Five Brands That Won In Social This Past Holiday Season

Some may think the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, while others consider it the most stressful. (The majority of us are with the latter.) With the constant worry of what perfect gift to get your boyfriend of three years or your in-laws, who think you purposely want to leave them at the airport because of last year’s mishap, you’re always stressed. What helps us find relief in our quest for the perfect gift or to discover better travel plans are the holiday campaigns we will observe through brands. Knowing we spend a third of our time on our phones, it’s no surprise brands took advantage of how easily accessible everything has become through the touch of our fingertips. Here we’re exploring those special brands that got creative this past holiday season and won audiences over with their holiday campaigns.

Nordstrom Helps Santa Find a Gift for Mrs. Claus

Because everyone needs a little help during the holidays. Buy online, pick up in store. ??????❤️ #gifting

A video posted by Nordstrom (@nordstrom) on

Most clothing retail companies have mobile apps on which to shop when you’re on the go. Nordstrom wanted shoppers to know that during the holiday rush if you did not have the time to get those gifts your loved ones have been waiting all year, then you could effortlessly access Nordstrom mobile to select the items you want. We saw their tagline “Need it today? Buy online. Pick up in store.” through their short video on Instagram featuring Santa himself using the mobile app to select a gift, pick it up all beautifully wrapped for his Mrs. Claus.


Why They Won on Social

Nordstrom continued the holiday theme by providing shoppers gift ideas with clothing and accessory laydowns and photoshoots, earning them an estimate of 5.5k to 16.6k likes on Instagram alone. They even made the effort to remind audiences they wouldn’t have to stress about gift wrapping as that’s easily taken care of in stores; Nordstrom wanted to show that they cared about their shoppers. By taking the time to humanize their brand and relate to shoppers, they’ve motivated users to want to shop at their stores and tell all their friends about their positive experience.

Lego & the Joker Got Away, Hey!


Who doesn’t love to play with Legos? I’m an adult and I still want to play with Legos, I love them. If you leave me alone in a room filled with Legos, I guarantee you won’t see me for hours. On both their Instagram and Facebook channels, they used their Lego characters to utilize images of the bad guys setting aside their differences so that they can work together with the good guys to build the Christmas tree, showing everyone a little Christmas spirit. What stood out the most was a cute, playful singalong video of the classic Christmas jingle, “Jingle Bells, Batman Smells.” Pairing the lyrics to still images of Lego Batman discovering that it was a stinky fish that was making him smell, Robin sitting on top of a real egg, and the Joker getting away was truly engaging to the imagination of all Lego builders.


Whey They Won on Social

This post, as well as other Christmas related Lego posts, encouraged users to join the conversation. Parents were driven to share photos of what their children created for Christmas with their  superhero Lego sets. What made all the difference was that Lego was engaging with them! It gave users the inspiration that within that Lego community their Lego characters wouldn’t necessarily have to stay with their box sets. The possibilities of what could be built were endless! It was with these Christmas posts that we saw fans talking to other fans about what their children’s imagination created with their Lego sets.

Penguin Books #Penguin12DaysofChristmas Giveaway

As many of us know, there’s usually a 12 Days of Christmas deal floating around the sales universe. Penguin Books went with a giveaway approach to that kind of deal through their Instagram Page. Starting their 12 days with an adorable stop motion video of a little Santa Penguin taking all the books out of his Santa bag, we see Santa Penguin putting the wrapped gifts underneath the tree so that we may guess the title of the book for a chance to win. In the days that followed, their Instagram followers were provided with hints to what book is perfectly wrapped in the photo for that day. When the winner correctly guessed the title of the book, Penguin Books selected the winner of that book the following day and reveal the book title. Each post was wrapped in different wrapping paper; the holiday scene was rearranged but was keeping in with the theme of discovering what’s wrapped underneath the Christmas tree. It was an engaging giveaway that had users tagging their friends, trying to guess what the book was before somebody else could snatch it up. Book lovers in a fight to the finish!


Why They Won on Social

By doing their giveaway, Penguin Books produced original content as opposed to relying on user generated content usually shared on Instagram. Though likes on their giveaway images didn’t dramatically increase from their previously shared images, it was in their comments where we saw growth of an average of 5-12 comments to 141-233 comments per photo. Since many users were eager to win a book, they were inclined to tag their friends who thought they’d be interested in participating.

H&M tells a Christmas Narrative with Wes Anderson


For the 2016 holiday season clothing retail company, H&M, brilliantly partnered with visionary director Wes Anderson in creating a one of a kind short film to introduce their winter collection to consumers with a traveling home for the holidays Christmas narrative. A story many of us can relate to when we’re traveling to visit our loved ones during the holidays. In the film, we see passengers traveling by train trying to get home to their loved ones in time for Christmas, but due to weather they’re delayed and decide to celebrate the holidays together while looking very stylish.


Why They Won on Social

The video was launched on H&M’s Facebook page on the November 28th and it accumulated 739 shares on Facebook and 9.5 million views on YouTube. The short film was a precursor to launching their winter collection and using the hashtag #ComeTogether with each individual post that included the new collection. H&M continued to incorporate what viewers saw in Wes Anderson’s video into their photoshoots. By creating gallery posts on Facebook of the different outfits from the collection and using the same set seen in the short film, it encourages shoppers to be stylish. With the use of this type of campaign, we see that just because your travels are taking longer than you hoped for, doesn’t mean you can’t look good and celebrate on the way there.

Heathrow Airport #BestGiftOfAll


London Heathrow Airport wanted to show the world that they’re more than just the last destination in your travels, they’re about the experience of bringing people together. Their #BestGiftOfAll campaign launched on November 14th, just in time for the holidays, with a video of a couple of elderly teddy bears traveling back home to London and their experience walking through Heathrow Airport to be greeted by their family pulled on the heartstrings of millions of viewers.


Why They Won on Social

The video won them 160k shares and 7.9 million views on Facebook alone. Heathrow Airport continued to use the hashtag in future posts such as tracking Santa’s arrival to London, the kind of gifts available in stores, and images of what a traveler can expect to witness upon their arrival to Heathrow. The warm, playful visual of two teddy bears walking around the airport, never leaving the other’s side, reminded travelers that no matter how stressful traveling can feel, getting to be with the people you love most is what’s most important during the holidays.

What we saw this past holiday season was the theme of coming together, putting away unnecessary stresses and enjoy the simple, playful joys the holiday season can bring. Brands brought real human qualities to their campaigns, not just making it a single advertisement about the sales or deals they have within their company. They made it about the people and what the people want to experience with their brand. We look forward to seeing what these and other brands will bring to the table in social this coming year.

Ignite Social Media