Marketing | 05 MIN READ

6 ways to use Christmas adverts to give your campaign the x(mas) factor

Your Christmas ad campaigns are probably being planned and worked on right now, given that the end of the year is so rapidly approaching. Having a great Christmas campaign can be crucial to your business, as it’s the time of year when spending inhibitions are lowered, and people gear up for their annual splurge.

In truth, it’s not just Christmas where people are more willing to open their wallets, so you can apply the following tips to any of the typical spending seasons, like Valentine’s day or Halloween.

Over the Christmas holiday season in the US alone, spending ramped up to over $56 billion. This is just from desktop in 2015. It’s set to increase in 2016, and add to that that more people no purchase on mobile, and you can see that it’s a vital period for any online retailer.

These tips will set you on the way to running super successful seasonal campaigns. Feel free to add your own suggestions below!

1. Strong Theme

The key to a strong seasonal ad is to make it instantly recognisable. If you’re making ads for a Christmas campaign, make it festive! It’s really simple to do, and there’s enough material around Christmas to make your ad totally unique, while still keeping a strong seasonal theme.

Same goes for any of the big holidays. The visuals are so synonymous with the days themselves, so all you need to do is use them in a unique and interesting way, like this banner ad for example:

It’s simple, effective, and it really harnesses the holiday feeling. It’s evocative and more likely to convert than a standard ad at this time of year.

2. Catchy Copy

Just as important as the design, the copy on your seasonal ads needs to be really well done. As with any ad, the copy should be short, snappy, smart, and to the point. Use the language associated with the season, but try and create a sense of urgency too. The holiday seasons only last so long, after all.

This article from Econsultancy underlines just how important small changes in copy can be. For example, changing one word on an ad increased conversion by nearly 15%, which is huge. Now consider the following:

“Finish your Christmas shopping today and get 20% off, as our gift to you!” is more likely to generate interest than something like “Browse our Christmas offers”.

‘Finish’ is much more motivating than ‘browse’, and there’s a clear offer within the copy. Add to that the suggestion of a seasonal gift, and it makes the first copy far more appealing than the rather bland, directionless second.

3. Tug on the Heartstrings

All holidays are an emotional time for people, and your adverts need to reflect that. Whether it’s Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or bringing in the new year, people tend to get a little introspective and think about their loved ones, ambitions, and the things they want to do.

It might sound a little on the cynical side to tap into this, but it’s what advertisers have been doing for decades. The most prominent recent examples are the TV ads for UK retail giants John Lewis, and the supermarket chain Sainsbury’s. Here are their ads from 2015:

Both invoke strong feelings about the holiday season, and about how special you can make others feel. You may not have the budget for an expensive TV campaign, but you can still use whatever kind of ad you’re publishing to tell a similar story.

If your users feel a strong emotional attachment to your ad, they are more likely to remember your brand.

4. Use Shopping Campaigns

For any e-commerce site that sells physical products, running a Google Shopping campaign should be close to the top of your list of things to do for any of the major holiday seasons.

Google Shopping is the latest name for the feature where you pay to display your products as a search result to people who have a clear intent to purchase. So the people seeing your ads are certain to be interested in the product.

If your audience is searching for said specific product, the shopping results will appear close to the top of the first page of results. They contain an image and a line of text, like this:

Image from Google search for Acer

This appeared at the top of the Google search ‘Acer Laptop to buy’

Having one of these ads appear during the holiday season when searches for products go through the roof, is a fantastic idea. After all, traffic for shopping tends to increase by 25-30% during the Christmas period.

The only drawback is that your ad will be alongside ads for the same product from other companies, so you need to make sure your text, picture and price really stand out.

5. Create urgency with specific days

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have, over the past few years, become red letter days for shoppers all over the world. These are the days where there are huge savings offered, which are often significantly better than at any other point in the year.

Then there are the January sales, which tend to offer bigger and bigger discounts the further you get into January, ending in one last chance to pick up an outrageous bargain.

As an e-commerce business, why not recreate this sense of urgency for all of the holidays? Create ads which let your audience know that if they make a purchase before a specific time or date, they will make savings that they are unlikely to see again anytime soon.

A Christmas Sale image

In order to get your ads ready on time, you really need to look into specific software which allows you to create these campaigns to an incredible standard, with minimum fuss. This is where BannerFlow can help, so get in touch to find out more.

Typically, you would want to push these a couple of weeks before the day of celebration in question, to allow time for processing and delivery, but it’s a super effective way of driving conversion.

6. Retarget

We’ve written a lot about retargeting, but it’s been proven time and again to be one of the most effective ways to improve your ad conversion. Now imagine this being amplified by the huge increase in overall spend around the various holiday periods.

The Christmas season alone is worth billions, as mentioned at the beginning, so it would be foolish not to try and bring back those potential customers who have went to browse elsewhere.

If a user has looked at a product on your page around the holiday season, the chances are they are going to be shopping around. Through ad retargeting, you can make sure that even if they visit other sites, they’re still seeing ads for your brand and the item they were interested in.

It’s an immensely powerful tool, and one that can increase conversion by upwards of 400%, and given that everything is amplified in the holiday seasons, this could have a huge impact on your revenue.


Shaping ad campaigns around Christmas, or any other major holidays, isn’t just a good idea. It’s essential. Your e-commerce business will likely see an increase at certain times of the year anyway, so make sure you amplify this increased traffic and interest with generating more revenue. The most effective way to do this is by using the tips above, and getting your campaigns into the holiday spirit.

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