Merry Branding!

In dealing with a rather dismal economy, marketers are having a scrooge of a time trying to figure out how to best reach jaded customers. Black Friday seems like an over-caffeinated (a tall peppermint gingerbread mocha to go please!) rush to advertise the season as well as deals for the best presents under your artificial tree. However, while the over-the-top advertisements and violent crowds are enough to make anyone dizzy, there are some companies that use the holidays to bolster their brand image to bring in the green and avoid going in the red.

Rather than just following the rest of the reindeer herd, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey is busy crafting its own tradition, introducing a multi-media campaign that celebrates Christmas with a 26-foot “barrel tree” assembled from 140 whiskey barrels at the brand’s hometown in Lynchburg, Tennessee.

Duracell is introducing an upbeat brand campaign called the Holiday Insurance Program, which is centered on the Duracell fan page on Facebook. By liking the page, Facebook members can access an exclusive streaming Chris Daughtry concert on the fan page on December 14. The campaign also includes reviews of toys from “real kids” and donations to the Toy Industry Foundation.

By doing this, Duracell reinvents itself as a company dedicated to reliability and social cause, rather than reliability only. Considering that recently released data from Cone Communications indicates that an overwhelming 94 percent of consumers are likely to switch brands (about equal in price and quality) to one that supports a social issue, this kind of marketing is certainly not in vain.

Instead of following the path of other advertisers that wrap the holiday sale messaging in joy, love and savings, Target saw a chance to be honest with consumers through the Christmas Champ, one of their recurring holiday ad campaigns that has been running since 2009.

The Christmas Champ creates a chance for customers to feel less ridiculous about themselves and holiday shopping through over-the-rooftop farce. If a brand runs a holiday ad enough, it can become iconic.

Essentially, the holidays are more than a chance to sell more products. The holidays present an opportunity for a company to bolster its brand and create new and ingenuitive holiday traditions, goodwill, and icons for their customers to love just as much as their presents under the tree.