When we think of holiday marketing campaigns, we usually think of B2C brands overtaking TV and radio with their sales pitches — but consumer brands aren’t the only ones having fun around the holidays. Many B2B brands use the holidays as a springboard for their own creative marketing campaigns.
Now that we are waist-deep in the holiday season, let's take a look at some of the top holiday-themed B2B marketing campaigns.
Inbound marketing company HubSpot’s unicorn mascot, Hu, has been involved in a wide variety of campaigns. In 2011, Hu was an integral part of the firm’s #HoHoHubSpot campaign surrounding the holidays, starring in a series of humorous — and a bit naughty — ecards. The company also released a YouTube video spoofing the holiday classic “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” with some inbound marketing-themed lyrics.
The funny campaign appealed to a broad audience, but also kept in line with HubSpot’s ideals and product offerings.
Campaign: Holiday 2.0
As a thank you and holiday treat to clients, customer service software startup Zendesk produced the "Holiday 2.0" video. A spoof on the popular TV show The Office, the dry humor of the video poked fun at startup clichés and marketing buzzwords like “gamify,” “native” and “game changer.”
The video painted the startup in a self-deprecating light, showing that they have a great sense of humor. Many B2Bs struggle with appearing too stiff and serious, but the holidays are a great time for them to show their human side.
Campaign: Funny Holiday Mishap
Humor is a recurring theme in holiday campaigns, as is the unexpected. That's the route security software company Norton chose to take in its “Funny Holiday Mishap” video. People don’t normally think about antivirus security around the holidays, but this cute spot makes an unexpected connection between protecting your computer and the stress of holiday cooking that is surprisingly relatable.
What’s notable about the Norton spot is the connection drawn between two seemingly unrelated topics. Many brands have attempted to draw such far-fetched connections and fallen short, but Norton pulls it off well.
Campaign: How Do You Give Back?
Last year, networking software firm CISCO pulled together an impressive charitable holiday campaign called “How Do You Give Back?” The campaign was based on Facebook and asked users to share how they gave back to their community. For each response, CISCO donated four meals to the World Food Programme.
Not only did the holiday campaign center on giving — a popular theme during the holidays — but it also created a whirlwind of social engagement. That type of engagement is hard to garner for many B2B brands.
5. WEAPON 7
Campaign: The Snow Machine
London-based agency Weapon 7 came up with a creative way to spark engagement last winter, setting up a snow machine activated by tweets. When Twitter users tweeted the hashtag #snow to the handle @TheSnowMachine, the snow machine set up on the street would — you guessed it — produce snow. Pedestrians loved it!
This stunt pulled double-duty in sparking engagement both face-to-face and on social media while also providing quality content in the resulting video.
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