Holiday videos are among the few opportunities marketers, and sales folks have to set aside their (well-intentioned) product-pushing agendas. Instead, the focus is on making a really good video, for the sake of making a really good video. And, as some of the most creative culture videos out there, holiday videos should show off the real heart of your company—whether that’s family-focused, laugh-out-loud funny, or maybe even edgy.
If the thought of coming up with the perfect holiday video is cramping your holiday cheer—relax. We’ve rounded up a list of holiday video ideas so good that you’re going to want to pull a Grinch and steal them all. And you can! In fact, you should bookmark this post and come back to it year after year.
From big corporate commercials to personal email video greetings, the holidays are your chance to say thank you to customers and contacts and a great way to flex those storytelling muscles to create pure enjoyment alongside brand awareness.
So toss on those holiday tunes and grab a box of tissues. Things are about to get merry and bright up in here (not because it’s also cold season).
Blockbuster Commercials: Holiday Video Ideas That Go Big
Let’s start with the blue sky ideas: Big companies, big budgets, and big production value. The most successful corporate holiday videos can be as quotable and memorable as your favorite holiday movie. The key is to focus on brand awareness and full-fledged entertainment value. Whether you’re a big brand or aspiring to their level of warmth and fuzziness, there’s something here for you.
1. Coca-Cola: “Chimney”
This commercial surprisingly features the classic Marry Poppins song, Chim Chim Cher-ee. This heartfelt Coca-Cola Christmas places an emphasis on the community spirit and guess what? The campaign starts by showing a young boy feeling sad living in a chimney-less apartment block. He soon begins to rally his neighbors to build a cardboard chimney to make sure that everyone gets a taste of the holidays! Remember, a magical Christmas is shared with our loved ones and community.
Stealable Tip: Sometimes, associating your product or services with an overarching theme is the best way to convey a message to your audience. Coca-Cola is attempting to associate its beverage with food and social feasting occasions. Creating an association helps leave a lasting impression for your potential consumers about what your brand is all about.
2. Ikea: “Assemble Together”
Ikea commercials are usually on point and the holiday versions are no different. This masterpiece starts by visiting a typical Canadian household of South-Asian heritage. It seems like a family from different generations is “Assembling Together,” as Ikea intended to convey. The twist is that a traditional Christmas soundtrack does not follow it. Instead, you’ll find the infamous Bollywood tune “Chaiyya Chaiyya” that can be recognized worldwide. Ikea wanted to reflect that all families create and love celebrating traditions all their own.
Stealable Tip: Often not, creating warm, heartfelt messages is the best way to connect with your audience. Ikea wanted to reflect the changing traditions and how families celebrate. They also added nostalgia with the Bollywood tune and had their products part of it instead of the main focus.
3. Amazon: “Joy is Made”
Amazon’s newest advert tugs at the heartstrings as a father bring to life a life-sized snowglobe for his child who’s struggling with the loss or absence of their mother.
Stealable Tip: Storytelling is what keeps your audience wanting more. Many people are invested in this character’s growth and see if she would truly feel better in a post-pandemic world. Who doesn’t love a good story?
B2B Holiday Video Ideas
Now we’ve seen how the pros make creative marketing holiday videos. But even if you’re not in the market for a million-dollar TV commercial, you can still wow viewers while also stirring up engagement.
4. Axonify: “Who Saved Learning in Whoville?”
The microlearning platform Axonify went with the ‘choose your own adventure’ approach with this holiday video. Video CTAs added at the end of the intro video let the viewer decide what path the grinch (featured prominently in the video) chooses to take.
Stealable Tip: Don’t be afraid to lean into pop culture or holiday favorites. Hit that nostalgia button with your audience, and you’re sure to delight.
5. Vidyard: “Last Christmas”
Vidyard has a long-standing tradition of creating an annual holiday video. In this example, we see an Account Executive struggling to get that end-of-year renewal. Instead of the same old boring swag or card, she decides to record and send a personal video email featuring a classic holiday hit (with a twist).
Stealable Tip: Chances are you have teammates with hidden talents that you can recruit for your culture or holiday video campaigns. Alanna Gurr, who’s featured in this video, is an accomplished musician, and she happily obliged to lend her musical talents.
Viral Videos: Holiday Video Ideas Fit for the Masses
Personalization is great, but if you don’t have a defined list of recipients or your primary distribution channel is social media, you may need something more general. With a scrappy budget and time to plan, a shareable holiday video could be just what you need for a wider reach. The following are examples of holiday videos that everyone can enjoy.
6. Hootsuite: The Hootsuite Holiday Owl
Two words: SO. CUTE! Social media software company Hootsuite added their own twist to the fireplace channel. It’s an adorable 40-minute yule log video of a sleepy little owl basking in the glow of a crackling fire. One-shot, one set, one owl. Cozy up with a blanket and watch it for yourself. (Lagavulin Whiskey executed the same concept with Nick Offerman and a bottle of whiskey if that’s more your style.)
Fun fact: The owl was from a wildlife rehab center and his name is Snoopy.
Stealable Tip: With all the time and effort you put into video creation, it’s great to make something your company can repromote year after year. Hootsuite made this video in 2014, and it still rises to the top of their holiday content every year because it’s still great!
7. ADsmith: “Jingle Bell Rock: A Holiday Lip Dub”
Between the teens on TikTok and James Corden singing karaoke in cars, it’s hard to go wrong with a musical greeting. Feature your staff’s own smiling faces on camera for a personal touch like the employees of the marketing agency ADsmith did with “Jingle Bell Rock.”
It’s a simple but well-executed lip dub video that takes viewers on a tour around the office while letting Adsmith’s company culture shine.
Stealable Tip: “Silent Night” is the most covered holiday song on Spotify, with over 26,000 different versions available on the streaming platform. Classics are classics for a reason. Play on people’s nostalgia by nodding to existing pop culture references from music and film.
Holiday Video Ideas You Can Create Yourself
8. Use Video to Let People Know You’re OOO
When you set up your out-of-office message for the holidays, consider attaching a video message to your email to your partners, customers, or prospects. You can kill two birds with one stone by sending a personal-feeling holiday wish while also letting people know when you’ll be back in the office to respond. Plus, who they can connect with while you’re out if needed.
Stealable Tip: A festive background is a low-budget way to add some holiday cheer to your user-generated videos.
9. Record and Send A Festive and Jolly Follow-Up Video
Follow-up with inbound inquiries (or really any follow-up scenario) with some added holiday flair.
Stealable Tip: No need for fancy equipment or software. You can download Vidyard and start firing out your own personal video greetings today.
10. Delight Your Targeted Accounts with A Personal Video Message
Make your targeted accounts feel special with a personalized holiday video message just for them. Create one video and send it to all the people in the account. It feels personable but is more scalable than a one-to-one personal video message.
Stealable Tip: A virtual filter can add some extra low-budget festive feelings to your video.
Holiday Cheer Can Happen All Year
Remember, December isn’t the only time to create awesome culture videos or personal feeling video messages. Delight your audience year-round with videos for every holiday!
This post was originally published on November 15, 2019. It was updated on December 1, 2022.