The holiday season saw many brands take different approaches to their video advertising strategy. While many chose to focus on the heartwarming emotions of bringing family together, others chose to bring awareness to hot-button issues that were pervasive across the year.
Many brands launched heartwarming holiday campaigns, which highlighted the joys of human interaction whether it is with friends, family, or acquaintances. KLM brought strangers together that were stuck at an airport over the holidays in its, "Bonding Christmas Buffet" campaign. The company set up an elevated dinner table in the middle of a terminal, and the only way for it to be lowered is for strangers to come together and sit down at every single chair surrounding the table. Once a big enough group bands together to lower the table, the once strangers eat, drink, and laugh together as new friends. The campaign received more than 52 million views.
Yearly recap videos are especially popular at this time of year, and YouTube's annual review campaign, "YouTube Rewind: The Ultimate 2016 Challenge," received the most views out of any campaign in December. With a True Reach of more than 284 million views, this campaign features many "mainstream" celebrities, including Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Seth Meyers, and James Corden, and YouTube creators PewDiePie, Bethany Mota, Casey Neistat, Rhett & Link, as they demonstrate some of the crazes that took 2016 by storm online.
Additionally, Facebook's recap campaign, "2016 Year in Review," and Google's "Year In Search 2016" campaign focus on the biggest news stories of the year, including the Olympics, the U.S. Presidential Election, and international tragedies. Facebook's campaign achieved a True Reach of more than 74 million views in December, accounting for most of the brand's views, while Google's campaign received more than 28 million views.
A new brand on the chart this month, Sandy Hook Promise created a PSA on recognizing the signs of potential gun violence in its "Know the Signs" campaign. The ad tells a story of a budding romance between two high school students that exchange messages by writing on a library table without ever meeting. As the two students meet face to face for the first time at the end of the ad, a student enters the school with a gun, causing chaos. The ad then states that in each frame of the ad there is a disgruntled student showing signs of aggression in the background that you may have overlooked when paying attention to the main story. The campaign received more than 59 million views in December.
Mentioned in my previous post, 2016 was a record-breaking year for branded digital video, and it looks like 2017 is gearing up to be even bigger with the rise of live video and new ad formats. We'll see which brands make a big enough splash in January to kick off the New Year next month.