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Creative Christmas Ads for a Merry Business

When it comes to Christmas advertisements, it’s all about spreading the season’s joy. Learn how to craft creative Christmas ads for a successful holiday season. 

Meredith Cunningham Published: November 27, 2023
Creative Christmas Ads for a Merry Business image

When it comes to your brand’s holiday ad creative, the name of the game is the joy of the season. What does this look like? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but there are creative best practices and guidelines you can use and tailor to your brand’s unique voice, goals, and KPIs.   

You better not pout, you better not cry; these creative tips can help share your brand’s “why.” Let’s dive into the essential elements for a winning holiday campaign. 

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Why Are Christmas Advertisements Unique? 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and brands in every industry can tap into the holiday spirit, whether merry and bright or grinchy and gloomy, to create meaningful connections with consumers. So what about holiday ads that make them an integral part of the holiday experience? 

  • Emotionally Charged Storytelling: Heartwarming narratives that revolve around family, curiosity, generosity, and the season’s magic resonate with audiences, creating a solid emotional connection with consumers.
  • Nostalgia and Tradition: Whether it’s a classic holiday song or the iconic imagery of a snowy landscape, holiday ads can evoke a sense of nostalgia that transports viewers of all ages back to cherished memories or introduce younger audiences to the timeless magic of the season.
  • The Power of Music: Music is a powerful tool for evoking emotions. A contemporary twist on a classic carol or an original composition can play a crucial role in creating a multisensory experience that lingers in viewers’ minds long after the ad has ended.
  • Creativity Unleashed: Brands often invest heavily in creating visually stunning and cinematically impressive ads that are a treat for the eyes. From intricate set designs to state-of-the-art animation, the goal is to sell a product and deliver a memorable and visually striking experience that captures the audience’s attention.
  • Limited-Time Exclusivity: Limited-time offers, exclusive promotions, and special holiday editions create a sense of excitement and drive consumers to make purchasing decisions sooner rather than later. The time-sensitive nature of the season adds an element of anticipation, encouraging viewers to act before the season’s end.

Christmas Advertising Channels  

The key to a successful Christmas advertising campaign is a cross-channel strategy and the thoughtful integration of multiple channels. Understanding each channel’s unique advantages can help your brand receive the gift of increased brand visibility and consumer engagement. 


Television has long been an effective strategy for holiday advertisements. Reaching a large audience and often kicking off a consumer’s journey, TV ads’ visual and auditory impact can evoke nostalgia and resonate deeply with viewers, making it an ideal channel for storytelling and brand recall. Additionally, local TV channels offer a halo effect, passing on the warm fuzzies and credibility to those who advertise within a local TV environment. 


With the rise of streaming services, businesses can reach audiences who prefer on-demand content over traditional TV. Targeting specific demographics becomes more accessible, and the ability to tailor ads based on viewers’ preferences enhances the impact of holiday campaigns. 


The perfect complement to TV and Streaming TV ads, digital advertising can help extend reach and reinforce messaging through display ads, video content, and the ability to tailor messaging to targeted and niche audiences through tactics like contextual and native advertising. The cherry on top? Through digital channels, real-time analytics and attribution can help optimize your campaigns. 

Social Media 

Social media platforms become virtual winter wonderlands during the holiday season, and brands can leverage the power of sharing and engagement to amplify their messages. Social media allows businesses to interact directly with their audience, fostering community and excitement around their products or services. 

7 Christmas Advertisements for Inspiration 

These advertisements go beyond marketing products; they tell stories that become part of the holiday experience. As your brand embarks on its festive campaigns, these examples provide inspiration, reminding us that the most impactful ads touch the heart and spirit of the season. 

What Makes These Ads Successful? 

These advertisements share common elements that contribute to their success: 

  Emotional Resonance: Each ad connects with viewers emotionally, evoking feelings of joy, nostalgia, or empathy. 

  Storytelling: The power of storytelling is evident in these ads, as they weave compelling narratives that capture the audience’s attention. 

  Relevance: Successful holiday ads often reflect the values and sentiments associated with the season, making them relatable to a broad audience. 

1. Hershey’s Kisses “Christmas Bells” 

Why it Works: This iconic ad from Hershey’s is a timeless favorite. By creatively using Hershey’s Kisses as bells playing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” the ad perfectly balances simplicity and charm, leaving a lasting impression. 


2. Sainsbury’s “1914” 

Why it Works: Sainsbury’s “1914” ad takes a historical approach, transporting viewers back to World War I. This touching narrative beautifully combines history, emotion, and the spirit of giving, reminding us of the true meaning of Christmas. 


3. Atlanta Botanical Garden: Holiday Live Atlanta 

Why it Works: The Atlanta Botanical Garden partnered with their local TV news station, 11 Alive, to spread holiday cheer and bring in visitors to experience the season’s magic and create memories to cherish for the years to come. 

4. Becker Animal Hospital’s Pet Perspectives 

Why it Works: Rather than pushing a product aggressively, softer ads focus on building trust and credibility. When a brand prioritizes connecting with its audience over immediate sales, it contributes to a positive brand image, encouraging long-term customer relationships. 


5. Coca-Cola’s Iconic Polar Bears 

Why it Works: First appearing in 1993 and now synonymous with holiday cheer, the Coca-Cola Polar Bears have a special place in our hearts as they remind us that the true magic of Christmas lies in sharing joy, love, and memorable experiences. 

6. Amazon’s Joy Ride with the Beatles 

Why it Works: Putting a holiday spin on an already emotionally classic song from the Beatles,  this 2023 Christmas commercial from Amazon narrates a tale of enduring friendships, illustrating how moments of joy become even more extraordinary when shared with cherished loved ones – and shows the role Amazon can play in bringing these cherished moments to life. 

7. Campbell’s Soup Snowman 

Why it Works: The Campbell’s Soup Snowman ad, a nostalgic gem, brings warmth and comfort to the holiday season. This heartwarming commercial captures the essence of family traditions and the simple joy found in a bowl of soup during the winter festivities. 

What Makes a Successful Christmas Ad? 

Let’s unwrap the essential elements that contribute to the success of a Christmas ad, turning it into a memorable and impactful campaign. 

Timing of Campaign 

Timing is everything, especially during the holidays. Launching your Christmas campaign at the right moment ensures that you capture your audience’s attention and avoid getting lost in the sea of seasonal advertisements. 

Pro Tips: 

  • Start early to build anticipation. 
  • Remember key shopping dates, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 
  • Consider extending the campaign to post-holiday sales to maintain momentum. 

Positive Energy 

The holiday season is one of joy, and successful ads tap into this positive energy. Viewers are drawn to content that uplifts and spreads cheer, creating a memorable and enjoyable experience. 

Pro Tips: 

  • Infuse your ad with heartwarming stories or feel-good moments. 
  • Use cheerful music, vibrant visuals, and warm color palettes. 
  • Highlight the joy that comes with your product or service. 

Supporting The Local Community 

In the spirit of giving, consumers appreciate brands that contribute to their communities. Aligning your Christmas ad with local causes creates a positive association between your brand and social responsibility. Here are a few ideas of programs and events your brand can align with to strengthen the community during the holiday season. 

Pro Tips: 

  • Showcase community involvement or charitable initiatives. 
  • Collaborate with local partners(such as your local news station) or organizations. 
  • Communicate how purchasing from your brand supports local causes. 

Fun Creative 

Injecting a sense of fun and creativity not only captures attention but also makes your brand more memorable in the minds of consumers. 

Pro Tips: 

  • Think outside the box with storytelling and visuals. 
  • Incorporate humor or clever twists. 
  • Create an ad that viewers want to share with others. 

Simple & Catchy 

In holiday chaos, simplicity and catchiness are key. Viewers should quickly grasp the message and remember your brand amidst the myriad of seasonal distractions.

Pro Tips: 

  • Keep the message clear and concise. 
  • Use memorable slogans or jingles. 
  • Ensure that your brand is easily recognizable. 

Cross-Channel Promotion 

A successful Christmas ad should be present across various channels to maximize reach. Coordinated efforts ensure that your message is heard by a diverse audience.

Pro Tips: 

  • Utilize linear broadcast and streaming television in combination with digital platforms. 
  • Maintain a consistent brand message across channels. 
  • Encourage cross-channel engagement, such as hashtag campaigns. 

About TEGNA 

As we embrace the holiday season, TEGNA’s 64 stations in 51 markets are trusted sources of news, information, and holiday cheer. With linear, streaming, digital, and measurement solutions available, we’re here to help your brand capitalize on the most wonderful time of the year. Let’s get in touch and see how we can amplify your brand’s marketing and advertising efforts. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make a fun Christmas ad?

Fun Christmas ads often leverage humor, nostalgia, or heartwarming stories. Incorporating festive elements and a strong emotional connection can make ads enjoyable.

When should I run my Christmas ads?

Starting your Christmas ads early but not too soon ensures you catch consumer attention without being drowned in the plethora of holiday ads. Typically, the period between late November and early December is a prime time for these campaigns.

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