Written by Sara Moulton 28 September 2020
Did you grow up with Advent Calendars?
In my family, each year we would get a daily calendar with little chocolates. Someone I know received a daily puzzle Advent Calendar. Another acquaintance grew up with an Advent Calendar made up of 24 small ornaments that they unwrapped and hung on the tree each day. For many of us, Advent Calendars are part of the holiday fun. They’re extremely popular in the Nordics as well as in parts of Europe, the UK, and the US.
The holiday season is also a season of big spending and bigger advertising. Ad spend for 2019 was anticipated to reach £25.36bn in the UK. This is compared to £23.6bn in 2018. A significant portion of this happens during Q4.
Knowing that advertising spend goes up during the holiday season, marketers can leverage this and create a fun, timely, and engaging experience for their audience.
Let’s take a look at some campaign inspiration.
5 excellent example of Advent Calendars
LEGOLAND, a chain of theme parks that are family friendly, wanted to gain new marketing permissions and communicate about park features. They decided to create a sophisticated online Advent Calendar and use a variety of game concepts. One great example was a 360°photo of Santa’s workshop where participants had to count how many elves were in the photo. It was innovative and got people to actively engage with the brand. The campaign was very successful and saw an average of 6,000 unique registrations each day.
Amsterdam-headquartered home and beauty company Rituals releases a well-known physical Advent Calendar each year; this year there are two versions and their cost ranges from £60-£90.
Rituals wanted to engage and capture new leads so they created an online Advent Calendar. They also assumed that these participants would eventually lead to quality traffic to their site.
Last year, Rituals registered 30,000 unique participants from their online Calendar. These participants visited the Advent Calendar an average of four times each, which resulted in Rituals having over 2,700 hours of engagement time with their target audience.
Global pump manufacturer Grundfos engages their installers with gamification. Last year, they created a daily Advent Calendar with the purpose of retaining existing installers while recruiting new installers. This campaign has been their most successful one to date, and it’s a good example of a B2B company focused on engaging their audience.
Danish supermarket chain Føtex’s KPI (key performance indicators) for their Christmas campaign was to increase their email database by 10,000 new permissions, continue engaging current newsletter subscribers, and create awareness of their online shopping feature. It worked! During the campaign, Føtex saw almost 95,000 visits, 22,000 unique registrations, and over 13,000 new permissions. They surpassed their primary KPI and were very happy with the results.
The Federation of Danish Motorists is an organization that offers advice and assistance to its members. They also publish an automotive magazine in Denmark. They wanted to create an online Advent Calendar that engaged their members and communicated benefits of membership. FDM also wanted to increase feelings of loyalty, which they achieved; their campaign saw an average of 25,000 visits each day of the Calendar. Because many of their days also included a video, the average time spent per visit was 53 seconds.
How to get started
Online Advent Calendars can provide easily scalable reach. Because there isn’t a physical Calendar, it’s also accessible to your entire audience.
Before beginning to build your online Calendar, we recommend deciding on your KPIs (key performance indicators) first. Is the point of the Calendar to drive engagement, collect new permissions, or get customers to your store? Start by making this decision, and then let it dictate the Calendar design.
Create a fresh experience that draws on nostalgia and uses technology to
expand its reach.