5 Outstanding Christmas Experiential Ad Campaigns

Coke truck

Christmas is not only the most wonderful time of the year, but also the number one shopping holiday. Every year, brands are competing over whose festive ad campaign will become a viral sensation or a Christmas classic. 

Here are 5 of our favourite Christmas campaigns of recent years, from the super creative to the down right heartwarming!

1. Carlsberg Christmas Tree

Last Christmas, residents of South Bank in London woke up to a very unusual sight. A 27 foot tall Christmas tree had been erected overnight. But this was no ordinary Christmas tree. This particular Christmas tree was decorated with beer bottle baubles and had a tap for dispensing FREE refreshing Carlsberg. The baubles that adorned the tree also doubled up as beer glasses. This great idea doubles up as sampling and outdoor experiential marketing

2. Coca-Cola Christmas Truck

The Coca-Cola Christmas truck is a holiday institution and is nearly as much associated with Christmas as the big man in the red suit. To some people, seeing the truck appear on our TV screens with the famous ‘Holidays are coming’ soundtrack, signifies the beginning of Christmas. For the third year running Verve will be taking charge of the iconic Coca Cola Christmas truck as it makes it’s way down our highways and byways stopping from town to town spreading Christmas joy. Keep an eye out for where it will be visiting Coca-Cola Ireland on Twitter.

3. Westjet Christmas Miracle

When Santa asks you what you would like for Christmas, make sure you ask for something good!  Over 250 Westjet passengers in Canada were asked such a question by the man himself as they boarded their flights. Some said socks and others said giant TV sets – little did they know what would be waiting for them when they disembarked their flights at the other end. While the flights were airborne the WestJet team of volunteers sprung into action to acquire all of the gifts people had asked for. When the passengers were collecting their baggage from the carousel, they got the most pleasant shock of their lives. All of the gifts passengers had asked for boarding their flights came out on the carousel along with their baggage.

This was a great piece bit of experiential marketing that created superb social content which has so far generated 45 million YouTube views. Also, money couldn’t have bought the goodwill that surrounded the brand after this amazing gesture. It made news all over the world, which only aided in the expansion of the WestJet reach.

To see a full outline of the results of this campaign, click here.

4. Air Canada – A Gift From Home

This next one really tugs at the heart-strings. Picture yourself in a foreign country at Christmas and all you want to do is go home for the holidays, but due to financial constraints, it’s just not possible. Not a great feeling.

Well this was just the case for a London pub full of Canadian expats. As Canadians gathered in The Maple Leaf Pub, the gathering was infiltrated by a number of pilots from Air Canada.

One of the pilots stood up and announced that because it was the holiday season he would like to offer all the patrons of the bar “a round”. The patrons of the crowded bar were more than delight with the prospect of a free drink, until the second pilot piped up and said, “but wait, there’s more. When we say a round, we mean round trip tickets for everyone to go home for the holidays.”

The bar in a state of disbelief, erupted. Some people cried, while others hugged and cheered.

This was quite an amazing gesture from the Canadian airline. YouTube video encouraged engagement across social media channels and generated nearly 4 million views.

5. Pret A Manger

It doesn’t really matter what time of year it is, people still love coffee! Pret A Manger, a high street coffee chain in London, wanted to shake their “corporate” image over the Christmas period in 2015.

They gift wrapped one of their central London stores and allowed passers-by to tear their way into the store for a free coffee and a sandwich. Along with this they used their Christmas marketing budget to promote five homeless charities in their store windows, on their social media channels and on their product packaging.

There are many words to describe this campaign. Smart, effective, simple and generous. ‘Tis the season for giving after all!