'Tis The Season: Gift Giving Ideas to Land Your Brand on the Nice List

Tyler Furstoss, Art Director
November 12, 2018

The season of giving is upon us, and it’s time to make those holiday shopping lists. It’s also a prime opportunity for brands to score some additional consumer goodwill (not to mention sales dollars) by delivering something extra nice to their patrons.

Stumped for ideas? Here are three brands that really got into the spirit:

Spotify: Punny Presents for Superfans

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, Spotify playlists were blaring, while I rocked my Shawn Mendes blouse. At least, that’s what I envisioned when I heard that Spotify was sending crazy holiday gifts to its most loyal superfans.

What they did:

In 2016, the streaming service teamed up with top recording artists to send holiday cheer to loyal listeners in the form of pun-packed novelty creations. Sia gifted her signature black-and-white wig topped with a "Sianta hat." DNCE celebrated their hit song "Cake by the Ocean" by sending, you guessed it, a "Fruitcake by the Ocean." Trap artists Fetty Wap, Young Thug, and Migos shared a gift called "Trapping Paper." My personal favorite, Shawn Mendes, famous for this ubiquitous earworm, knitted his face onto an ugly Christmas sweater that read "Treat You Sweater."

Why it worked:

When Spotify announced the promotion, users not only dramatically increased their engagement with the platform, they drew other fans into the fun on social media. People started playing their favorite artist on repeat in hopes of receiving a limited-edition gift. In an era when consumers have more streaming options than toes on a reindeer, Spotify created an enviable surge in earned media during the holidays.

MINI: Shutterbug Samplers for Devoted Drivers

Besides being adorable and fun to zip around in (full disclosure: I am a proud MINI owner), MINI has always had a knack for surprise and delight. They’ve dabbled in custom apparel, branded luggage, and even folding bicycles — so the MINI team had no trouble brainstorming a brilliant gift to promote the MINI lifestyle.

What they did:

To help their drivers collect memorable snapshots wherever their MINI takes them, MINI gifted a 3-in-1 phone camera lens kit containing fisheye, macro, and wide-angle lenses (yes, I did receive one of these awesome kits). The lenses make it easy to capture unique images beyond the capabilities of an average mobile phone.

Why it worked:

MINI’s smartphone savvy illustrates that consumer promotions don’t have to be big, complex, or showy to be effective. With a simple insight into how their drivers want to experience and remember their travels, MINI gifted an augmented driving experience vs. another branded holiday tchotchke.

Domino's: Pothole Paving for Pizza’s Sake

Pizza is the kindling to my soul’s fire. There’s nothing like bringing home a hot pizza, opening the box and smelling all that goodness. However, if you’ve ever opened a pizza box and found your cheese stuck to the top, the pie celebration is over.

What they did:

You may have heard that America's roads are in pretty rough shape. And that's not just a danger to our cars and wallets, it's a danger to our pizzas. Domino's recognized the importance of keeping their pies perfectly intact during delivery. In their national campaign called "Paving for Pizza," Domino's asks pizza lovers to point out the cracks, potholes, and bumps found en route to their stores. Domino's then selects a town in dire need of a road revamp and gifts the funds to do the work. The pizzeria chain has set a goal to pave the pernicious pizza potholes in all 50 states.

Why it worked:

The gift of improved road conditions not only benefits Domino's customers, but entire communities (what has your pizza chain done for you lately?). Domino's tags each repaired road with their logo and the tagline "Oh yes we did," keeping the brand's renewed dedication to delivering the perfect pizza front and center.

Tyler Furstoss Headshot
About the author
Tyler Furstoss, Art Director
Tyler is known for designing fresh, inspired creative for CPG brands. His ongoing obsession with smart social content has helped uplift the digital presence of brands including Keurig Green Mountain, Saputo Dairy Foods USA, and Friendship Dairies.
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