Mmm, it’s that tastiest time of year for those who call the United States home. It’s not just about turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie, but moreso about giving thanks for what you have, cherishing family (even your stupid sibling who always shows up late and kicks you under the table), appreciating all the big and small blessings in your life, and trying to sneak a bit of turkey under the table for the dog.

Are you even listening anymore? Or are visions of candied yams dancing in your head? Okay, I’ll just get right to the point. The holidays, as any wise marketer knows, are perfect opportunities to, well, do some awesome marketing. And when you’re trying to tell a story, share a message, and connect with your audience like they’re family, what works better than video? Nothing, of course!

If you’re looking for some interesting, fun, or touching videos to put you in the Thanksgiving mood, or to inspire your own Thanksgiving strategy for this year or next year, here are a few videos worth viewing.

Mmm, turkey…

Why not just start off with the big bird right from the get-go. The New York Times actively produces amazing content on a variety of topics, even including cooking. For Thanksgiving, they didn’t waste an opportunity to make a well-done how-to video, that’s easy to follow even for the most novice of bird-cooking novices (even I could do this…I think!).

While the New York Times does include recipes in their social media shares, it’s probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the New York Times. But that’s okay; the holidays is a perfect time of year to share some top-of-funnel brand awareness content that doesn’t have to specifically have a hard line back to your product line. It’s okay to have some fun, and share some relevant-to-the-holidays and fun content!

One of the greatest things about this video? It includes demand and lead generation links at the end, driving viewers to subscribe, or check out related content. I tip my pilgrim hat to you, New York Times!

(Oh and by the way, if your brand is maybe a little bit quirkier, or you already have some fun video personalities you want to include in your Thanksgiving video, check out this one. It’s worth a watch!)

Don’t want to do another factual how-to?

Try a silly (or emotional) story. Captain Morgan goes with this approach. While the company is a B2C brand, B2B marketers can take this approach as well. All you need is a little creativity! Feeling a little dry in that area? Maybe a sip of the ol’ Captain first will help…

Can your product relate to the experience of the holidays?

Travel happens every day of the year, but the busiest times of year are, of course, the holidays. And when you think of busy travel times, you think of pain points. That’s where Travelocity made a big splash for last year’s Thanksgiving/holiday season – when pain points are mentioned, and then the solution is handed to viewers in an entertaining why, how can they argue?

Is your product or service not only useful at the holidays, but even more valuable?

While this video is a couple years old, I thought it was worth sharing. British Airways showed everyone how their service is ultra-valuable at this time of year, because they fly to more places. This isn’t just a regular video on a loop with standard copy, either. The information shown on the billboard changes for each plane that flies by!

While the video is more meta than a traditional storyboarded video, it still works – as we know, video is the best thing next to being there in person, so you feel like you’re experiencing the awesomeness of this billboard as though you were standing in front of it yourself. (And, if you have a video marketing platform with built-in analytics, you can see how your campaign performed using insights that you may not be able to get from a billboard!)

Try running a contest

Holiday campaigns are perfect for running contests (especially American Thanksgiving, which is precluded by Black Friday!) Contest campaigns are fun, top-of-funnel, and great for brand awareness. While Old Navy is a retailer, any marketer could think up their own contest. And if that isn’t reason enough to check out this video for inspiration, here’s the only inspiration you need: Julia Louis-Dreyfus.  

And now for the feel-good stories

Your product or service not really relevant to the holidays? Try digging a little deeper, or look for that angle that can help you tell a feel-good story. Humour is fun, of course, but heart-warming emotions are what Thanksgiving is made for!

At first glance, Shaw Communications may not have much to do with Thanksgiving. But they took the approach of bringing people together, and wow, I just couldn’t stop smiling at this one!

Similarly, the Real Canadian Superstore told a Thanksgiving story from the perspective of their employees. This is a perfect angle for any company; we’re all human with wishes, thinks we’re thankful for, and people we want to reunite with for the holidays. Even if you don’t sell food, this video may provide you with some great inspiration.  

You know what else is related to the holidays? Tradition.

Whether you want a serious story or a fun one, starting a Thanksgiving tradition is a perfect way to relate to your audience and help them embrace you during this holiday and, even better, during every year’s holiday. Of course, your story probably won’t have the nationally unifying power of the NFL, but we can dream!

Do you have any Thanksgiving marketing tips, stories, or traditions that you’d like to share? Well…share them! Add your holiday insights to the comments below.

And of course, to all our American friends (or anyone else) celebrating Thanksgiving…have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! Here’s hoping it’s not as traumatizing as this:


…And if you’re looking for seconds, just refresh the page.

Emily Ross