Christmas is only 100 days away, is your campaign planned yet? Here are the top 5 social media campaigns from Xmas 2015 for inspiration
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Top 5 Christmas Digital Marketing Campaigns

Top 5 Christmas Digital Marketing Campaigns

Christmas is one of the most magical times of the year, and what better way for marketers to embrace this magic than running a festive themed social media campaign to drive revenue and boost brand awareness.

Just last year, John Lewis spent £7 million pounds on their ‘Man on the Moon’ Christmas advertising campaign - an impressive figure which resulted in total sales across the group rising 4.1% to £1.81 billion over 6 weeks.

John Lewis heavily invested in the digital side of the campaign, with an augmented reality 3D App to engage consumers. Using this industry-leading technology to engage their audience, in-store and online, helped to close the gap, the UK public instantly responded positively to the advert and it gained a whopping 22 million views in its first week.

The integration of exciting digital assets might have been a small step for ground-breakers John Lewis, but it’s a giant leap for its digital transformation and we’re excited to see what 2016 has in store.

Marketing managers across the land are in the midst of planning for their showstopper this Christmas. You may not have the same budget as John Lewis, but there are tools in your digital arsenal that can propel your brand to the hearts of your customers faster than Santa can say ‘Ho!’.

We’ve curated some of our favourite campaigns from last year to give you some inspiration. Take a walk in wonderland with these digital campaign beauties:

Cadbury UK

You may recall the Cadbury’s campaign from last year featuring 24 lorries brimming with chocolate treats during advent.

One was sent out each day across the country where communities across the UK could indulge in free chocolate - but you never knew where the lorry was going to be next - cue intrigue and anticipation!

Cadbury managed to encourage excellent social media engagement with their campaign. The hashtag allowed people to share their images with the brand, and the festivity spread far and wide across the internet, as well as across towns and cities around the country.

The campaign cost £10 million in total, and provided the perfect platform for chocolate lovers to interact with the Cadbury brand and become part of the campaign itself. Examples of their clever community management can be seen below alongside a tweet from an excited customer!

Campaign Checklist

  • Spirit of Giving at Christmas campaign angle
  • Resource to deliver the product to meet supply and demand
  • Brand campaign collateral (digital and print)
  • A hashtag tracker for social activity
  • Community management across social channels to engage their target market
  • John Lewis
  • How could we have a blog about Christmas campaigns without talking about John Lewis? Every year, fans of their adverts wait with baited breath as their Christmas campaign first airs on television, and it’s always something magical.

John Lewis

Their 2015 campaign saw John Lewis tell the story of the along with Age UK, and this campaign spread far and wide on social media.

To make it more interactive, the ad was backed by moon pop-up sets at 11 John Lewis stores, where visitors were able take photos of the set as well as learn about the moon and the retailer’s partnership with Age UK.

The tie-up spans in-store and online activity as well the offer to make text donations when specific Christmas items are bought.

The below tweet is one of the only ones John Lewis dedicated to their Man on the Moon campaign, which speaks volumes for the strength of their campaign that reached far and wide on social with minimal input from the brand themselves.

If there’s one thing to take from this campaign, it’s that strong marketing campaigns harness the power to promote themselves. 

John Lewis also created an augmented reality app to take fans of the ad closer to the moon. When pointed at the man on the moon image found on posters, John Lewis shopping bags, click-and-collect boxes and other items, users are shown a 3D interactive moon that serves up daily facts and animations in the countdown to Christmas Day’s full moon. Additionally, a game based on the ad challenges players to get a chosen object all the way up to the man on the moon.

Although television is the key driver for this campaign, this investment shows that John Lewis are taking digital transformation very seriously

Campaign Checklist

  • Charity partnership with Age UK - Less about the hard sell, more about the emotional trigger
  • Experiential pop-up experience in store - great user generated content opportunity
  • Augmented Reality App to bring the experience alive
  • A hashtag tracker for user generated content

Harvey Nichols

We’ve all been there. It’s Christmas morning, it’s time to unwrap the gifts. And there, in your lap, is something hideous from a loved one.

Whether it be a scratchy jumper or another pair of socks, keeping a happy smile when you really feel disappointed is a challenge in itself - and Harvey Nichols decided to leverage this for their 2015 Christmas campaign, .

A hilarious advert came along with the social campaign, and Harvey Nichols regularly posted tips on avoiding whilst you open your Christmas presents.

People were quick to become involved on social and discussed times during past Christmas festivities when they were required to put on their best .

Some of the responses were rib-ticklers - and what’s really special about this campaign is that it’s incredibly simple yet it’s also relatable. It resonated with the audience, hence why people really enjoyed it.

Campaign Checklist

  • Relatable angle to encourage User Generated Content
  • Hashtag tracker
  • Video and photography to support the campaign
  • Community management to monitor social sentiment and reactions

Costa Coffee

Costa decided to hit social media running with the campaign.

The  campaign was centred around appreciating all things Christmas, and taking time out to reflect on our own happiness during the season, too. A few examples of their tweets are below:

There are examples below of others tweeting about the campaign, and they also used their festive Costa cups to create fun, Christmassy social content. News of the campaign spread far and wide thanks to their clever marketing ideas - all Costa had to do was provide the marketing tools!


Campaign Checklist

  • campaign tracker
  • Investment in print for festive cup designs
  • Community management to monitor social sentiment and reactions
  • ‘Engage rather than Broadcast’ strategy


During the festive season, we all like to treat ourselves - and so we should, it’s Christmas! And this is where the campaign came from for Asda.

focussed on both treating yourself and treating others, as can be seen from the tweet below.

It also featured pugs too, and everyone loves a pug - especially in Christmas fancy dress!


Target customers got behind the social campaign and made it personal to them. There’s a definite trend emerging from the successful social media campaigns in that which we can relate to, we post about.

Can target prospects relate to your Christmas campaign plans this year? It might be time to reconsider if not.

Campaign Checklist

hashtag campaign tracker
User Generated Content is King!
Spirit of Giving at Christmas campaign angle
Community management across social channels to engage their target market

Your Christmas 2016 Digital Marketing Campaign

You might have a perfect recipe for your homemade Christmas pud, but do you know the key ingredients for a successful Christmas digital marketing campaign? We’ve taken inspiration from the above to gift to you.

  1. Campaign angle - Must be relatable and capture the spirit of Christmas
  2. Brand campaign collateral (digital and print)
  3. A hashtag tracker for social activity
  4. Community management across social channels to engage their target market
  5. Experiential pop-up experience
  6. Digital Transformation - Opportunity to leverage technology to enhance engagement Augmented Reality App to bring the experience alive
  7. Video and photography to support the campaign
  8. Community management to monitor social sentiment and reactions
  9. ‘Engage rather than Broadcast’ strategy - User Generated Content is King!

Did we mention that Christmas 2016 is less than 100 days away?

It’s time to start thinking about your Christmas campaign if you haven’t already, and here at pixel8, we’re experts at making sure digital marketing success is in your grasp.

Want to know what we can do? Explore our campaign for Eastlands Trust as well as our case study, showing how we can leverage a multitude of marketing channels so you get more bang for your buck...

Get in touch with our managing partner (and Christmas fanatic!) Jamie Watson today and let’s get your brand flying faster than Santa’s sleigh this festive season.

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If you want to understand how our Smarter Within approach can work for your business, simply email us at or call us direct on 0161 228 6489. You're also very welcome to join us for a coffee and discuss how we can help you work smarter for the future.