredibly powerful and prevalent; for brands, they are a marketing gold mine. 

Tapping into emotions during the Christmas season via emotional Christmas campaigns has long-been a favourite marketing tool of brands – and for good reason. It is incredibly successful. 

As seen through the famous John Lewis emotional Christmas campaigns, consumers love to get into their feels over Christmas. But, how do you evoke the same strong emotional response through your social media, rather than a nation wide tv campaign? 

Ultimately, through weaving Christmas storytelling into your social media content. Let’s get into it. 

WHAT IS CHRISTMAS STORYTELLING?

Christmas storytelling is the art of assigning a story to your content or products. 

For example, in 2020, many brands created emotional Christmas campaigns that were based around hope and positivity in response to the global pandemic. One such brand was Gap. 

Gap’s “Dream The Future” ads told a story of togetherness, joy, and hope. They aimed to inspire their consumers to dream up a better future for all, simply by sharing love with those around them.

By establishing this strongly emotive story with their product, Gap sent the subliminal message to their viewers that their products were the key to this dream-like future they were presenting. 

Put simply, Christmas storytelling forces your audience to subconsciously associate your brand with a strong emotion. This strong emotion encourages them to engage with and purchase from your brand. 

Yet, not all emotions are created equal. Some do particularly well during the Christmas period. 

CHRISTMAS EMOTIONS TO APPEAL TO

Joy

Potentially the most prevalent emotion during Christmas, joy is an incredibly popular choice for many emotional Christmas campaigns

It has been proven time and time again that consumers are more likely to make a purchase when they are happy. If you are able to foster happiness in your audience, then you are creating the perfect environment for them to follow through with sales. 

Moreover, if you are able to encourage your audience to associate your product and brand with happiness, then you are improving the likelihood of them making a purchase. Consumers desire Christmas joy, so if you can prove to them that your product is the key to that, then you are set up for success. 

The best way to weave joy-based storytelling into your social media is by making your accounts appear cheerful and nostalgic. Play into happy memories, cheesy but fun activities, and pop culture moments that make your audience smile. 

A brand that typically knocks joyous emotional Christmas campaigns out of the park is Coca-Cola. 

Via their social media, Coca-Cola promotes a traditional looking family christmas; warm-toned lights, vintage-looking Santa’s and dozens of smiling faces. As a result, audiences feel happy and content when they visit their accounts and begin to associate the Coca-Cola brand with the type of Christmas they want to enjoy. 

emotional Christmas campaigns: Coca Cola

Anticipation 

Anticipation is a massive part of the Chritsmas season. From advent calendars to Santa countdowns, consumers love that period of excitement before the big day. As such, tapping into anticipation via emotional Christmas campaigns is an incredibly powerful marketing tactic. 

To create a story of anticipation on your social media accounts, focus on countdowns, advent calendar style giveaways, and big product reveals. 

Be sure to play into the childhood-like feeling of opening up a new advent calendar chocolate each day; perhaps you could offer a new deal on your products daily, or hold a 12 days of Christmas giveaway. 

A fantastic example of this kind of storytelling is Charlotte Tilbury. 

Each year the hugely popular British make up brand releases a new advent calendar. Through their social media accounts, Charlotte Tilbury promotes the calendar for months in advance, building up excitement and anticipation for when the product finally becomes available. In this manner, the brand is tapping into the strong emotions of excitement and anticipation, thus drawing in consumers. 

emotional Christmas campaigns: Charlotte Tilbury

Comfort 

Childhood nostalgia is a cornerstone of the Christmas period. Most families have a list of Christmas movies they watch annually and traditions that must be followed. These repetitive practices give a sense of comfort and belonging that often goes unfelt during the rest of the year. 

Therefore, presenting your brand as a source of nostalgia and comfort to your followers is a key marketing strategy. 

To establish a story of comfort through your social media and emotional Christmas campaigns focus on playing into traditions and pop-culture moments that resonate broadly. Showcase how your brand and product can help bring about the same comforting feelings of childhood. 

Cadbury typically plays into this kind of storytelling during the Christmas period. They emphasise how Cadbury chocolates have been a part of people’s Christmases for decades, thus evoking feelings of nostalgia and a longing to go out and buy their products. 

@cadburyuk

Ever wondered what our selection boxes through the years looked like? ?? #SelectionBox #Cadbury #HistoryTok #FYP #Christmas #chocolate

♬ Christmas song “Let’s decorate” – 3KTrack

Passion

Whilst passion is not typically the emotion that comes to mind when one thinks of Christmas, consumers have shown over the years that they love emotional Christmas campaigns that give them a cause to rally behind.

Evoking a passionate response from your audience plays into the idea of the season of giving. Moreover, it establishes your brand values and ethos, which last all year round. 

To create a passionate response, find a charitable cause for your brand to support and promote this to your followers. Encourage them to engage with the cause as well; perhaps part of your brand’s proceeds can go to the cause, or you could have your followers create UCG that spreads awareness. 

Whilst not social media-based, we would be remiss not to mention Iceland’s infamous orangutan advert as the example for this tactic. Arguably the campaign that started the trend of passion based emotional Christmas campaigns, Iceland’s orangutan advert spread awareness on an environmental issue that the brand was passionate about. Consumers responded incredibly strongly, engaging with the advert and Iceland by extension. 

Our Influencer marketing agency and Social agency are located worldwide, with our agency network based in the USA, UK, UAE and China.

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@ Socially Powerful

Author

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Ella Proctor

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