2020 has brought about countless obstacles to brands, from having to switch up advertising to ensuring that they still hit the mark during uncertain times. And, with the holiday season approaching, brands have had to take another look at how they will be able to reach their target audience.

They also need to keep in mind that many people will not be able to spend the holidays with anyone outside of their household.

During this time of year, marketers normally focus on the ‘togetherness’ that comes with the holiday season. But with the curveballs that 2020 threw at everyone, brands now have to start thinking outside the box to reach their consumers.

According to a recent study done by Ace Metrix, “ad campaigns are typically heartfelt, wholesome and soothing during every holiday season. Those tones are markedly higher in this year's evaluation, as brands look to make emotional connections with consumers at the end of a difficult year.”

So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at why brands need to create heartfelt ad campaigns this holiday season:

1. It inspires your consumers to be kind

People have seen a lot of things happen in 2020, but one of the main things that came to light was the fact that people are kind and do their best to support those in need. An industry that also faced many challenges during the year was the creative space.

This led to brands like the adam&eveDDB agency creating a Waitrose and John Lewis advert with ‘nine different vignettes created by eight different artists.’

The advert starts with a little boy whose football got stuck in a tree; a little girl then ends up helping him to get it done with her umbrella, after which you see the little girl get on the bus.

Not only does this advertisement show how kindness can go a long way, but also, this brand has provided nine different artists the opportunity to participate in the making of the advert. By doing so, it is encouraging and endorsing the employment of creative individuals.

The ad was published on Thursday, 12 November and currently has 3 969 524 views on YouTube. This proves that consumers were inspired by the caringness shown in the ad and therefore are more willing to display acts of kindness, such as participating in donations or being nice to people wherever they go.

This is something that your brand can also look at this holiday season; inspire consumers to promote kindness in your marketing efforts. It is clear that many people are ready to be kinder, due to the difficult year that 2020 was.

2. It humanises your brand

Heartfelt ads humanise your brand by showing your consumers that you do not only care about making a profit but that you indeed do care about humans too. Heartfelt ads remind consumers that brands value their client’s and this is essential because consumers want to feel valued and appreciated by their favourite brands, and if they don’t, they will find one that does make them feel cared for.
This is discussed more in a previous media update article titled The best marketing strategy? Show your consumers that you care. Be sure to check it out.
American-based clothing brand Kohl's did an amazing job of showing its human side with its Give With All Your Heart advertisement. This ad shows a little girl befriending an older lady in the opposite house from her; it shows how they communicate by making use of handwritten notes on pieces of paper, which they allow each other to see through the window.

The reason why this ad is heartfelt is that the viewer sees how a little girl befriends an older woman, who the viewers don’t see for a few months after the initial scene. Only when it is Christmas do you see the old lady back with a hospital tag around her arm, which shows us that she was sick. The elderly woman then asks the little girl if her Christmas wish came true and she nods with her head. This indicates to the viewer that the little girl’s wish was that her friend would return home, and she did.

This heartfelt advertisement allows the viewer to get emotionally invested in the narrative, and therefore, allows the viewer to see the human side of Kohl’s and how they provide clothes for everyone. 

3. It brings the community together

During 2020, people had to focus on self-isolation and working remotely, which led to communities not spending so much time together, leading most people to feel a bit lonely.

Therefore, creating a heartfelt ad where family members are spending time together during the holiday season might not be the way to go — especially since many people in certain parts of the world won’t be spending time with anyone outside their own household.

This is where brands like Amazon saw an amazing opportunity to bring the community together during the holiday season. In its advert called The Show Must Go On, a young ballerina is shown who has been affected by the events of 2020. Her show ends up getting cancelled … up until her little sister and the local community work together to make her dream of performing her ballet show come true.

Your brand can look at doing the same thing in its own region. You can create a heartfelt advertisement where the local community gets involved in order to make someone’s dream come true this holiday season. This is a creative way to connect local residents and uplift their spirits for the best time of the year.

Why else do you think brands need to create heartfelt ads this holiday season? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.

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Speaking of creatine heartfelt content, be sure to read about The importance of kindness in marketing with Faith Popcorn for more insights.
*Image courtesy of Canva