3 trends shaking up holiday advertising

There are certain elements we’ve come to expect from holiday advertising and marketing. Images of family. Home. Cozy fires. Fuzzy blankets. It’s no secret that nostalgia has always had a home in all-holiday marketing. (You remember the groundbreaking Folgers classic, “Peter Comes Home for Christmas” commercial, right?) But 2015 promises to change the tone. This holiday season, retailers are preparing to unleash a brand new set of trends on the holiday consumer, and the world is more than ready to play along.

Get in early.

Year after year, the winter-holiday season slowly creeps its way up on our calendars. While the weeks between Halloween and Thanksgiving were once reserved for autumnal activities and celebration, companies like Starbucks have turned those precious days into a fast-track to holiday-cheer.

But this year, Amazon is taking the holiday leap to a whole new level, by unveiling early Black Friday deal exclusives. The retail giant is hoping to get a leg up on competitors by slashing prices and reminding you that there are only so many days left until gift giving commences! The announcement came just a few days ago, but with Best Buy and Walmart already following suit, it won’t be long before this trend becomes the norm.

Speak to their inner child.

If early holiday marketing is any indicator of how far this shift will take us, 2015 is going to turn that sentimental note inward, and encourage everyone to treat their inner child.

Take Dallas Vintage Toys for example. Last week, their commercial featuring a father-son team working together to create junior’s robot costume went viral. The audience is lured in by some quality family-time, only to (spoiler alert!) learn that dad blows his son out of the water with a high-tech, presumably expensive, robot costume. *Cue feelings of betrayal!* Just as you’re asking yourself, “How could he do that!?” the message becomes clear – this is the time to use your adult-advantages to treat YOUR inner child. With such a genius idea, we’re sure this isn’t the last you’ll see of this tactic this holiday season. So go ahead, buy that fully functional light saber you’ve been dreaming about since you were five. You’ve earned it!

Go against the grain.

While early sales and strategically encouraging viewers to treat themselves may not come as much of a surprise, a recent move by camping Goliath and outdoor-enthusiast favorite, REI, certainly shocked the world with their #OptOutside campaign. In what may be the most intelligent, in-touch move by a brand in 2015, the #OptOutside trending hashtag accompanied the announcement that they would actually be closing their stores on Black Friday. *GASP*

Though companies (Nordstrom, for example) have taken a strong stance against joining giants like Macy’s and opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day, it’s unprecedented for a major retailer to close their doors on the busiest shopping day of the year and is a sign that they truly know their (outdoor-loving) audience. Other companies would do well to take a page from REI’s playbook and look to their followings for similar strategic plays.


While these trends have gotten the ball rolling, the holiday season is just beginning, and we can’t wait to see what comes next. In the meantime, I have to go see a man about a light saber…



– Rebecca Oriente is a Senior Account Coordinator with CI-Group

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