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Modern Marketing Tips from Classic Holiday Movies

December 21, 2017 Melissa Piccinich

This is the time of year when consumers are barraged with holiday movies playing on repeat. Instead of watching numbly, marketers should take notes. After all, these movies teach classic lessons that easily apply to what we do: know your audience, be yourself and never stop asking for what you really want.

“Elf” Teaches Us to Identify and Relate

“Elf” is the story of Buddy, an elf from the North Pole, and his journey to New York City. Buddy is a firm believer in the magic of Christmas and holiday spirit. But, upon his arrival, it is clear many do not agree with his key message, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”

When Santa’s sleigh crashes in Central Park, viewers discover the cause is a depletion in Christmas magic caused by non-believers. The mission, similar to many great holiday movies, becomes saving Christmas. To save Christmas, Buddy will have to be more than merry and bright. He must make his audience believe.

As marketers, remember the sales process starts with identifying and really understanding your audience. Once your target is defined, create a plan to communicate your key message so it is relatable to your audience. Buddy remained authentic throughout the movie, staying true to his brand. However, he needed an influencer to further his message. By converting his father, the most vocal skeptic of them all, he was able to convert the rest of his audience.

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” Demonstrates the Importance of Differentiation

No character exemplifies the importance of standing out more than Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Rudolph was able to save Christmas because he provided a service to Santa that no other reindeer could offer ― the fog-penetrating light of his brightly shining nose.

To be successful in marketing, you must know what you offer that your competition does not. Amplify what you do differently and better, and save I mean, close the deal. If you help your customers save the day, they may look to your services as a vital resource.

“A Christmas Story” Reminds Us to Always Be Calling for Action

Once you have captured and captivated your audience, you might think your job is done. Bah Humbug! To achieve objectives, marketers must constantly remind their customers of the desired action.

In the classic holiday movie, “A Christmas Story,” Ralphie asks for “an official Red Ryder, carbine action, 200-shot, range model air rifle, with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time” more than 30 times. By doing so, Ralphie leaves nothing to chance. His request is clear and memorable.

An ambiguous call-to-action (CTA) can break any campaign. Conversely, a well-defined and regularly repeated CTA can deliver success. Marketers should use the inspiration of Ralphie to be a reminder that they should never stop asking their customers to take action.

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Classic holiday movies like Rudolph, Elf and The Christmas Story embody the ideas of the evergreen solution. In marketing, it is imperative to learn new tactics and approaches, but we must never to forget the tried-and-true lessons that have provided results for decades.

Holiday movies also highlight the importance of bringing people together to find answers. As 2017 comes to an end are you thinking, “we can to do better?” DMS is ready to help you find new solutions. From PPC and SEO to marketing technology and targeted customer acquisition campaigns, DMS offers solutions that can help you win in 2018. Need inspiration to visualize your victory? Contact us.


Cited Images By:

  • Roemer, Larry, director. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Videocraft International, 1964.

  • Favreau, Jon, director. Elf. New Line Cinema, 2003.

  • Clark, Bob, director. Christmas Story. MGM/UA Entertainment Company , 1983.

About the Author

Melissa Piccinich

Melissa Piccinich is a Marketing Manager at Digital Media Solutions (DMS), the fastest-growing independent digital performance marketing company. DMS helps its clients accelerate growth by deploying diversified and data-driven customer acquisition solutions that deliver scalable, sustainable and measurable marketing results. DMS performance marketing solutions connect the right consumers with the right offers at the right time to achieve the marketing objectives of our clients. DMS is continually innovating to provide new and emerging media and technology solutions that minimize waste and maximize results across the most competitive industries. Since its inception, DMS has demonstrated incredible year-over-year growth which has earned recognition on the Inc. 5000 list in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

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