Campaign: Coca Cola - Holidays are coming (Perennial)

Coca Cola is one of the undisputed champions of Christmas advertising. From their annual ‘Holidays are coming’ Christmas adverts, to the touring Christmas lorry, capped off with the historical ‘rebranding’ of Santa Claus himself in Coca Cola red, it’s influence on Christmas marketing goes above and beyond its own industry.

One of the reasons Coca Cola’s Christmas campaigns are so successful is that they are so comprehensively integrated, creating a holistic brand experience, rather than standalone engagements with consumers - aligning of the emotional triggers and responses across multiple channels

Central to the Coca Cola’s Christmas campaigns is the roadshow – a series of physical events built around the touring Christmas lorry. These are significant in that they don’t only impact those immediately engaged by these activations, but also a much wider audience as they spread across social media and capitalising on others FOMO (fear of missing out). This feeling of missing out on the Coke experience has an obvious solution… buy a Coke and capture a little of the magic of Christmas!

This is where the multi-channel approach is invaluable, capitalising on that desire to be included to sell a product. Beginning with the Christmas television adverts, Coca Cola uses the Christmas lorry motif to extend the reach of the experience. For example, in 2016, Coca Cola partnered with Twitter to ensure that users who tweeted ‘#Holidaysarecoming’ were ‘visited’ with a Coca Cola lorry emoji.

The campaign messaging extends beyond digital onto the physical Christmas branded products - aligning them with the campaign. In the past this has combined with other on-product promotions, such as the ‘share a Coke’ campaign. While earlier in the year this featured names printed on Coke products, during the Christmas period these changed to Santa, Rudolph and other festive titles. This multi-channel approach is a fundamental part of Coca Cola’s macro-advertising strategy, maximising brand impressions on all consumers.

Integrating the classic Christmas ad with the stars of Channel 4's Gogglebox to bring native advertisement to television.

How does this apply to B2B?

Building a campaign around physical events can be a powerful way to improve engagement and create a brand experience. This is especially effective in sales channels, where physical hype events surrounding a product launch can result in huge ROI from increased sales.

Physical events can also be effective in supporting recruitment - building a recruitment pipeline and supporting a primarily digital campaign. Experiential events at universities can ensure robust application numbers for years after the event has taken place, particularly if paired with a digital nurture campaign employing email and social media.

The other side of this is ensuring you take an integrated approach to your events, utilising digital campaigns, incentives and gamification to maximise engagement and ROI.

Virtual events are also an increasingly viable option, that can give everyone an exclusive, personalised experience. By designing a campaign around a brand experience, and making that experience multi-channel, so that people can engage with it, even if they can’t attend the physical event, you can ensure far greater reach, traction and emotional response.

So, next time you are planning your next roadshow or launch event, think “what would Coke do?”.

To find out how OrangeDoor can help you create your next integrated brand experience, call us on +44 (0)20 8289 6216 or email

Cover image: "A Refreshing Surprise" Haddon Sundblom, 1955