A snowman reaches for a soup spoon and with one slurp from his bowl of chicken noodle, he melts before your eyes into a smiley freckled adorable little boy. This 1998 Campbell’s Soup commercial splashes across our TV screen every holiday season, and has us all craving steaming hot soup during the wintery months. You might ask yourself: Why is this commercial so unforgettable? And why do you find yourself sitting around the dinner table discussing the latest and greatest holiday commercial?
Smart companies will make their holiday marketing campaign a priority, and will make sure commercials exude emotion: the kind of emotion that will make us laugh, cry or simply smile. As a brand you have 15 seconds to capture your audience in a memorable way. Some of the latest holiday commercials offer great examples of evoking emotion.
In 2015, Nestle Coffee-mate introduced a new marketing guy, a gingerbread man. This human-like gingerbread cookie became the focus of their holiday campaign and still is today. The latest commercial features the gingerbread man battling over a Coffee-mate flavor in a game of rock, paper, scissors, shoot. With the gingerbread’s cookie-like hands it becomes clear he can only do “paper,” and the battle really is not a battle after all. However, the gingerbread man still wins. If you have not seen this one yet, you are in for a treat (pun intended). You will find yourself giggling every time this little cookie appears on your screen. Nestle Coffee-mate really knew how to evoke some holiday cheer with this one.
Nestle Coffee-mate has brought us joy, but the NFL Shop has us all roaring with their latest Christmas commercial. The power of what they have produced, which includes very little audio is amazing. A husband insists on wearing his Raiders gear to his wife’s family holiday dinner: a family filled with diehard Chiefs fans. After being sternly told he is not allowed to wear his Raiders jersey, he settles on a Raiders ugly Christmas sweater filled with lights; an even more obnoxious option. The clip jumps to everyone sitting at the dinner table in bright red Chiefs jerseys, excluding the obnoxiously-lit Raiders sweater. His mother-in-law abruptly leaves the table in disgust. What the NFL Shop has accomplished here is unreal. The power of the message they got across to viewers is remarkable and relatable. Viewers laugh and companies alike will take notes on the power of making your message relatable.
What can you take away from these commercials? Knowing your target audience is important. The NFL Shop took a guy in his mid-40s and told a story. This commercial certainly would not have been as effective had the main character been a 90-year-old woman. While female viewership of the NFL is on the rise, the majority of individuals watching are men. According to a study pulled in 2015, 62 percent of viewers were between the ages of 45 and 54, with 59 percent between the ages of 35 and 44. The male character the NFL Shop chose to star in their commercial was dead-on. The NFL Shop not only made this spot relatable for married men, but women can certainly recall a time they told their spouse to change their attire for the formal holiday rib roast.
These commercials probably have you wondering; how do I evoke emotion through my marketing efforts during the holiday season? Follow these simple rules. Know your target market, tell a story your viewers can relate to, and/or create something humorous and do it well.