Creative Tips for An(other) Unprecedented Holiday Season

By : Camille Hayward


Last year, the world witnessed one of the most unique holiday seasons to date. As eCommerce boomed, advertisers had to rethink their holiday strategies to accommodate the swift rise of the online shopper. 2021 is set to also have its own share of trends that marketers have to consider when planning their holiday ad campaigns. After examining the ad design and messaging tactics of 68 different global retail and eCommerce brands during the 2020 holiday season, VidMob took part in a Tech Talk hosted by eMarketer on Creative Tips for Holiday Ad Campaign Readiness. Blake Boznanski, Head of Industries at VidMob, was joined by Jason Horowitz, SVP, US Marketing and Global Head of Media and Digital at Mattel, and Genie Alfonzo, Product Marketing Manager at Instagram to discuss how seemingly small creative elements—including the use of motion, intentional calls to action, and more—can make a big impact on ROI and purchase intention this holiday season.

One Thing is Clear: Short-Form Video is Sweeping Social

As the speakers dove into the 4 Tips to Enhance your 2021 Holiday Creative, one theme seemed to sweep the conversation: short-form video is key when it comes to attracting users’ attention. Platforms are quickly adapting to this trend, which allows brands to showcase their products in a multidimensional way.

In the last two years, since consumers are no longer physically able to touch and feel the things that they’re considering purchasing, video has become a super compelling way for them to understand and learn a little bit more. – Genie Alfonzo, Instagram

Through video, consumers are digesting more content at a faster rate and discovering brands and products they may have never heard of before. Brands have seconds to grab the attention of their audience and make an impact on the viewer.

We’ve also seen brands are looking for better ways to stop the thumb, as they’re scrolling along, and I think video is another way to do that. And when it comes to Instagram, everyone has either personally experienced or heard of an experience of a product that you didn’t know you needed, serendipitously finding its way to your Instagram feed. – Genie Alfonzo

For this reason, it’s no surprise that Instagram is a gold mine for up-and-coming brands and well-established companies alike. According to Genie,  snackable pieces of content drive higher view-through rates and optimal performance metrics. However, that doesn’t mean brands have to toss all their TV footage and start from scratch in order to make powerful social ads. VidMob can repurpose TVC assets to optimize them for digital platforms —there’s always an opportunity to create something new out of existing assets.

It doesn’t need to be “Look, what we’re shooting for TV is going to be set for TV…[brands can] shoot some outtakes at a wider angle…shoot a little extra footage where there’s more headroom above a person…” A lot of these different things can still be incorporated in that shoot, and obviously cut down on production. You’re all getting it in one fell swoop. – Blake Boznanski, VidMob

Rethinking the Who, the How, and the What

While the eCommerce boom has helped brands diversify their content, it’s also forced brands to rethink how they’re marketing to their audience, and who they’re marketing to.

In terms of the targeting, if you think historically, the model in toys was you market to kids and then kids will ask their parents for what they want. And we’ve really shifted our approach to focus much more on shoppers. And there are a couple of reasons why, but one reason is purpose. We’ve all heard as marketers, purpose is so important and we take a lot of pride in the purpose that we have behind our brands. We have a really clearly articulated purpose and we infuse it in everything that we do, whether it’s our creative, whether it’s our product…  – Jason Horowitz, Mattel

Brand purpose has become a popular word in the last few years—shoppers are no longer just looking at a product, but want to interact with a brand in a way that feels authentic. Social media has allowed users to feel connected with a brand like never before, whether it be through leveraging influencers or sharing how they’re impacting the world.

People are looking at [purpose] as a major factor. Say there are five different brands that are selling the same thing. Which are resonating more with me  based on who they are, what they believe in, what they’re doing? – Blake Boznanski, VidMob

There are many factors that can influence the success of your holiday ad campaigns, from refocusing your target audience, keeping up with trends, and establishing brand purpose. While these insights can help you get started, every brand is different. Speaking the native language of platforms and meeting your audience where they are, whether it be Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, TikTok, etc., is essential for campaign success.

Interested in learning more about creative tips for the holidays? View the full webinar, for free, on our resources page.

See how VidMob’s Intelligent Creative resources can improve your brand’s creative performance, or request a demo to see it in action.