8 tips to create the best Christmas campaign for your brand 

13 October 2023

It’s nearly Christmas. Well, almost… for us marketers, Christmas has already begun (we hope). Summer has just ended, autumn is in full swing, and all focus is on one of the biggest commercial peak periods of the year: the Christmas season. But what should your brand do to score big during the holiday season?


I love Christmas. For years, I’ve been following all the Christmas campaigns, both in the Netherlands and abroad. And I regularly write about them. In England, of course, but also in the United States, and naturally, all the Dutch Christmas campaigns as well. The cherry on top of the Christmas cake is, of course, the commercials. Every year, I am amazed and fascinated by the creative ideas, well-worn clichés, and misguided brand choices. 

Patrick Severein, Head of Content & Strateeg

Patrick Severein, Marketing- en contentstrategist.

I can’t wait for the first Christmas commercials to appear (in England and the Netherlands/Belgium). Snow, emotions, presents, brilliant discoveries, humour, current events, everything. But I don’t just watch this avalanche of commercials and campaigns as a fan. I also watch as a marketer. Because how does your brand win at Christmas? What do you need to do to score with your Christmas campaign? Based on past results, I have gathered all the lessons I’ve learned: this is how you do a good Christmas campaign. 

People hugging in the snow
1. Don’t forget about strategy. 

No Christmas campaign without… strategy. Yes, it’s a cliché, but oh so true. Make sure that your brilliant Christmas concept aligns with your brand strategy and your content strategy. Make it coherent, make it logical, and make it relevant. 

2. Consistency from every angles 

Ensure that a Christmas commercial is not just a one-off. How often do you see brands create a stunning commercial, only for it to end there? No cohesive Christmas campaign, no extension into content, no follow-up actions. The most important thing: turn your Christmas concept into a total campaign. Give it a presence in stores, on your social media, in your brochure. Even in your loyalty stamp book (if you’re a supermarket that still has one). Make sure the entire campaign is fully aligned, and that your target audience doesn’t have to “search” for the campaign in other communications or on other channels. 

3. Where’s your brand? 

I frequently come across beautiful Christmas commercials, only to wonder at the end: who was it for, actually? Which brand does it belong to? Ensure that your brand is present in every aspect of the Christmas campaign. Visibly and invisibly. In emotion. In colour. In ambiance. In everything.  

4. Embrace the Zeitgeist 

Oh, how often things go terribly awry in that area. You come up with a brilliant concept in the spring, start working on it in the summer, do revisions in the autumn, and voila: it’s done. Meanwhile, the world around you has just kept moving forward, disasters have occurred, your target audience’s disposable income has decreased due to inflation, and people are occupied with something completely different than your brilliant Christmas campaign. Stay in tune with the spirit of times, observe your surroundings frequently, ask around, and think logically. There’s nothing worse than completely missing the mark during Christmas. Your target audience won’t forget that easily. 

5. Don’t be tempted 

Do let yourself be tempted by that strategist who says: “I have a brilliant idea!” But don’t fall for it when the same strategist says, “Ah, we’ll make it work somehow.” It won’t work. Never. No idea is so amazing that it shouldn’t align with the target audience, of the brand, or the time of year. Sometimes it’s worth being more stubborn about it. 

Drinking from a mug at a laptop in holidays ambiance
6. The closer, the better 

You should know your target audience well. So use that knowledge. Ensure that your Christmas campaign is closely alighted with your target audience. The closer, the better. the more personal, the better. The more authentic, the better. The further away it is from your target audience’s world, the greater the chance of completely missing the mark. 

7. No cutting corners 

Don’t just throw together a Christmas campaign “because you have to”. Your customer isn’t naïve. They can tell when not enough time and effort have been put into it. Do it well, or don’t do it at all. Yes, it’s cliché. But yes, it still applies. 

8. A pinch of clichés. Don’t overdo it! 

Clichés are part of Christmas (snow, trees, love, emotions). Your Christmas campaign should include them too. But… make choices. Don’t cram all clichés into your campaign. Don’t create an overwhelming flood of emotions. Be selective. Be subtle at times. And again: make sure it aligns with your brand and strategy


These strategies and insights will assist you in creating a Christmas campaign that captures the spirit of the season, while effectively promoting your brand. Take the time to plan, execute, and ensure that your campaign resonates with your target audience. With careful consideration and by adding a personal touch, you can make this Christmas your brand’s most successful ever. And of course, iO is here to support you in planning and executing, as necessary, during this busy time. 

Cover eindejaarsgids

The ultimate end-of-year guide

Cyber week and the end-of-year are approaching fast. There's still a lot of great opportunities to boost your sales. This guide, will help you fine-tune your communication and advertising strategy so that you can grab your target audience's attention and keep it. We will teach you how to sell through external platforms and marketplaces like Bol.com and Amazon, and how to roll out the digital red carpet for your customers.

Related insights

Stay informed. Subscribe to our newsletter

iO respects your privacy. You can unsubscribe at any time.

 Or get updates & insights via our WhatsApp newsletter!