With all of the noise in the digital space, marketers are continuously challenged to engage viewers online who have become inundated with advertisements. Last week we discussed our Top 3 Emotional Christmas Videos, and how marketers are using sadvertisements to successfully target audiences, break through the noise and generate media coverage. This week we want to continue the holiday video conversation, but focus on a another video tactic that leads to the same results. What is it? It is creating videos that surprise real people in communities in heartwarming situations to attract views in the digital space.


These types of videos appear all throughout the year, and you will often see this type of content on talk shows like Ellen and Jimmy Kimmel (who often plan surprises for their guests and audience members), but the most impactful videos for many brands seem to take place around the holidays.


Videos showcasing real people, while difficult to produce, can be well worth the investment when done correctly. Some of the benefits include:

  • A significant amount of views online.
  • Lots of engagement on social media and social sharing.
  • An opportunity to tell real stories about real people in unique ways that audiences can relate to.
  • Ability to connect with people in a way that is not possible with traditional advertising.

Here are some examples of well executed Christmas videos that engage communities:


Air Canada’s greatest joy is connecting people around the globe during the holidays. Watch as they help a few unsuspecting Canadians with a very special delivery and follow them on a spontaneous trip to experience the #ACgiftofhome



While the following brands have not yet released a video showing how they surprised real people in communities, we think if the chatter on social media and the coverage in media is any indication, these two Christmas concepts will have very interesting footage to share with followers in the future.


Cadbury’s is planning its biggest ever advent calendar. There are 24 trucks, 24 doors, opening daily in 24 different locations. Cadbury hopes to bring joyful festive surprises to the nation on the countdown to Christmas. #cadvent



On December 9, 2015, WestJet celebrated its 12,000 mini miracles day. WestJetters wearing blue Santa hats joined Blue Santa to make 12,000 mini miracles happen across our network over a 24-hour period. A mini miracle is simply an act of kindness that evokes a positive response from someone. WestJet also encouraged others to participate and share their miracle on Twitter and Instagram. #WestJetChristmas



Click here to view the #WestJetChristmas conversation on Twitter


Click here to see if WestJet accomplished its Christmas Mission

You will notice that that all of these videos reinforce the idea that it is better to give than receive during the holiday season. While the overall message is the same, the approach and storytelling is authentic to each brand.


These unique stories engage communities, surprise real people and encourage the conversation to continue online after the video plays.


However, even with the best of intentions, not all videos that tell an authentic story and use real moments will have a well received video. Brands need to have a solid integrated marketing plan, as there are several challenges of making videos with real people, which include:


  • A limited opportunity to capture the perfect moment/reaction.
  • The increased challenge in surprising people.


Our tips on some ways you can make your video more successful include:


  • Incorporating a hashtag - This allows the conversation to continue after the video is online, and allows you to gain valuable feedback and insight from your audience. You will notice all the videos above incorporated a hashtag with the video campaign.
  • Share some behind the scenes footage such as photos and videos - You can share footage in an additional video, or post pictures to your social media channels to give your audience more related content. This is a way to share your brand’s personality and humanize your company so you are more relatable.


  • Partner with a charity - If your organization or brand supports or partners with a charity a video is good way to mention that, as Christmas is the time for giving back. You can mention this after the video is over, or in a behind the scenes footage video as we just saw with Sainsbury’s OFFICIAL Christmas Advert 2015 – Behind The Scenes video.
  • Create a storytelling opportunity around the video - Tell people the reason your business decided to make the video. The more an audience can connect to a story, the more likely they are to share the video and talk about it to their friends.
Below is our YouTube Collection of all our favourite Christmas Video Campaigns In 2015. These videos successfully target audiences, break through the noise and generate media coverage.


If you are unsure how to create an integrated marketing plan that includes video storytelling, we can help. Simply contact us to find out how we can help with your business needs.

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