We got big holidays coming up tempting us with promotions, both as business owners and as consumers. There are such strong visual associations with holidays like Christmas and Halloween that we are extremely tempted to go whole hog on seasonal advertising. The fact that there are so many free templates out there that lure us into the realm of doing things differently to how we normally do them is extremely tempting.
In terms of brand consistency there is a real danger to lose your brand essence if you go all out on seasonal advertising. Especially Halloween can be tricky, because dark and spooky and blacks and oranges are not normally part of most people's brands. But on the other hand, even the mellow spirit of Christmas will not suit everyone!
How do we make sure we stay on brand, we stay true to ourselves? Let's have a look at some big brands who do really successfully, so whether you're more into skulls or tinsel, we got you covered!
How Do The Big Boys Do It?
You all know Mini Coopers. Mini Cooper is a rebel brand. They are all about being different, sticking it to the establishment and generally having some fun. Here are some of their regular campaigns, which show how they do things on a day-to-day basis. For Mini Cooper, Halloween is great - the spirit of releasing the beast is a really really good fit for them and they're doing it to great effect. But they also do Christmas - in their very own style!
On the other hand, McDonald's much prefer advertising around Christmas. The holiday spirit of getting together and celebrating with your loved ones sits really well with their core family values. Plus, red is their colour anyway so bonus points there! But even McDonald's are not shying away from taking a punt at the trick-or-treating aesthetic. They're just chucking some fries in there.
And Mr Kipling for example is always telling us that life is better with cake. So naturally, Easter is better with cake - but then so is trick-or-treating.
Staying on brand when doing seasonal advertising is all about keeping the established symbolism that is associated with that particular event, but doing it in your own unique and recognisable style. Your top three things to consider for staying on brand in seasonal advertising are:
1) Stick to your core message.
You want to stay true to who you are. You want to keep the message your customers know, and keep the core values alive. Then just mix things up a bit and have some temporary fun.
2) Stay true to your brand personality.
Personality dictates how you interact with your environment, how you react to situations. It's your basic blueprint for social interaction, and you want to keep that going! If your company is usually fun and upbeat and adventurous, you need to make sure your Christmas or Halloween or Valentines communications are just as fun and adventurous and upbeat as they normally are. If your brand is a rock 'n' roll brand, then make sure you have rock 'n' roll Christmas. Keep your brand spirit alive!
And last but not least:
3) Keep your colours recognisable.
Colour accounts for about 80% of your brand recognition, so carefully make sure that your core colours stay with you throughout your seasonal advertising. If during Halloween everything suddenly becomes dark and moody, make sure your key colours are in there somewhere to keep that recognisability factor. Equally, around Christmas, not everything suddenly has to turn silver, white, red and green. You can absolutely keep to your own colours. The symbolism of these holidays is so strong that you can do an interpretation of those visuals in your own colours, and put your own spin on things.
Same goes for any other holiday or theme you'd like to go with, such as Valentines or Easter or anything else you can think of. Just stick to these three tips and you will master seasonal advertising in no time - AND stay on brand!
And with all that, your brand is now holiday ready. I look forward to seeing all a fantastic seasonal campaigns!
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