4 Tips On Creating Holiday Themes That Aren’t Cheesy

Any holiday is a great time to spin off unique marketing campaigns, but lots of companies come up short when playing off of holiday themes.  The last thing you want is for your client’s campaign or branding to look cheesy or just like everyone else’s campaign on a day where you should really be able to stand out.

Here are a few simple guidelines when creating a better holiday theme for your client.

1. Choose Free Stock Imagery Wisely
There are many places to find stock photos. Then there are good places to find stock photos. Here are a few great free stock imagery sites that provide quality and unique photos: Death to the Stock PhotoPexels, & Unsplash.

Odds are good, however, that if you are using stock photos, you will choose the same holiday themed photo as someone else.  Differentiate your image by firing up Photoshop and trying a few simple treatments:

  • Cropping: Optimize for interest and copy space
  • Overlays: Go dark or light to ensure high contrast for copy or logo
  • Holiday copy: Keep it brief and be mindful of good typography
  • Logo: Add your logo as an elegant overlay, but don’t forget your brand guidelines

Don’t have Photoshop or the skills?  Visit Canva for free and create professional looking assets.

2. Take a picture
Holidays are about family, friends, and fun.  Fire up a camera, gather the team, and smile.  Candid team photos are another a great way to add personality to your company.  It’s also a nice break from the pre-vacation deadlines that are inevitable just before a holiday break.

3. A little dab’ll do ya
Social media posts, e-commerce sites, and advertisers blast users with holiday colors and themes.  Try not to overdo it.  Try to keep your holiday color and graphic treatments light and elegant.

4. Ham and Cheese
If you’re lucky enough to be working for a brand or company that lets you play with innovative ideas then go ahead…bring on the cheese!  Just make sure you actually do go big and execute flawlessly.  Fully embrace the holiday theme and paint the project rich with holiday flare.  Highly interactive pieces and humor paired with a great social plan will go a long ways–see the new campaign at Carl’s Jr.


As an example, we were very lucky to work with First Data on a holiday-themed interactive piece for their “First Data Salutes” project, which just launched. You’ll see that it’s big, clean, and not all the photos are holiday-focused, providing some balance to what could be a gregarious and over-the-top holiday piece.

Holidays are a special time of year.  Your content should be just as special and different to provide for maximum engagement and enjoyment.

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