From virtual graduations to drive-by birthday parties, celebrations have looked very different since COVID-19 struck the world. This will be the same for the upcoming holiday season. With a winter jam-packed full of traditional celebrations that are being reimagined, brands will need to respond quickly to keep up.
Keeping the Holiday Magic Alive
Families, especially those with children, are going to have to adjust to keep the magic alive this holiday season with socially distanced celebrations. Parents will likely go more over-the-top with things like decorations and at-home traditions. “I really want it to be super Christmas-y this year to get the feeling of Christmas without family,” said a mother in her 30’s on Pinterest. “It’s very important for the kids to feel like they’re not missing out. I’ll be going above and beyond with tons of decorations and a tree and activities.”
Another question parents may have is whether their kids will get to visit Santa Claus this year. Without the classic visit to the mall to sit in Santa’s lap, not only are these Santas missing out on much-needed income, but parents are wondering how their child will be able to share their Christmas wish lists. Brands can help answer these Christmas-centered questions by coming up with creative ways for little ones to be festive this year. Some of these ideas include a seasonal subscription box filled with crafts, treats, and activities. Another could be to help kids mail letters to Santa, or partner with some of the out-of-work Santas for a fun virtual interaction over Zoom.
Holiday at Home
November and December are typically months where precious paid time off is spent traveling home for the holidays, or going on the vacation they have been saving up for all year. But in 2020, 75% of Americans said they don’t plan to travel for or around the Thanksgiving holiday. 72% don’t plan to travel at all for any of the winter holidays. Although this is bad news for traveling and tourism industries, this could come as a good sign for retailers. Without their beloved vacations or plane tickets to see family, some people will be left with extra cash in their pockets. Brands could come up with innovative ways to create unique experiences at home.
Make the Most of Little Moments
Amidst everything going on in 2020, it is time to make the most of the little moments. With people staying home and social distancing, festivities will be less extravagant and more intimate and quiet. “I think it’s those little moments—even when the world seems so strange—that you can still create a place of intimacy, of safety and enjoyment,” said a male Pinterest user in his 30’s. “Like video calling back home to see how my family’s done up the place. Or a virtual opening of the presents.”
For brands who use television advertising, purchasing spots during Christmas movie marathons would be a great way to reach stuck-at-home audiences. Technology brands can also promote their products around this theme, whether it’s showing grandparents watching their grandkids open presents virtually, or a mother giving cooking advice to her son over the phone. Brands can demonstrate how they bring people together, even if they’re physically apart.
Watch Your Language
Although you want to promote your brand this holiday season, make sure to be careful of your tone of voice, as this will be a sensitive time of year for many people. Some may not be able to buy gifts due to job loss, while others may have an empty chair at their dinner table from losing a loved one. By having sensitivity around these potential hardships, your brand can tell a story that is understanding and comforting rather than tone-deaf.