Niche Advertising/Audience Targeting


4 Advertising & Marketing Lessons Inspired By The Grinch

December 11, 2020 Melissa Ledesma

As advertisers, consumers and Whos alike celebrate the holiday season, many have been enjoying classic programming, like the Dr. Seuss-inspired movie, The Grinch. In addition to offering seasonal sentiment and joy, the not-so-mean green character also inspires tips for effective marketing and advertising. To help advertisers head into 2021 with more than good cheer, four marketing tips from the Grinch are highlighted here. 

1. Know Your Audience & Identify Their Motivations

“For he knew every Who down in Whoville beneath, was busy now, hanging a mistletoe wreath.”

grinch whoville polygon

The story of The Grinch begins with the main protagonist confidently observing his audience, noting their behaviors and believing he understood the motivations that drove them throughout the Christmas season. While the Grinch was sure he knew the needs and desires that inspired every Who, he was later shocked to discover that his hypothesis was vastly inaccurate.

Whether an advertiser is aiming to accelerate engagement with new consumer segments or seeking to increase loyalty among current customers, it is imperative that advertising strategies be rooted in a deep understanding of target audiences. In 2020, more brands and businesses decided to prioritize first-party data for better access to consumer-driven insights and behaviors. By leveraging the power of first-party data, digital advertisers can hone their strategies to reach consumers at the right time and the right place with messages designed to resonate and drive conversions. 

2. Regularly Monitor & Optimize Campaign Performance

"How did it get so late so soon? It's night before it's afternoon. December is here before it's June. My goodness how the time has flewn!"

grinch alarm clock

Many advertisers have experienced the feeling of running out of time then rushing campaign decisions that result in creative executions that do not quite align with campaign objectives. Whether rushed at the beginning or not, to scale results and enhance ROI, campaigns demand constant evaluation, analysis and testing.

Especially in the busiest of seasons – no matter how carefully crafted or implemented – campaigns need vigilance. Don’t wait until the month is nearly over to analyze your performance. Optimizing a campaign is easier and more effective when advertisers regularly monitor performance. Keep tabs on various KPIs daily and weekly, and take the time to tweak and adjust campaigns accordingly. 

3. Embrace Unique Partnerships

“No matter how different a Who may appear, he will always be welcomed with holiday cheer.” 

grinch cindy lou who

At the beginning of the movie, the Grinch’s only companion in the abyss of Mount Crumpit is a loyal but mostly unloved dog, Max. Although the Grinch values his connection with Max, the friendship was not enough to drive change. Later in the movie, a unique partnership develops when Cindy Lou Who decides to befriend the Grinch despite their obvious differences, with the friendship ultimately contributing to the happy ending of The Grinch.

Strategic partnerships can be innovative ways for digital advertisers to reach new audiences, drive engagement and motivate actions among consumers. Whether it is fashion houses like Marc Jacobs partnering with Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons to create new player experiences, fintech apps joining forces with TikTok influencers to promote healthy money habits to Gen Z or retailers like Walmart teaming up with BuzzFeed to launch shoppable videos, unique partnerships can help advertisers and brands scale their efforts. 

4. Connect With Consumers Through Empathetic & Authentic Messaging

“And he did hear a sound rising over the snow. It started in low. Then it started to grow. But the sound wasn't sad! Why, this sound sounded merry! It couldn't be so! But it WAS merry! VERY!”

Although the Grinch had planned to ruin Christmas, when he heard the joyous sound of the Whos singing, he was immediately moved. The Whos’ message resonated so strongly with the Grinch that his heart grew two sizes. More importantly, the authenticity of the moment motivated the Grinch to take action and brought back all of the toys and holiday items he stole in time for everyone to enjoy a Christmas celebration.

The events of 2020 have reignited the importance of connecting with consumers with authentic and empathetic messaging. Digital advertising that leverages authentic messages can help brands engage and connect with target consumers and establish stronger relationships with their current customers. Even without changing the size of consumer hearts, advertisers have the opportunity to use messaging that aligns with consumer values to drive brand loyalty and increase brand equity. 

Reach & Engage Consumers More Effectively In 2021

As 2020 comes to an end, are you thinking, “what can we do better?” Digital Media Solutions® is ready to help you find new solutions to scale success. DMS creates people-based marketing campaigns based on highly defined audience profiles to attract the consumers with the greatest likelihood to convert. Using choreographed messaging, DMS can build your campaign with your choice of channels to attract new customers.

Contact DMS

About the Author

Melissa Ledesma

An innovative problem solver by nature, Melissa Ledesma is both experienced and passionate about the digital marketing industry. She has held a number of high-level positions within the real estate, mortgage, entertainment and digital advertising industries, including Director of PR and Business Development at NJ Lenders Corp. and Director of Communications & Government Affairs at Eastern Bergen County Board of Realtors. As Director of Content & Communications at Digital Media Solutions (DMS), Melissa demonstrates a strategic, creative and tactical approach when handling the thought leadership programs and marketing and communications efforts for DMS and its family of brands. She manages all conferences, sponsorships and event execution and plays a pivotal role in the creation of written, digital and video content for all campaigns. Melissa has consistently positioned the team at DMS as experts in performance marketing across multiple industries.

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