The holidays are a time to go big—big meals, big family gatherings and for these brands, big marketing. From encouraging good deeds to calling out oddly specific playlists, these brands are ringing in the holidays with a healthy dose of humor and inspiration.

Pokémon GO Frapuccino

For a limited time, Starbucks has introduced a special frozen raspberry and blackberry-flavored version of its Vanilla Bean Frappuccino. Just in time for the latest Pokémon GO update that adds 100 new creatures, the themed drink will be featured only at store locations listed as PokéStops and Gyms —physical areas that let Pokémon Go players catch Pokémon or battle other players. When a player enters the location and swipes the spinning disc, they will unlock the ability to purchase the drink. About 7,800 of its U.S. locations will carry the Pokémon GO Frappuccino. In Pokémon Sun and Moon, players are able to visit a café and purchase a drink while at a Pokécenter—a parallel that may boost the campaign’s popularity.


Thanks, 2016. It’s Been Weird.

The title of this campaign says it all, and we’d have to agree. Music streaming service, Spotify has taken user data and delivered it in a way that reaches its customers on an emotional level. A series of ads have appeared across 14 different markets, each custom-tailored to that location and addressing a particular trend or strange discovery from 2016 listener data.

One billboard in the UK reads, “Dear 3,749 people who streamed ‘It’s The End Of The World As We Know It’ the day of the Brexit Vote. Hang in There.” Another in New York says, “Dear person in the Theater District who listened to the Hamilton soundtrack 5,376 times this year. Can you get us tickets?”


This campaign is especially unique in how its uses very specific data to be engaging rather than creepy. “There has been some debate about whether big data is muting creativity in marketing, but we have turned that on its head,” Spotify’s chief marketing officer, Seth Farbman, told Creativity. “For us, data inspires and gives an insight into the emotion that people are expressing.”

The Gift Of Oreos

Baked goods are a delicious holiday tradition, and Oreo is making it easier than ever to gift its white fudge cookies over the internet with new direct-to-consumer shopping. Those who visit can send gifts without knowing the recipient’s address, using only their e-mail address or mobile phone number. Recipients can then “open” the gift online and confirm shipping details to send the Oreo gift to the location of their choice.

“Our goal is to become the leader in eCommerce snacking by providing the best product assortment, value and convenience for consumers,” said Neil Ackerman, global director of Oreo eCommerce, in a press release. “We’re piloting a more flexible, agile supply chain model that will allow us to have a more direct interaction with shoppers during a time of year when they’re increasingly turning to online sources to research gift ideas and complete purchases.”


Spread The Happy

Italian food giant Ferrero, maker of the Nutella hazelnut chocolate spread, is delivering a little positivity with “Spread the Happy,” a four-part documentary-short series on the brand’s YouTube channel that celebrates citizens in their communities.

“We were inspired by these stories of people spreading happiness and wanted to provide a platform for which to tell them,” Eric Berger, marketing director of Nutella USA, told [a]listdaily. “Since Nutella is all about spreading happiness, this idea is a great fit for our brand. We felt compelled to tell them to a large audience.”

The 12 Stinks Of Christmas

Febreze is back for the second year in a row to remind us along with Jingle Bells, there are lots of things that smell other than Batman. The odor-fighting brand has released a hip-hop music video featuring Doug E. Fresh and Instagram “petfluencer” @ItsDougThePug, where the rapper counts down stinks of the season, including “12 musty stockings, 11 burnt cookies . . . and eight frying latkes” all the way down to “a family that really needs Febreze.”

“Using the momentum from last year’s campaign, we reacted to consumer responses and trends, putting together a funky fresh remix,” Mandy Ciccarella, brand communications manager at Procter & Gamble, the parent company of Febreze, told [a]listdaily. “The goal is always to reach consumers in a fun way as they manage the holiday rush and prepare for the influx of guests and parties. The ’12 Stinks of Christmas’ proves that Febreze is the only solution when it comes to holiday odors. Don’t get us wrong, the holidays are great, but in reality, they can literally stink.”

In this image distributed Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 for Febreze, beatboxer Doug E. Fresh and Instagram star @ItsDougThePug pose on the New York set of their music video for the hip-hop remix of Febreze’s second annual “The #12Stinks of Christmas.” Following the success of last year’s “The #12Stinks of Christmas” music video, this funky fresh remix is available now on Eliminate stinks in a merry way all season long with Febreze’s limited-edition holiday offerings. (Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision for Febreze/AP Images)
Doug E. Fresh and Instagram star @ItsDougThePug (Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision for Febreze/AP Images)


Camera manufacturer, Canon has created a kindness advent calendar and invited the public to engage in selfless acts on camera without being in them. The #Selfieless campaign challenges photographers to turn the lens away from themselves and offers a suggestion each day for spreading a little cheer—from donating to a local food bank to clearing someone’s garden or just making tea for your work colleagues.

“The festive season is a time for giving back,” Lee Bonniface, marketing director of Canon Europe, told The Drum. “A small act of kindness can make a huge impact, especially at Christmas. It seemed fitting to invite people to use their cameras to share a feeling of goodwill this year. It is the most photographed time of the year after all.”


Department store Macy’s and Make-A-Wish celebrated the eighth annual National Believe Day on Friday, a pinnacle moment of this year’s Believe campaign. Each year, children are encouraged to write letters to Santa Claus and deliver them to a Macy’s store—for which one dollar is donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation up to one million dollars. This year, the brand will commemorate the holiday season with a double donation for the Believe letter writing program and the return of Wishes Across America, a day devoted to granting incredible wishes for children across the country with life-threatening medical conditions.

The award-winning animated special “Yes, Virginia” will air online on Macy’s YouTube channel. The half-hour holiday program features a star-studded cast including Neil Patrick Harris, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Alfred Molina and Beatrice Miller. The cast also includes former wish child Taylor Hay, who had her wish granted when her voice was captured for one of the film’s characters.

“National Believe Day is one of our favorite times of the year, where our partners at Make-A-Wish, Macy’s customers and employees come together to help make wishes come true for wish kids and their families,” said Holly Thomas, group vice president of cause marketing for Macy’s, in a press release. “Along with these incredible wishes, we’re bringing back double donation, which is a huge opportunity to raise an additional one million dollars for Make-A-Wish on National Believe Day alone.”

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR MACY'S - Jacob Galvin, 11, of Esperance, N.Y., visits the letter writing station at a National Believe Day 2015 celebration at Macy's in Colonie, N.Y., on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. Make-A-Wish announced that Galvin will receive his wish of a classic train trip from Chicago to New Orleans. The Believe campaign includes letters to Santa which result in donations from Macy's to Make-A-Wish. (Tim Roske/AP Images for Macy's)
The Believe campaign includes letters to Santa which result in donations from Macy’s to Make-A-Wish. (Tim Roske/AP Images for Macy’s)

Cheesy Gifts

Cheetos now boasts its own luxury fashion line, offering a stylish array of products from Flamin’ Hot Pants and dangerously cheeky underwear to a cheetah onesie and a $20,000 sapphire-embedded ring boasting more than 190 diamonds.

“Each year, holiday catalogs and gift gurus share their most unique and coveted gift items of the year,” Ryan Matiyow, senior director of marketing for Frito-Lay, the parent company of Cheetos, told [a]listdaily. “The Cheetos brand is joining this illustrious group with the release of a legendary gift collection and holiday book showcasing an assortment of this season’s must-have gifts. Each item puts the true meaning of opulence into the holidays, delivering a uniquely Cheetos wow factor that will impress even the most discerning gift recipients.”


Uber’s one-day event on Friday will allow consumers in Singapore to request 15 minutes of puppy play time. The ride-hailing app’s #UberPuppies drive raises awareness for the plight of Singapore’s homeless pups and benefits Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD). To get involved, all Singapore users have to do is tap the “Puppies” button at the bottom of their Uber app to request a visit. Two puppies will be delivered right to their front door by volunteers from SOSD who will educate the public about their cause. Cuddles are completely free, but the push will welcome donations—100 percent of which will go directly to SOSD.

Nostalgia For Leftovers

Hellman’s mayonnaise is revamping a 2005 TV spot in the UK with a contemporary foodie feel in an effort to appeal to a modern audience, The Drum reports. The condiment brand knows a thing or two about nostalgia, having been around since 1913. The ad will run between December 26 and into January, during which the brand will re-create a Christmas dinner leftovers recipe to inspire people to get creative with Hellmann’s mayonnaise.

“Over 12 million households buy Hellmann’s mayonnaise,” Hannah Webb, brand manager for Hellmann’s said, “and we estimate that this figure will increase even further during the festive period as Brits consume as many as 100 million turkey sandwiches between Christmas and New Year.”

In case you can’t get enough mayonnaise but you’re kind of sick of turkey about now, Hellman’s offers a number of recipes and tips for transforming holiday leftovers into new and exciting meals with its #Strangewich campaign.