Christmas is by far the busiest time of the year not only in the home but in the advertising industry too. Every year thousands of companies spend millions in trying to reach the public as the biggest spending time of the year. To spark interest at this time of year is quite an achievement and here are five great examples of social media campaigns:

1) My Parents Were Awesome (Kodak)

    A somewhat serious and reflective campaign on the face of things dreamt up by Kodak; My Parents Were Awesome was not exactly a barrel of laughs throughout but did enough to capture the imagination of thousands. Families were asked to submit their favourite poignant and personal pictures along with a well-meaning, thought-provoking sentence like ‘Equality for all families this Christmas’. The sentimentality of the entries from the cute new-borns to those no longer with us was touching. Whether this persuaded entrants to consider cherishing both digital and print photography is unclear. However, such tugging, or yanking, at the heart strings no doubt prompted many to ready their shutters once again and, once loaded up with Kodak film, get the family together for another portrait or two.  

2) Toys for Tots (Toys-R-Us)  

Christmas time is traditionally a time for giving, thinking of those less fortunate and giving generously to charity. Perhaps a tradition that has been waning in recent years but one Toys-R-Us in partnership with the Toys for Tots charity have been very successful in. For the seven year deal, widely publicised on social media sites such as YouTube, people are encouraged to donate new toys or money to disadvantaged children. So successful has it been so far that they have collected over 3 million new toys and over 23 million dollars.   

3) 12 Days of Joy (GAP)  

Every family does their own ‘little thing’ not only at Christmas time but all year round and this was the angle of idiosyncrasy that the GAP took with their Days of Joy campaign. Entrants sent in photographic evidence of their family’s quirky Christmas tradition no matter how seemingly dull. Using such social media outlets as Pinterest, the GAP’s campaign quickly took off and became a small phenomenon around the world and overnight.  

4) Celebrate Brilliantly (IKEA)  

Once again leading the way in innovation, IKEA created their Celebrate Brilliantly campaign to market their new U.S. seasonal catalogue. The interactive catalogue used video clips along with full social media integration. Users were able to peruse the latest IKEA offerings and link it to their social network via Pinterest and the Facebook ‘like’ function. By building their campaign in such a social and interactive way, IKEA generated vast amounts of interest and sales from their new range as users went virtual window-shopping to let their friends and family know exactly what furniture they wanted for Christmas.  

5) Nutella Advent Calendar  

Chocolate spread purveyors Ferro garnered huge returns on their Christmas social media campaign with some rather surprising results. They employed a traditional media in television to drive the success of their Facebook Advent Calendar app yet 2.8 million who had seen it online had not seen the televisual promotion. Once people had accepted the app, they could count down the days left until Christmas and had the chance to win great prizes each day.  

As you can see, companies are taking a creative approach to seasonal social media campaigns that doesn't involve pushing the product too hard. Instead, companies want people to engage with the brand by providing their own content - whether that's a comment, a personal story or a piece of their own creativity. 'My Parents Were Awesome' is our personal favourite. It invites genuine interest and you'd check it out whether you knew beforehand that it was associated with the Kodak brand or not.