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Marketing the Holiday Spirit

Words by: Sam Balagot and Nela Romulo

Art by: Andrea Abaya

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of joy that the holiday season brings. This time of the year simply wouldn’t be complete without our bright parols and decorations, food feasts and gift exchanges, and of course: our favorite holiday ads and campaigns. From awaiting the biggest holiday sales, to watching the most sentimental ads that always bring tears to our eyes–every year, we find ourselves enjoying the different holiday campaigns throughout this season. Holiday marketing is a must for every business; this year, it becomes an avenue for us to keep the spirit of giving alive by paying it forward.


Generally speaking, a part of marketing involves promoting a business’ products or services through formulating strategies and launching campaigns. We market our business to convince others to choose our brand. Because these choices are made from the heart, the best season to establish a connection with customers is throughout the holidays (Chierroti, 2018). Holiday marketing enables us to communicate with our audience through emphasizing shared values and important traditions by celebrating love, instilling hope, and spreading the holiday spirit in campaigns.


Year after year, companies find new and creative ways to market throughout the season. Some focus more on tradition–resonating with consumers through the use of bright colors and holiday icons plastered across packaging, merchandise, and more. Meanwhile, others opt to create campaigns that emphasize values their brand wishes to uphold. The most essential part of a seasonal campaign, however, is creating an experience that gives customers a sense of something that is only experienced this time of the year.


Especially during the Holidays, there’s just something that makes the Filipino heart more open, and companies are well aware of this. Because of this, many emotional marketing campaigns emerge. Looking at some of the biggest companies and their campaigns–Jollibee’s sentimental webisodes, Coca-Cola’s yearly festive campaigns, and even Disney’s recently released ads featuring Filipino traditions during the Holidays.


Although the Kwentong Jollibee webisodes first went viral in their 2017 Valentine’s Day series, Jollibee has extended their emotional and touching ads through the years to different holidays such as Christmas. One of the company’s main problems was their image, as the brand was no longer seen as “cool” among its younger audience (Dickinson, 2018). By creating touching videos surrounding real-life experiences that incorporate their products, they were able to connect with younger generations, while also increasing their ChickenJoy and Yumburger sales (The Manila Times, 2018). Needless to say, this kind of advertising has been very effective for Jollibee–as they have been able to generate a strong social media impact even in the years following the initial Kwentong Jollibee release.


This kind of advertising isn’t limited to local holiday marketing campaigns. The short that Disney UK recently released follows a young Filipino girl in the 1940’s that received a Mickey Mouse toy from her grandfather. When she herself became a grandmother, she passed down the same toy to her own granddaughter. The Disney short seamlessly integrated Filipino traditions, which triggered an emotional and positive response from many Filipinos around the world. Moreover, with the execution of this advertisement, they were able to effectively promote the vintage Mickey Mouse toy featured in the film advertisement, which they released in order to celebrate their 40th anniversary with the Make-A-Wish Foundation (Quadra, 2020).


Coca-Cola is no stranger to this type of advertising as well. In fact, they have been doing what they call ‘festive advertising’ internationally, since the 1920s. This year, they have released their own video Christmas advertisement to celebrate 100 years of iconic Coca-Cola festive advertising campaigns. Moreover, they do not limit their advertising to the touching and emotional stories. In the Philippines, they released limited Coca-Cola Christmas packs and even invited Filipinos to create ‘parols’ with recycled Coca-Cola bottles–with a goal to bring more light into the season (Adobo Magazine, 2020).


Each of these campaigns promotes family, joy, and love–tapping into what we value most during this season. It is in this season that these advertisements can make us feel like we are part of something meaningful; but what can we do this Christmas season to make it truly meaningful?


With the chaos brought about by the pandemic, and the damage caused by numerous calamities–the holiday season begs for a spirit of generosity, of paying it forward for the sake of our struggling fellow Filipinos. Going beyond marketing for profit, campaigns should also aim to help those in need, to aid in providing them the great holiday season that everyone deserves.


Finding our holiday spirit may be harder than ever, given the events of 2020. Still we can make the most of this holiday season by choosing to make a difference. Allocating portions of our profits and participating in donation drives are a few of the many different ways we can extend a helping hand to those that need it most. Amidst the calamities and the pandemic, campaigns that encourage kindness and generosity allow us to support greatly affected communities, and therefore lead us to create something meaningful this season.


Despite the series of challenges 2020 brought our way, we still have the power to make the holidays feel a little more like it should—not only for ourselves and our loved ones, but also for those who are going through much worse. So let’s bring in a little more light, love, and meaning into the Holidays this year. After all, what better way to celebrate the season of giving than by sharing our blessings with our fellow countrymen.

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