Season’s Greetings: Inside Six Experiential Holiday Campaigns

It’s that time of year. You’ve likely checked your gift list twice, have had your Spotify Wrapped on repeat and are longingly eyeing the PTO countdown on your desk. But before you take a well-deserved break, check out the strategies and tools brands used to mark the holiday season in 2022. From curated pop-ups to interactive window displays to Christmas tree farm tours, these experiences were both merry and bright.

2021-walmart-joy-globes holiday teaserFrom The Holiday Archives:

Pinterest_Apt Therapy_Holidays 2022_tablescapeAPARTMENT THERAPY X PINTEREST

With holiday events, from family gatherings to corporate galas, back in full swing this year, Apartment Therapy and Pinterest teamed up for a Dine By Design showcase in November that presented shoppable tablescapes built to inspire consumers ahead of the busy holiday season. The one-week public installation, located in Brooklyn, NY, was curated by 10 emerging designers, who each crafted a two-person holiday place setting of dinnerware, cutlery, glasses and trimmings based on an assigned trend and their signature style. The result was a set of massive, Pinterest-perfect banquet tables. Visitors could purchase items used in each arrangement via QR codes, in addition to learning about the creatives behind each setting, posting idea Pins to their Pinterest accounts and exploring the products on the designers’ Pinterest boards.




Foot Locker’s overarching Holiday House Party campaign was brought to life through a 24-hour celebration hosted in store locations around the globe on Dec. 16. Recreating some of the campaign’s most unique components, like a Foot Locker sneaker holiday tree and curated “shoe refrigerator,” in-store events took place across Asia, France and the U.S. Gift wrapping stations, djs, talent appearances and activations unique to each location were all part of the experience.

Foot Locker stores in Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines kicked off the 24-hour program with a basketball-themed arcade, “drop or cop” claw machines, personalized trading card printing services and sneaker customization stations. Continuing in Paris, the brand offered a henna station, cookie bar and hot chocolate, followed by an event in Harlem, NY, where musician Dave East hosted a meet-and-greet, and attendees engaged with product customization stations and snagged gift card giveaways.

Wrapping up the celebration was an event at the Hollywood Foot Locker featuring more shoe customization and a private fan meet-and-greet with rapper BIA, a former Foot Locker store associate.




Hot prop_Enchant light festivalHallmark Channel (the supreme ruler of cheesy Christmas flicks), is known for its annual, multipronged Countdown to Christmas campaign. This year, that encompassed a whimsical tour of eight family-owned Christmas tree farms to “bring celebrations even closer to home.” While browsing trees, attendees could grab holiday goodies, pose for a festive photo op and, for a few lucky randomly selected visitors, score a free Christmas tree, courtesy of the brand. To boot, Hallmark launched a five-city spectacle in the form of a fleet of sweater-wrapped cars installed by crochet artist London Kaye. (Agency: GDX Studios)

But wait, there’s more. Hallmark Channel signed on as the first-ever national sponsor of Enchant this year, the world’s largest holiday-themed light event. The 10-acre experience, hosted in nine U.S. cities, included a story-themed, walk-through maze of 4 million twinkling lights and an ice skating trail to glide through. There was also a 100-foot-tall Christmas tree, a marketplace, themed F&B and live entertainment. And to enhance the experience for millions of annual visitors, Hallmark leveraged its sponsorship as a “new way to spread Hallmark Christmas joy” with festive activations that underscored its renowned Countdown to Christmas campaign. Among them: a Hallmark Cozy Christmas lounge, wintery photo ops and a curated wine tasting experience. (Agency: The Social Standard, influencer marketing)

Photo credit: Enchant



Lufthansa hit cruising altitude with a fresh New Ways to Travel campaign, designed to excite consumers around its international locales and introduce the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, with new routes out of New York. The program was launched at a holiday-themed event in New York City that included charming destinations, like a New Delhi spice market, a sidewalk cafe in Florence and a Munich Christkindlmarkt sweets shop. Meanwhile, roaming flight attendants invited passersby to stop in, enjoy branded treats and learn about cities they may want to visit. The pop-up was so popular that the airline extended it by a day. The space was additionally transformed for a media event and an industry cocktail hour to unveil the Dreamliner’s features and expanded routes. (Agency: DPEM)

Photo credit: Johnny Wolf Studio



Meta holiday windows pop-up 2022_man doing VRMeta Reality Labs live-wired the holidays with a pop-up that gave consumers a chance to explore some of the buzziest tech gifts of the season. A highlight was the opportunity to preview, and become a part of, a series of interactive holiday window displays in New York. Each indoor “pod” was inspired by a different game title (NFL Pro Era, Space Explorers, Beat Saber and Eleven Table Tennis) as a means of showcasing the range of experiences Meta’s Quest 2 VR headset offers. Chelsey Susin Kantor, global director-marketing at Meta Quest, in a statement, said the campaign was built to “capture the joy of having big, extraordinary wishes and actually having them come true” via virtual reality. (Agency: Deeplocal)

Photo credit: Meta



gingerbread_house_building_Pop_Tarts_ZillowA year of weird brand activations continued over the holidays thanks to a Pop-Tarts and Zillow partnership. To celebrate the re-release of Pop-Tarts’ limited-edition Frosted Gingerbread flavor, the brands crafted a detailed virtual gingerbread house (think: a Frosted Chocolate Chip archway and an Eggo Frosted Maple Flavor area rug) and listed it on the popular real estate site, along with directions on how consumers could make their own Pop-Tart house creations. The stunt was part of a sweepstakes that invited fans to build “modern,” out-of-box gingerbread homes and post them on Instagram or Twitter with #GingerbreadPopTartEntry for a chance to win $15,000 to put toward their mortgage.

Kait Shea
Posted by Kait Shea

Kait joined EM in 2015 and today enjoys her role as senior editor, digital content. When she’s not in reporter mode, rocking mermaid pants at Comic-Con or running laps at MWC Barcelona, you can find her at home listening to music.
View all articles by Kait Shea →

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