The holiday season is the perfect time for brands to get creative with their marketing strategies and connect with their audience in a festive and memorable way.
In this blog post, we will explore a variety of engaging and playable Christmas marketing ideas that can help you captivate your audience and spread holiday cheer. From Gift finders to an old-school snake game, these ideas will not only entertain your customers but also promote your brand and drive valuable engagement.
19 Christmas marketing ideas to spread holiday cheer
Below, you will find 19 Christmas marketing ideas, with many examples from real brands, that were all built using the Playable gamification platform.
Christmas marketing idea 1: Advent Calendar
Advent calendars are a beloved tradition during the Christmas season, and a digital version provides a fantastic opportunity for marketers to engage their audience throughout the entire month. By implementing an Advent Calendar campaign, you can create a sense of excitement and anticipation while offering daily competitions and exclusive promotions to your customers.
Søstrene Grene, a Danish retail chain known for its unique ambiance and extensive range of products, embraced the Advent Calendar concept to generate new leads during the Christmas season. Søstrene Grene's Advent Calendar featured a daily quiz question that was intricately crafted around the brand. Participants could unlock a new lock each day, revealing a quiz question related to Søstrene Grene's products, Scandinavian design, or the brand's core values. Plus, by participating, potential customers could win a Christmas gift. The lead form was at the end of the game, after the quiz question, ensuring that participants would first access the Advent Calendar, and answer the quiz question, before having to give their contact details.
Interested in the results? Read the full story of Søstrene Grene advent calendar!
Christmas marketing idea 2: Drop game
The Drop game is a modern twist on a classic arcade game that can add excitement and interactivity to your Christmas marketing campaigns. Participants are challenged to catch or avoid falling items using a container, earning points and unlocking rewards along the way. It is one of the most popular Christmas games we see!
Manuscript Pen Company
Manuscript Pen Company, a family brand with a rich heritage in creative pen and other tools, partnered with The Lionheart Tales to create an engaging Christmas-themed Drop game. Participants were required to sign in and provide marketing permissions for both Manuscript and Lionheart Tales to play the game. As an incentive, there was an enticing prize draw for a Lionheart Stationery bundle.
In the game, players joined Ralphy on a mission to save Christmas. Their task was to move Ralphy across the screen, catching presents that had fallen from Santa's sleigh to earn points. However, they had to be careful of falling coal, which deducted points from their total. The challenge was to collect 150 points before the time ran out. This game concept not only entertained participants but also highlighted the collaboration between Manuscript and Lionheart Tales while highlighting their unique products.
The Moco Museum
The Moco Museum in Amsterdam, an independent museum specializing in modern and contemporary art, introduced a captivating Drop game as part of their Christmas marketing strategy. Players were invited to play the Moco Christmas Game for a chance to win free museum tickets. By avoiding the black ticket and catching the pink one, participants could secure their spot in the competition.
To participate, players were required to provide their contact details, with the added option to subscribe and become a Moco Member, joining a community of art lovers. This playable campaign not only offered participants the chance to win free tickets but also encouraged them to engage with the Moco Museum and foster a connection with its vibrant art scene.
Christmas marketing idea 3: Spot the difference
The Spot the difference game is a classic and engaging playable experience that can be incorporated into your Christmas marketing campaign to entertain your audience while promoting your brand. Participants are presented with two similar images and are challenged to find the differences between them.
DSF, a renowned furniture retailer specializing in sofas and soft furnishings, implemented a captivating Spot the difference game to enhance their Christmas marketing campaign. The game was accessible directly without having to fill out a registration form, which meant that it had low barriers to entry.
After spotting the 3 differences, participants could enter a competition and have a chance to win a sofa worth £2,000. They were required to complete a registration form that asked for their first and last name, email address, and phone number, and included a marketing permission opt-in.
Christmas Marketing Idea 5: Personality test
A Personality test is an engaging and festive way to connect with your audience during the Christmas season, providing them with personalized insights and a touch of holiday spirit. By asking questions related to motivations, preferences, interests, or styles, participants can discover their unique Christmas personality or traits. This playable experience allows you to learn a lot about your target audience while also offering participants valuable feedback or insights.
Mødrehjælpen, a social Danish humanitarian organization supporting pregnant women and families in difficult situations, incorporated a Personality Test into their Christmas marketing campaign. The aim was to engage their audience while getting new contacts. By answering five questions, participants would find out which Christmas movie they were, such as The Grinch, Die Hard, or Home Alone. As an incentive, Mødrehjælpen offered a special winter hat and a bottle of water with the phrase "I didn't sleep for a year" as a prize.
While the game itself was not gated, access to the answer (which Christmas movie they were) required filling out a form with their name, email address, and phone number. Additionally, participants were asked to provide consent for Mødrehjælpen to contact them with information and opportunities to support their cause.
Christmas marketing idea 6: Product recommender
A Product recommender is a valuable tool that can help your audience find the perfect products tailored to their preferences and needs. Similar to a Personality test, participants answer a series of questions, but instead of receiving a personality type, they receive personalized product recommendations. This playable concept is particularly useful during the Christmas season as it can assist participants in creating their holiday wish lists.
Silverstone, the home of British Motor Racing, implemented a Product recommender as part of their Christmas marketing campaign. Their goal was to help participants discover their ultimate driving experience at Silverstone by completing a short questionnaire.
Although the questionnaire was not gated, the results page was. Participants had the opportunity to find out their recommended driving experience by providing their first name, last name, and email address. Optional marketing permission was also available for participants to choose whether they wanted to receive further communications. Once participants received their personalized recommendation, they could click on a "find more" button, which directed them to a dedicated landing page with detailed information about their recommended experience.
Christmas marketing idea 7: Gift finder
A Gift finder is another version of the Product recommender and a fantastic Christmas campaign idea that helps people find the perfect gifts for their loved ones. This playable campaign engages users by asking a series of questions to understand their preferences and provide tailored gift recommendations. By offering a seamless user experience and personalized suggestions, a Gift Finder can alleviate the stress of gift shopping and enhance customer satisfaction.
Siren Craft Beer
Siren Craft Beer, a modern brewery based in Berkshire UK, utilized a Gift finder on their website to assist their audience in finding the ideal gifts. The campaign began by asking users who they were buying for, followed by inquiries to best describe the recipient's interests or preferences such as being a foodie, art nerd, sports lover, music fan, beer geek, or techie. They then asked about the recipient's beer preferences, dietary requirements (if any), and whether the gift was for a specific occasion such as Christmas or a birthday. Additionally, users were asked if the recipient would like to receive more beers, merchandise, or both, and to specify their desired price range.
Based on the provided answers, Siren Craft Beer showcased two gift ideas that aligned with the user and recipient preferences. Each suggestion was accompanied by a compelling call-to-action button, directing users to purchase the recommended gifts immediately. Notably, this engaging playable campaign was not gated by a lead form, as the primary goal was to boost sales and provide a seamless shopping journey for customers.
Christmas marketing idea 8: Memory game
DitUr, a watch retailer offering Denmark's largest selection of watches at competitive prices, utilized a Memory game as part of their advent calendar campaign.
To access the Memory game, participants were required to fill in a simple form with their name and email. Once they entered the game, they were presented with a grid of cards, each featuring a different watch sold by DitUr. As players flipped over the cards and found matching pairs, they were exposed to a variety of watches, creating brand awareness and generating interest in DitUr's offerings.
Christmas marketing idea 9: Quiz
A Quiz is also an engaging game that can be utilized in your Christmas marketing campaigns to test your audience's knowledge and entertain them with fun and festive questions. By presenting participants with quiz questions related to Christmas themes, movies, traditions, or general knowledge, you can create an enjoyable experience while promoting your brand and offerings.
Arbejdernes Landsbank, a Danish bank, used a simple Quiz as part of their Christmas campaign. Participants were asked a single question: "What is Arbejdernes Landsbank?" The correct answer was "A bank with a good heart."
After answering the question, participants could enter a draw by providing their name, and email, and opting in for Arbejdernes Landsbank's newsletter. The prize included match tickets, food and drinks in the Lounge, and coffee and treats during the break, with a value of DKK 2,250. This Quiz allowed Arbejdernes Landsbank to engage their audience, reinforce their positive brand image, and create excitement with the chance to win a valuable prize.
Kähler, a Danish ceramics manufacturer, hosted a Quiz as part of their Christmas campaigns. Participants had to answer a single question correctly to enter a competition for a chance to win a delightful 3-course Christmas dinner from Meyers and a classic Hammershøi set from Kähler for 6 people, with a total value of DKK 8,178.85.
The quiz question was: "What percentage of Danes eat roast duck on Christmas Eve?" Participants were required to fill in a form with their name and email to participate in the contest. Additionally, they had to accept receiving marketing emails from The Rosendahl group and Meyers. This was a great way for Kähler and Meyers to get new email permissions.
Christmas campaign idea 10: Priority Puzzle
A Priority puzzle is a delightful and time-based challenge that can add an exciting twist to your Christmas marketing campaign. Participants are immersed in a Christmassy atmosphere as they arrange themed graphic elements or relevant products in the correct order before time runs out. This game concept not only tests participants' ability to prioritize and make quick decisions but also adds a touch of holiday magic to their experience.
HI FI Klubben
HI FI Klubben, a consumer electronics retailer, incorporated a fun Priority Puzzle game as part of their Advent Calendar campaign. Participants were presented with various product images, including speakers and headphones, all of which are items sold by HI FI Klubben. Their objective was to associate each product with the correct room shown in the pictures. By successfully completing the game, participants were then shown a registration form. This form provided an opportunity for participants to enter a competition to win a pair of BeoPlay HX headphones from B&O.
HI FI Klubben's Priority Puzzle game not only entertained participants but also served as an effective product showcase. By featuring their range of products and encouraging participants to match them with the appropriate rooms, HI FI Klubben effectively promoted their offerings as potential Christmas gifts. Additionally, through the registration form, they were able to obtain valuable email permissions for future marketing efforts.
Christmas campaign idea 11: Puzzle
A Puzzle is another Christmas marketing idea that can be used to captivate your audience with a touch of Christmas magic this upcoming Holiday season. To play the game, participants are tasked with completing an image by placing a missing piece in the correct position, creating an engaging and playable experience for your audience during the holiday season.
HI FI Klubben
As part of a previous Advent Calendar campaign, Hi Fi Klubben incorporated a captivating puzzle game to showcase their range of products. The puzzle featured an image of a house-cinema setup, enticing participants to complete the puzzle within a set time frame for a chance to win an exciting prize.
After successfully solving the puzzle, participants were directed to a registration form where they could enter a contest to win a Sonos Arc. By providing their name, email, and phone number, participants gained the opportunity to participate in the contest and stay connected with Hi Fi Klubben. The Christmas-themed puzzle added an extra element of excitement, creating a festive atmosphere while engaging participants with the brand.
Christmas campaign idea 12: Snake
The Snake game is a nostalgic and addictive playable experience that can be given a festive twist for your Christmas marketing campaign. This classic game involves maneuvering a snake to collect elements, and with a touch of Christmas, it can become an exciting opportunity to engage your audience while promoting your products or brand this Holiday.
LELO, a Swedish retailer of sex toys and massage products, embraced the Snake game as part of their Advent calendar campaign. In the spirit of the holiday season, LELO transformed the game with a winter-themed decor, creating a festive atmosphere. Participants had the opportunity to play the old-school Snake game, where instead of traditional elements, the snake collected their sex toy products. Following the game, participants were presented with a registration form to enter the contest to win discount codes to the webshop. They simply had to write their name and email, to accept receiving exclusive updates, promotions, and offers.
Christmas campaign idea 13: Guess the word
Guess the word is a playable campaign where participants are presented with a hint, a scrambled list of letters, and a number of blanks. To win the game, participants must fill in the blanks with the letters in the right order to spell the desired word. For your Christmas campaigns, you can have participants guess Christmas words such as “Eggnog” or “Chestnut” or ideas of Christmas gifts that you are selling such as “Pyjamas”.
LELO, as part of the same Advent Calendar, also embraced the holiday spirit by creating a Naughty Guess the word game. Participants were invited to showcase their word-solving prowess and potentially be rewarded with discount codes for LELO’s website. Upon completing the game, participants were directed to a lead form where they could provide their name and email. This allowed LELO to collect valuable contact information while keeping participants engaged with their brand.
The naughty Guess the word game not only entertained participants but also successfully aligned with Lelo's brand image. By incorporating a fun and on-brand “naughty” game, Lelo fostered a connection with their audience and reinforced their brand's personality and message.
Christmas campaign idea 14: Scratchcard
The old school Scratchcard game is a beloved classic, particularly popular as a standalone Christmas campaign or as part of an Advent Calendar. Participants are presented with virtual Scratchcards that they can "scratch" to reveal instant prizes or offers. This luck-based game provides a thrilling and playable experience for your audience, making it an excellent addition to your Christmas marketing strategy.
SPAR UK embraced the festive spirit by utilizing a Scratchcard game in their Christmas campaigns. Participants were invited to sign up for a chance to instantly win prizes every day. By filling in their name, email, and postcode, participants gained access to the scratchcard and had the opportunity to subscribe to SPAR UK's email list. The scratchcard itself featured a Christmas theme, putting participants into the Christmas spirit. The chance to win instant prizes added an extra incentive for participation and heightened the excitement of the campaign.
Carl's Jr Danmark, a fast food chain, integrated a Scratchcard game into their Christmas campaign, focusing on their loyalty program and mobile app. Loyalty program members were encouraged to log in to their app and scratch the virtual card to reveal different products from Carl's Jr menu, such as fries or burgers. Participants could return each day to win items from the menu, creating anticipation and fostering excitement during the Christmas season.
This strategy effectively incentivized engagement with the loyalty program, driving footfall to Carl's Jr restaurants and boosting customer loyalty.
Christmas marketing idea 15: Wheel of fortune
The Wheel of fortune game is an exciting and playable experience where participants have the opportunity to spin a virtual wheel and win prizes or discounts. To incorporate the Wheel of fortune into your Christmas campaign, you can customize the wheel with a Christmas theme, such as adding holiday symbols, colors, or images. Additionally, consider offering Christmas-themed prizes, discounts on holiday products, or exclusive festive offers to make the game even more enticing for participants.
KAUFMANN utilized a Wheel of fortune as part of their Christmas campaign, offering daily prizes from popular brands like BOSS, Tommy Hilfiger, and New Balance. Participants were required to fill in a lead form with their first name, email, telephone number, and gender to enter the game. The chance to win prizes every day served as a powerful incentive for participants, compensating for the amount of information requested in the lead form.
Upon completing the game, participants were redirected to a result page that included a section titled "Do you lack inspiration for Christmas gifts?" This section encouraged participants to visit KAUFMANN's webshop, driving sales from the campaign and providing a valuable resource for those seeking Christmas gift ideas.
The Burger Concept
The Burger Concept also embraced the holiday spirit by incorporating a Christmas-themed Wheel of fortune into their campaign. Participants were invited to spin the wheel and win popular prizes or discounts from their menu until December 24th. The lead form, which was completed before the game, asked for the participant's name, email, telephone number, post number, and included a verification question.
By offering discounts or free items from their menu, The Burger Concept effectively incentivized footfall to their restaurant during the Christmas season and collected valuable data points on their audience.
Christmas marketing idea 16: Swipe It
The Swipe It game is a fun and playable campaign where participants are presented with images and have the option to swipe left (dislike) or right (like) to indicate their preference. This game concept allows participants to browse through various options and make quick decisions based on their preferences. For a Christmas campaign, the Swipe It game can be used to help participants curate their holiday wish list by presenting them with gift ideas or product suggestions.
Hi FI Klubben
Hi FI Klubben incorporated a Swipe It game into their Christmas campaign where participants were encouraged to swipe right if they liked the products shown or swipe left if the products didn't appeal to them. The game aimed to inspire participants with different products that could be added to their holiday wish list.
After completing the Swipe It game, participants were directed to a lead form where they had to provide their first name, last name, email address, and had the option to participate in the competition for a SOUNDBOKS. This allowed Hi FI Klubben to collect valuable information on their new leads. Finally, on the last page of the experience, Hi FI Klubben showed the products that participants liked based on their swipes. Participants could then click on CTA buttons to read more about the different products.
Roskilde kommune Sundhed
Roskilde Kommune Sundhed, the health department of the city of Roskilde, implemented a creative use of the Swipe It game by transforming it into a True or False game. They leveraged this game format to raise awareness about the impact of smoking cessation on mental health, particularly during the Christmas season when many individuals consider making New Year resolutions.
In their True or False game, participants were presented with statements related to the effects of quitting smoking on mental health. They had to swipe right for true or left for false to indicate their response to each statement. After each question, participants would discover the correct answer as well as facts and recommendations.
Christmas marketing idea: 17 Slot Machine
A Slot Machine is a popular casino-style game that features spinning reels with various symbols. With thereels and exciting rewards, a Slot Machine brings an element of fun and anticipation that can captivate audiences during the holiday season.
Demosil, one of Finland’s largest online stores for skincare, haircare, and makeup, used a Slot Machine at a Holiday Fair to drive visitors to their stands and generate excitement around their brand. Visitors were invited to participate in the Slot Machine game, offering them the chance to win exclusive prizes and discounts. To access the Slot Machine, visitors simply needed to fill out a brief lead form, providing their first name, last name, and email address. This enabled Dermosil to collect valuable contact information for future marketing efforts.
Christmas marketing idea 18: Sliding puzzle
Introducing the Sliding puzzle, a challenging and interactive game that involves rearranging puzzle pieces to form a complete image. This engaging game tests participants' problem-solving skills and provides an opportunity to incorporate a Christmas theme, adding a festive touch to your campaign.
Danfoss, a leading provider of cooling, air conditioning, and heating solutions, implemented a Sliding puzzle as part of their Christmas campaign to not only entertain participants but also gather detailed customer profiles. By engaging in the game, participants had the chance to win exciting Christmas prizes while providing valuable information to Danfoss. After completing the Sliding Puzzle, participants were presented with a lead form that aimed to collect specific details such as gender, first name, last name, company, department, function, email, country/region, and an opt-in to receive promotional campaigns, price lists, and information about new product launches.
By encouraging participants to fill out the lead form, Danfoss was able to obtain comprehensive customer profiles, enabling them to tailor their marketing efforts and provide relevant and targeted communications.
Christmas marketing idea 19: Rock Paper Scissors
Rock Paper Scissors is a classic game that brings back childhood memories for many. It's a simple and enjoyable game that can be incorporated into a Christmas campaign to engage participants and add a nostalgic element to the festivities.
Kommunikation og Sprog
Kommunikation og Sprog, a trade union for communication, language, and marketing professionals, utilized a Rock Paper Scissors game in their Christmas campaign. Participants had the opportunity to play for a prize that would sweeten their Christmas time: a trip to the cinema for two, including soda and popcorn.
To participate, users simply had to fill out a lead form with their name and email. This allowed Kommunikation og Sprog to collect valuable contact information and use it for the prize draw and potential future communication, such as sending their student newsletter.
Want to discuss your Christmas marketing ideas with an expert?
As the holiday season approaches, it's essential to have captivating and festive marketing strategies that resonate with your audience. The ideas discussed in this blog post provide a range of interactive and engaging approaches to elevate your Christmas campaigns. From Advent Calendars to interactive games, there are endless possibilities to spread cheer and drive customer engagement.
Don't miss the opportunity to make this holiday season truly special for your brand. Book a demo today and discover how Playable can assist you in designing and implementing memorable Christmas marketing campaigns. Let the festive magic begin!