Few things shine brighter than the creative campaigns dreamed up by event marketers during the holidays. From playful pop-ups to eye-catching installations to imaginative window displays to digital engagements, brands go all-in to connect with consumers amid the busiest shopping season of the year. This year was no exception, with all manner of brands coming out to play. Here, six festive activations to warm your holiday season.
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SWAROVSKI’S ‘SPARKLING BOX’
Swarovski brought a gleaming holiday campaign to the UK earlier this month that offered a variety of shareable moments. Like an enormous “Sparkling Box” installation planted in London’s Covent Garden featuring a social engagement on each side of the structure, including a GIF photo booth and an interactive wall that showered consumers in digital snowflakes. The brand also activated a “Sparkle Street” experience featuring a Christmas tree that consumers could pose with, then watch as the image appeared on an adjacent screen. Rounding out the campaign were surprise and delight moments fueled by local cab drivers, who distributed Swarovski gifts to lucky passengers throughout the month.
In the U.S., the brand unleashed a shimmering double-decker holiday bus that wound its way around the streets of Manhattan. The vehicle was decked out in 350,000 Swarovski crystals, which took 120 hours to apply. The activation featured a product showroom, live music, hot cocoa, a variety of sharable moments and outdoor lounge areas.
TASTE OF HOME’S GINGERBREAD BOULEVARD
Taste of Home is no stranger to the holiday scene, and this year marked the fifth consecutive holiday season the publication offered a Christmas-themed activation at New York City’s Madison Square Park. The brand revived 2017’s Gingerbread Boulevard program this year, adding new activities and engagements to keep things fresh. Touchpoints included a life-sized gingerbread house featuring peppermint-themed décor, which included checkerboard tiles made of 500-plus pounds of real candy canes. Attendees could also watch a toy train touring “Gingerbread America”—an installation made entirely from real gingerbread and candy—through the gingerbread home’s frost-covered windows. The campaign also included a chance to snag seats at curated culinary experiences that, for the first time, gave consumers a chance to step inside the house. Events included dessert tastings and seated brunches, created in partnership with Folgers Coffee.
DOVE MEN+CARE’S #HOLIDAYSHEAR EVENTS
Dove Men+Care added an extra dose of warm and fuzzy feelings to its holiday programming with #HolidayShear, an event campaign designed to give dads and kids some quality time together amid the hectic holiday season. The brand offered free washes and haircuts to “men and the children in their lives” on Dec. 8 in 20 different Bishops Cuts/Color locations. In addition to the trims, attendees could participate in activities and games like “Draw Dad’s Do” and Tic-Tac-Toe. There were also photo ops that gave consumers a chance to show off their new looks, and some informal education on Dove Men+Care products delivered while stylists worked their magic.
L.L. BEAN’S NORTHERN LIGHTS
L.L. Bean’s Freeport, Maine-based flagship location is transformed annually into a holiday wonderland, and this year’s Northern Lights experience is no exception. The retailer from Nov. 16-Dec. 31 is offering a variety of family-friendly programming. From a Discovery Forest covered in twinkling lights, to a festive, 30-foot yurt dubbed the Warming Hut, to horse-drawn wagon rides, to a Model Train Village, there’s no shortage of action. There are also movie nights, yoga classes, arts and crafts activities, photo ops with Santa and his reindeer, and adventure walks. There’s even a “KidNight” New Year’s Eve celebration. Talk about ending the year with a bang.
BENEFIT’S JINGLE BROW EXPRESS
Even consumers who didn’t plan on traveling this holiday season had no problem jumping aboard The Jingle Brow Express, a beauty experience delivered by Benefit inside a hot-pink train carriage parked at London’s Kings Cross Station. The activation included the cosmetic brand’s signature eyebrow services, cocktails, a holiday pop-up shop, Christmas carolling and a DIY gift-wrapping station featuring cheeky wrapping paper that could also be personalized.
NISSAN’S INTERACTIVE SNOW GLOBE
Nothing screams “Christmas” like a snow globe, so to drive awareness around its 2019 Altima, Nissan erected “The Impossibly Smart Snow Globe” for its holiday campaign. The 40-foot, interactive installation in New York City featured a wintery cityscape, allowing the automaker to show off the new Altima’s I-AWD technology, a feature that helps drivers navigate various weather conditions. Consumers entered the multisensory Snow Globe from the outside. Inside, urban winter scenes replicated a real-life snow globe with programmed moments of snow falling inside the space, and projections helping bring the scene to life. And, of course, a 180-degree GIF opportunity was offered, allowing attendees to capture and share the experience on social media using #ImpossiblySmart.
Photos courtesy: Swarovski, L.L. Bean