2019 Holiday Advertising Ideas: Football, Hearts, Shamrocks, & Madness

The Christmas trees have been taken down, the decorations put away, and the new year has been rung in. We now shift focus from Christmas and other holiday gift buying to holidays that await us at the beginning of 2019. From football to hearts to shamrocks to college hoops, January through March brings on holidays that are full of fun times with friends and family.

Super Bowl Advertising for SMBs

When we think of Super Bowl advertising, we typically think of the commercials that will be airing from kickoff until the final blow of the whistle. However, you do not have to be a company with a large marketing budget to advertise for the Super Bowl. According to Nielsen, there were 103.4 million viewers during last year’s big game. Super Bowl watchers are not compromised of just the football fan base, but those who are there to watch the commercials and hang out with their family and friends. What does this mean for small business advertisers? It means that retailers in industries related to party supplies, food, fan gear, and electronics have access to consumers prior to the game. Leading up to the big day, users will be searching online for new recipe ideas, where to pick up the best wings, and deals on big screens and speakers. Do not miss out on the opportunity to position your business as the go-to place for everyone’s watch party needs.

Not a business in one of those industries? Then use game day to reach the wide variety of audiences that are tuned in to the game.

Nielsen reported that during the 2018 Super Bowl game, there were 122.1 million organic interactions on Facebook in the U.S. about the game, with 62% of these interactions sent by females and 32% sent by people age 34 and under.

With in-game commercials driving online traffic and searches, make sure you have a digital presence, so users are being targeted with your ads while searching online for products and services related to the commercials that aired.

Valentine’s Day

Flowers, chocolates, cupids, jewelry, and hearts. February 14th brings out the romantic in everyone. Even though Valentine’s Day has a short buying cycle, it is one of the largest holiday shopping events of the year.

Just over 50% of adults partake in this holiday and according to the National Retail Federation, Valentine’s Day had an estimated spend of $19.6 billion in 2018.

So how does one business differentiate themselves from another business during the short buying cycle? Know your audience. Specifically, target consumers you know are searching for your products or services through display ads or location-based advertisements. Don’t forget that Valentine’s Day is not just for those in relationships or married. Make sure your campaign can include those shopping for family, friends, co-workers, or even pets. Use emotion and tug at the heart strings of consumers in your advertisement. Consumers are more likely to purchase a product or service if they can connect with and have an emotional reaction to the branding and advertisement. Don’t forget the catchy hashtag.

St Patrick’s Day

The one day a year that everyone dresses in green and pretends they are Irish. Even though St. Patrick’s Day is a popular holiday to participate in, it has a significantly lower spend than other favored holidays. In 2018, total spending was estimated to be $5.9 billion, according to the National Retail Federation, which means that there is less competition for those businesses who do advertise for this holiday.

A survey taken by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics found that St. Paddy’s participants usually spend money on these five categories: food, beverages, apparel, decorations, and candy.

So, if your business falls in one of these categories, make sure to promote yourself as the place to pick out your green apparel and shamrock sunglasses, to stock up on Irish whiskey and Guinness, or to purchase the ingredients for appetizers or decorations for the pre-game party and to buy your customized St. Patrick’s products. If you are a bar or restaurant hosting a party, promote your party through social advertising as the coolest party in town. St. Paddy’s day is about fun times with family and friends while enjoying green beer or Irish drink of choice and indulging on Irish cuisine. Remember to create a memorable experience so that attendees will continue to purchase from your business or frequent your restaurant or bar.

March Madness

And lastly, my all-time favorite, March Madness. Cinderella teams, busted brackets, and rooting for teams you never thought you would of in hopes of keeping your Final Four alive. You do not need to be a sports fans to get in on the tourney fun. March Madness provides a unique opportunity to engage with consumers as 2018 saw a record number of viewers tune into the Big Dance via live streams.

Turner reported seeing an 11% increase in unique devices streaming and a 36% increase in streams on connected televisions, which includes smart TVs, set top boxes and game consoles.

This gives advertisers another avenue to reach consumers leading up to or during the games through over-the-top (OTT) advertisements. March also brings an increase in spending to businesses in industries related to college apparel, grocery and liquor stores, bars and restaurants, and electronics. Loyal fans will be searching for new gear to wear for their games. Consumers will be on the hunt for new recipes and looking to purchase food and beverages from grocery stores or restaurants for in-home viewing. Sport fans and their friends will be checking for watch parties at local bars where they can hang out while viewing multiple games at once. If your business is not in one of these industries, you can still participate in the hoops fun by using social media to create excitement by engaging consumers through promotional giveaways or basketball trivia. Don’t forget to create a hashtag for your company and have consumers promote their purchase on social media while watching the games. Be aware when creating your ads that specific terms like March Madness, Final Four, and The Big Dance are trademarked and cannot be used.

The beginning of the year brings about holidays that focus on in-home entertaining, romance, and quality time with family and friends. Think of unique ways to position your company’s products or services during high spend holidays like the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day and take advantage of fewer competitors during St. Patrick’s Day. Using promotional giveaways, trivia contest, and other exclusive experiences will allow for consumer engagement and increased awareness for your products or services. Creating a memorable experience from initial touchpoint to the actual purchase will foster your chances of repeat purchases and a loyal consumer base.