The holidays — a time for the timeless

12/11/2009 at 3:16 PM Leave a comment

For the company holiday card, I was posed the question, “What is your favorite thing about the season?” That’s like asking me what my favorite song or movie is, and that provokes two tiny problems. There’s either the fact that the list of holiday traditions is seemingly endless or that I really didn’t have a tradition growing up — my family is from Vietnam, it’s a surprise we even celebrate the holidays.

Though my familial traditions are suffering, there are quite a few things that make the holidays unique to me. For one, I will only watch the film “It’s a Wonderful Life” on Christmas Eve — I simply refuse to watch it any other day of the year. Another piece of the season that I absolutely adore is the timeless nature of certain brands. Like we always say at X.Y.Zag, we can make advertising pertinent to almost anything (except for maybe the CIA, or the Patriot Act — you can never talk about that, unless you’re prepared for the consequences).

My favorite example of a brand’s Christmas campaign that holds its own year after year is Coca-Cola. The brand definitely has some things going for them (i.e. nostalgia and its pinpoint execution of, for lack of a better term, holiday goodness).

What I find interesting is that Coca-Cola had three distinct holiday campaigns when I was growing up, each carrying a different time period and overlapping one another. In the end though, whenever someone thinks about a sensory-overload inducing Christmas caravan or fun loving, CGI polar bears, they think Coke.

First there is, “The Holidays are Coming” campaign. Long been a tradition for Coke, the campaign disappeared in 2001. It was later replaced by the cuddly CGI polar bears, and, strangely enough revived in 2007 when Coca-Cola cited numerous phone calls from customers saying the campaign marks the beginning of the season for many.

Next, here are the aforementioned polar bears. Back when the campaign was introduced, it was truly state-of-the-art.

And finally, there are the nostalgic print advertisements that feature Santa. I absolutely love these because I am a fan of advertising in the 50s and 60s, where illustrations ruled.

To me, these advertisements really do epitomize the holiday season. And because of Coke’s perverse awareness throughout the world, it’s easy to assume that these ads really do enforce the brand name.

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Guess what? The BCS isn’t good (at marketing) Be a smart shopper this season

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