Ah, the holidays. The shopping lists have been made, the plane tickets have been booked. Even Christmas carols are starting to get some airplay. But, for those of us working in branding and marketing, perhaps what’s most ubiquitous about the holiday season is the plethora of emotional branding that’s rolled out this time of year. But don’t get us wrong, although it can be a bit schmaltzy when it feels forced, if you’ve given your brand a clear, emotionally resonant narrative, it can be very compelling.
And the best way to tap into a clear narrative that your audience is most likely to relate to is to incorporate what cultural shifts they may be experiencing at this time. As I wrote about in my recent piece for MediaPost, “Cultural Strategy: Why Brands Need To Know Their Changing Audiences:”
Today’s audience is craving a real connection, and authentic stories that represent the changing demographics of the American landscape are one of the most powerful way to establish that connection. Stories tap into the emotions we all share. Stories are universal ways of telling our personal view from the individual and tying it all up with what’s going on in the city, country and globe. Our job is to create stories of possibility and resonance.
And, what better time than the holidays, when so many of us are joining our families and loved ones, than to tap into that bond. Afterall, Family Values and Excitement of Discovery are just two of the 16 “hot button marketing” topics that appeal to consumer’s emotions to draw a response. Studies have shown that forging this type of emotional connection is a more effective measure of advertising effectiveness than traditional means, such as ad recall.
So, this winter, no matter what holidays you or your brand are celebrating, make the most of the season by forging a real emotional connection with your audience. If you need any more inspiration, then check out some of the most popular holiday ads of all time.