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How to Meet the Moment of the 2020 Holiday Season with Your Creative

Published: September 22, 2020

Author: Becca Debono

Who could’ve expected that 2020, the year of “clear vision,” would include so many monumental events and milestones?
A global pandemic. Protests for racial justice. Hundreds of thousands of acres of burning land. Record unemployment. Perhaps the most consequential election of a lifetime.
As marketers, we’re facing daily challenges that are upending our lives, let alone the day-to-day functions of our teams and organizations. And it’s precisely our resilience that can help us make a difference this holiday season.
So, focus your sights on this moment, and deliver an experience that so many people are looking for right now—one that’s compassionate, forward-thinking, positive, and creative.
Here are just a few ideas for making your ad campaigns relevant and inspiring this year. For more detailed tactics you can use this season, download our 2020 Holiday Retail Guide.

Bring the celebration

Because of the pandemic, many people are even more excited to celebrate the holidays than in years past. It’s okay to hype up the holiday season and depict traditional images of holiday joy.
People are very much looking for an escape, figuratively and literally—for example, although air travel has understandably been down because of COVID-19, car travel is up 14% from 2019, as road trips and RV rentals have become a popular, safer alternative.
As we approach what’s typically one of the most travel-heavy parts of the year—one that will be more limited in 2020—provide your audiences with creatives depicting joy, amusement, and festivity. In other words, bring the celebration!

Celebrate diversity

Speaking of celebration…
There’s been a lot of talk about diversity this year, which has built up certain consumer expectations. In fact, in November 2019, Google published research that revealed 64% of consumers surveyed took an action after seeing an ad they considered to show diversity or inclusion.

The holidays in particular are a time where many brands introduce new creative, so remember to apply an inclusive lens to your new designs.
As we further discuss in our CMO survey, inclusive creative that fosters purchase affinities is only part of the picture. Brands that rise to meet this moment in 2020 and beyond—both internally and externally—have an opportunity to take a genuine stand and connect on a more than transactional level with a broad range of consumers.

Create hype

With this year’s added competition and Google’s prediction that holiday shopping will start early, consider teasing your holiday campaigns early so your audience will remember you.
Go bold and lively with your copy and creative (and as always, be sure to test, test, test to see what’s working and what’s not). The presidential election and pandemic will make the competition for attention even more fierce this year. Be extra purposeful through your messaging and imagery to be memorable. We’re living in a less conventional time, which gives your brand some leeway to test new creative territory.

Consider a different kind of holiday season

This year, as we continue our Zoom calls and find new ways to stay connected to our teams (virtual coffee chat, anyone?), it’s okay to be a bit more scrappy than usual. Keep the ball rolling. Do things like ask for employee volunteers to capture themselves “selfie-style” at home or direct a shoot from behind the computer screen.
As always, if you’re not sure where to start, our Creative Services team has ideas.
In the meantime, check out lots of other suggestions and tips for this year’s shopping season in our 2020 Holiday Retail Guide.

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