Every holiday season some of the top brands treat us with a number of heartwarming, attention-grabbing seasonal ads, created to get our joyful juices flowing in the spirit of Christmas. From Coca-Cola to Budweiser, the brands we come to adore always find a way to deliver thoughtful and inspirational marketing via traditional advertising platforms.
Brands both large and small have unleashed their holiday marketing campaigns over the past few weeks, targeting frenzied shopping during the busiest time of the year for consumers. Macy’s evokes our childhood admiration in Kris Kringle, while Target’s bull terrier mascot, Bullseye, returns (a tad larger than usual) in two ads aimed at getting consumers back in the holiday (shopping) spirit.
And while the above-mentioned brands are among the ringleaders in holiday marketing brilliance, a European brand deserves a tip of the cap for its recent clever marketing ploy. Belgian brewer Stella Artois recently unveiled its “Carole” campaign through its website and Facebook page, inviting fans to send holiday cheer with an interactive app.
The lovely Carole is delivering personalized season’s greetings and a virtual glass of its esteemed lager (which, it explains, was “originally brewed to celebrate the holidays”) to friends and family this holiday season. Utilizing Facebook, Google Street View, Maps and Places, the app “Holiday Carole“ sends English actress Alice Eve and a team of carolers and musicians to a location of your choice.
The app asks you to enter a name, an address and a personal message. A video begins shortly thereafter, with Carole getting in her vehicle equipped with her own driver (and bassist), departing for the desired location. Thanks to Google Street View, you are able to see nearby scenery and landmarks dashing by in the car windows. Carole eventually arrives at your desired address and sings a quick holiday jingle in front of the house.
At the end of the video, Carole displays your holiday message next to a tempting glass (which is inscribed with the name you entered at the beginning of the ad) of Stella Artois. Pictured in the middle is a limited-edition bottle of the Belgian lager, which is now available in the U.S.
The application not only left me longing for a real-life glass of Stella, but it also prompted me to send holiday greetings to a few friends. While some addresses are not recognized on first entry, most locations that I tried work. Like Mashable’s Lauren Indvik points out, Stella’s Holiday Carole is reminiscent of Arcade Fire’s award-winning music video, “The Wilderness Downtown,” a video that uses Google Maps tailored to each individual viewer.
Stella Artois’ ingenious integration of Google Street View allows users to personalize the virtual experience for almost anyone, providing extensive visibility to those who are not even avid beer drinkers or fans of the brand.
The app has a couple minor glitches, particularly with the mapping features. Some may think the continuous snowfall is a bit silly if you are typing in an address in, say, Florida. Overall, though, the marketing campaign is simple to share and refreshing to watch. You can send Alice Eve my way, too.
Investing in social
Stella Artois isn’t the only brand investing in social this holiday season. According to a recent Hubspot report, more than 90 percent of marketers plan to increase holiday marketing spending on Facebook, compared to 75 percent on Twitter and 67 percent on Pinterest. Furthermore, a Harris poll revealed that 72 percent of people who use Facebook apps prefer “immersive and integrated ads.”
Stella Artois’ interactive app is not overly cheesy, and it caters to what most Facebook users want to experience an immersive experience. The brand takes an otherwise quirky and typical film and captures viewers’ attention from start to finish thanks to a slight personal touch.
Phil Pick, marketing manager for Stella Artois said, “In celebration, we’re excited to provide our fans with a unique Stella Artois experience that reflects our heritage and style. We think our fans will love this interactive Christmas greeting.”
If you haven’t tried the Facebook app, give it a try here and tell us what you think in the comment section below. Would you prefer more brands to take similar routes with that advertising in the future?