Dec 19, 2018

10 Holiday TV Campaigns That All Share One Focus

Holiday TV Advertising

As we learned in our Black Friday weekend review, Black Friday and holiday-themed advertising declined from last year during the weeks leading up to the busy holiday shopping weekend. Even though overall ad spend was UP 8% compared to last year, retailers spent an estimated 16% LESS on broadcast, digital, and mobile ad campaigns surrounding their Black Friday and general holiday shopping events (in the weeks between October 1st and November 22nd).

Below, we look at some retailers and brands who ARE actively advertising the holiday season this year and they all have at least one thing in common. As much as we might like to pretend it’s not, the holiday season is stressful! All of the shopping, the cleaning, wrapping, cooking, and the bills that start piling up are nothing if not stressful. The retailers and brands below did a great job of making the holiday season what we all dream it to be – a time of relaxation with family and friends, health, cheerfulness, effortless parties, and NO stress.


Starting on November 1st, the DNA home test brand 23andME aired a heartfelt holiday campaign where they ran several TV spots focused on family relations. Each commercial showed family members arriving at a host’s house and when they greet each other, the percentage of their shared DNA pops up on the screen. Each ad ends with a discount on DNA kits to give to your family for the holidays.

Academy Sports & Outdoors

Academy Sports & Outdoors ran a few humorous holiday spots on TV beginning November 7th where confused customers walk into the store and ask if the employee knows how to speak “guy” or “dad”. They continue to tell the employee exactly what their father or husband said when asked what they wanted for Christmas and the employee successfully translates and hands them what their man wants (for those of you who need help shopping for your father, “ask your mother” translates to a Magellan Outdoors fishing shirt and “I don’t know” with a shrug translates to camo apparel.)


I’m sure you’ve all seen one of the many Amazon commercials out this holiday season – all showing that the season is the most convenient for people who own Alexa-enabled devices. From having Alexa play your holiday playlist while you are wrapping gifts, to shopping on Amazon and having everything delivered right to your door or office, or to having your Alexa-enabled device turn on your Christmas lights while you are snuggled up on the couch with your family drinking hot cocoa and watching a movie, Amazon advertised a message of convenience in their holiday ads this year.


One of several holiday commercials for Ford Automobiles, released on November 16th, sets up a potentially stressful situation – “You finally did it. You invited BOTH sides of the family over. One table, twelve people. This could get interesting. But you can handle this.” They continue to show a woman with two carts full of groceries loading them into her spacious Ford Explorer without a problem.

Best Buy

Best Buy is running a very similar campaign to Academy Sports & Outdoors ads we saw above. They aired a series of commercials where customers come in with a list of people to shop for and the employee helps them find the perfect gift for everyone on their list. One woman says “my father loves dogs” and the employee recommends the Dyson cord-free vacuum for the dog hair. And for the “sisters who can’t agree on anything but love movies?” The Bose Soundbar 700 with Alexa built in.


The automobile manufacturer aired a TV spot on November 2nd this year advertising their Chrysler Pacifica in a humorous way. A mother and kids are on their way to visit some family and decide to sing and dance to some Christmas rap with their built in Uconnect Theater and 20-speaker premium surround sound system in their vehicle. What better way to beat the holiday stress than to dance it out?


While Facebook has several TV commercials out advertising their Portal voice-activated smart camera, their holiday commercials show how the Portal can alleviate stress during the holidays by enabling family members to speak to each other easily through video chat when they can’t see each other in person, for reasons such as lice – thousands of lice.

Giant Eagle

Giant Eagle advertises their Curbside Express program in their holiday campaign. They point out in the commercial that  “Giant Eagle’s Curbside Express is perfect for this time of the year. Because while you’re busy getting ready for the holidays, Giant Eagle does all your shopping for you.” A family is wrapping presents at home, while simultaneously a Giant Eagle employee is doing all of their grocery shopping.


Google advertises several products during the holidays, but we noticed the Google Home Hub series of cooking commercials they released for the holidays follows our pattern of stress-saving products during the busy season. Several problems arise when people are trying to follow recipes on their phones or other devices (such as smearing frosting on the screen when trying to scroll up, or picking up a tablet after it falls over with bread crumbs all over your fingers.) The Google Home Hub solves all of these problems because you can just speak to it – no touching needed!


One of Walmart’s holiday commercials shows a very busy mother wrapping tons of gifts and crossing everything off of her list. She then decides she needs something for herself, so she uses Walmart’s very convenient app to order herself a couple of gifts. On Christmas morning, you see her opening gifts that say “To Mom, From Mom” while her children are opening theirs.

Continue to check out our Holiday Hub to see more insights and trends for the holidays, or subscribe to our blog below to be the first to get updates straight to your inbox.