Savvy holiday marketing is the (not-so-secret) secret to end-of-year success in any industry. The biggest companies often save their best ads – and a huge portion of their marketing budget – for this time of year. That’s why this week we’re foregoing our usual weekly social media news round-up for a showcase of the cleverest holiday marketing on the Internet. Don’t worry, we’ll still tell you how to leverage these marketing tricks for real estate and get you an ROI that’ll put a holiday-sized grin on your face.

1. Go to Manhattan Instead of Another Family Dinner With Virtual Reality

Anyone who has ever watched a Christmas movie set in New York City, or been to Manhattan over the holidays knows that New York does the holidays like no other. Display windows on all the major department stores are decked out to the fullest. Now Google wants to ensure that even those of us who can’t experience the windows firsthand get to experience them through virtual reality. Window Wonderland is a VR experience made up of hundreds of high-res images (elegantly) patched together to create a VR panorama. The microsite features a link to a digital shopping window with products from the participating retailers available for purchase. So not only can you act like you’re in a New York winter wonderland, but you also get to balk at Tiffany prices like a real New Yorker! As purporters of using Virtual Reality for real estate, we gotta say that this is perhaps the best demonstration project yet. Agents, brokerages and real estate developers should take a page from Google’s playbook and get on top of VR.


2. Clever Packaging Means This Chocolate Box is the Gift that Literally Keeps on Giving

Have you seen the SNL skit “The Christmas Candle”? Basically, a single scented candle gets passed along as a gift to many different people since no one actually wants it. The candle is, to paraphrase the classic saying – the gift that keeps on being given. Godiva chocolates’ latest box is kind of like that, except it’s something that everyone wants – which is why it works so well. In a nod to Russian matryoshka nesting dolls, when you open the main box there are two boxes inside. The idea is that you keep one and give the other one away. Then when the person who you gave the first box to opens it, there are two boxes in it again (one to keep and one to give away), and so forth. Skillful packaging aside, this is a great gift for real estate agents to give their favourite past clients – it’ll work as a kind of chocolatey referral marketing campaign. You might even slip a bit of your branding in every other box.


3. Wishing an Entire Country Happy Holidays One Person at a Time on Facebook Live is Marketing Genius

Iceland’s relatively tiny population of 320,000 suddenly doesn’t seem so small when you’re wishing happy holidays to everyone above legal drinking age. A bearded man named Frikki was appointed by Reyka Vodka to complete this task, and did so within a Wes Anderson-esque whimsical tableau of puffin illustrations and a vintage yellow telephone. Yes, he actually wished every Icelander a personal merry Christmas, name by name, in a Facebook Live broadcast.

Using Facebook Live as a marketing tool is something we’ve discussed before (here and here). Like Reyka Vodka, we see it as an excellent tool to leverage for advertising, or a platform for having Live open houses, for example. Can you imagine if real estate agents wished all their past clients happy holidays by name over Facebook Live? It would be pretty sensational and you’d be able to watch aghast as the comments and reactions came streaming in. Use one of your nicest listings as a backdrop, and boom – two birds with one stone. Go ahead, let a sweet Icelandic ad campaign light the way to your real estate marketing success.


4. Netflix Made a Digital Teddy Bear That Connects People in Different Countries

We all know Netflix has a smart marketing team. Otherwise why would everyone and their grandmother be hooked on such a (mostly) terrible selection of films? Well, their latest is a fuzzy bear remote control. Sound out to lunch? It is, but bear with us (ugh, sorry).

When you hug the bear, it connects with another bear in another house or even country and that second bear’s heart will glow red. When both bears are hugged, Netflix automatically turns itself on in the two homes. This bear-gimmick is timed to the Netflix release of Fuller House Season 2. The bear itself is a nod to Mr. Bear (Stephanie Tanner’s best friend in the original series). Though this campaign is sweet to the point of being saccharine, it’s also smart. Adding a physical engagement to an otherwise virtual product is a great way to make an emotional connection with your brand. And even better, it has the whole referral piece baked in. What real estate agents can learn from this is that “digital marketing” can take all kinds of physical forms,  and reaching out in a strategic IRL way can set you apart from all the other bears in the meadow.


5. PayPal Knows It’s The Cash That Counts

This holiday season, PayPal (with the help of designer Jonathan Adler) is determined to make giving cash much easier for everyone involved, while still making you seem like a thoughtful person. PayPal is certainly at the helm of making it easy to spend money on the internet (although Venmo is hot on their trail), but until now, they haven’t been known for making cash gift-giving personal. PayPal’s new gift cards were based on their research that

Chances are, Canadians like receiving money just as much as Americans do – we’re the only country getting the same card designs a the U.S.

So what to expect this holiday season? Perhaps more digital cash gifts, but also a few real estate agents that are savvy enough to use this strategy for their referral marketing. Here’s the thought: what if you gave each of your most loyal clients $10 each towards something to furnish their new homes, and another $10 card that they could gift to a friend. Of course, our branding would be all over it, introducing you as the generous person that you are, and building a relationship organically. This is just one of our many ideas about how to optimize your referral marketing program.


To Wrap Up

The holiday season is filled with marketing gimmicks, most of which make us thankful that after December 31st, they become the Ghosts of Holiday Ads Past. However, there are also those campaigns of absolute intelligence and joy. Perhaps you have one of your own with clients? We hope our curated selection of skillful holiday marketing campaigns passed your test, and perhaps even inspired you to do something different with your marketing. Yes, you have 10 days left (and then there’s always New Years marketing).

That said – don’t work too hard! As for us, we’re taking a little time off of our Social Media News weekly to sip eggnog and be with family but will be back to serve up some social media delights in the New Year.

If you’ve liked what you have read and have not subscribed yet, this free subscription is our Christmas gift to you.

Happy Holidays from the team at Two by Fore Interactive!

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