Christmas Themed Marketing: A Glimpse at B2C and B2B Efforts in 2014

Image of four stockings with a different social media or information technology related symbol placed inside of them

It’s not uncommon for companies to develop Christmas themed marketing content to share with their current and potential customers during the holiday season. Christmas provides a great opportunity for some brands to help further boost their image as well as promote the products and services that they offer. The creativity and level of effort employed by marketers when it comes to developing Christmas themed content is interesting to examine. There are a number of ways that a brand can implement this style of marketing, some of which may include:

  • Christmas themed messages on social media platforms
  • Christmas themed posts on blogs
  • Dedicated websites for delivering Christmas themed content and experiences

These types of Christmas themed marketing tactics have value for both B2B and B2C marketers. If done effectively they appear to provide both a strong opportunity for marketers to align their respective brands with the spirit of the holiday and to promote the features and benefits of the respective brand’s products and services. Let’s take a look at an example from each type listed above.

Christmas Themed Messages on Social Media Platforms

Image of a tweet shared by Papa John's the night before Christmas
Source of image: Papa John’s Pizza Twitter Page,

This tweet is a good example of Christmas themed B2C marketing at work. Papa John’s Pizza delivered this message on Twitter the night before Christmas. The image included serves as a means of highlighting one of their products (cheese sticks). The copy’s message and tone provides a humorous way of recognizing the tradition of putting out milk and cookies the night before Christmas, while reminding consumers of one of the products that the Papa John’s brand offers. The organization’s choice to put a humorous spin on the tweet also has the potential to give it a level of authenticity that makes it feel more personal and less forced.

Christmas Themed Posts on Blogs

Screenshot of a Christmas themed post from Salesforce's blog
Source of image: Salesforce Blog,

This post on Salesforce’s blog is a great example of Christmas themed B2B marketing. For those unfamiliar with Salesforce, the company is a leader in the development of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. Getting into the holiday spirit, Salesforce developed a post that discusses all of the ways that Santa could use Salesforce in his toy manufacturing and distribution operations to boost productivity. The concept provided the company with a fun and clever way of touting some of the different services and features within the online Salesforce platform.

Even though the post focuses on Santa Claus’ business operations it’s easy to see how a business leader who was reading it could relate to the opportunities listed in each section and in turn recognize the value of the different solutions offered for both Santa and his/her own business’ operations. The post was written in a way that was easy to understand and well aligned with the Christmas theme that its headline denotes; increasing the likelihood that people who chose to click on a link to the post would take a close look at its contents.

Dedicated Microsites for Delivering Christmas Themed Content and Experiences

Image of the homepage of NORAD's Santa tracking website
Source of image: NORAD Santa Tracker Site,

There are probably a good number of people who don’t know what NORAD stands for (it’s the North American Aerospace Defense Command), but are still familiar with NORAD’s Santa Tracker. The inspiration for the Santa Tracker came about in the 1950s as the result of an error within a Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement that led children to call NORAD for information on Santa’s wherabouts. The concept has since evolved into a website offering a wide range of experiences. The main feature of the site is still the ability to track Santa as he makes his journey around the globe, but additional experiences offered on the site include the ability to play Christmas themed games, listen to Christmas themed musc, and buy NORAD and NORAD Santa Tracker merchandise. For NORAD, the Santa Tracker provides an opportunity for the organization to interact with the public in a lighthearted way and to showcase the detection and communication technologies that the organization uses to track activity in the skies. In recent years Google has offered its own Santa Tracker and Santa themed site with a wide range of experiences available to users aside from the Santa tracking function.

For these organizations developing a Christmas themed microsite provides an opportunity to promote the brand while offering users the opportunity to engage in a number of activities oriented towards entertainment. One other point to consider is that the Santa Tracker experience is largely geared towards children. For both of these brands, their respective Santa tracking websites provide a valuable opportunity to connect with individuals when they’re younger and build brand loyalty early on. These same children once they’ve grown up may decide to continue to share the tradition with their children allowing the cycle to begin again.

From a marketing management perspective here are some questions to consider:

  • As a marketing manager for each of the companies listed in this post how would you measure the impact of each of these different types of Christmas themed marketing tactics?
  • Are there any risks to developing marketing communications that are Christmas themed for a brand? What factors would you consider to help determine if there are?