Our Top Five Branded Thanksgiving Campaigns

by Dane Cobain at November 24, 2016

It’s the fourth Thursday in November, Alex is Stateside but the office is closed for the day and all over America, people are stuffing themselves silly with their friends and family and looking forward to spending record amounts of money on e-commerce sites over the next couple of days.

Traditionally a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and the preceding year, the meaning of Thanksgiving has evolved over time, and while it’s still predominantly celebrated in America and Canada, it’s also a great opportunity in general to sit back and take stock of what you’re thankful for.

Thanks to the rise of content marketing and the need for ongoing conversations with customers, brands are keen to get involved in the celebrations, and we’re no exception. That’s why we’re taking a look at five of our favourite Thanksgiving campaigns.



5) Norton: Turkey Video

Norton, the antivirus software company, is primarily a B2B company, but that didn’t stop it from creating a Thanksgiving video in which a woman is increasingly frazzled as she tries to cook dinner. The messaging in the ad is spot on for what they were trying to achieve, and they even created a memorable URL for the campaign that people can use to access more information.

View it here.


4) AllRecipes.com: Best Thanksgiving Ever

As the world’s largest online resource for recipes, the website was ideally placed to talk about the tastiest holiday on the calendar. AllRecipes launched a campaign on Pinterest inviting users to pin their favourite food, decorations, recipes, stories and traditions to a “Best Thanksgiving Ever” board in exchange for a chance to win cash prizes. The competition was given extra momentum thanks to the company partnering with Better Homes and Gardens and Campbell’s Soup to pool resources and to increase the overall reach of the campaign.

View it here.


3) American Express: Small Business Saturday

Amex knew that Black Friday is traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year – in the UK alone, shoppers spent over £3 billion during the Thanksgiving weekend, marking the UK’s biggest ever day for online retail. Amex’s inspired Small Business Saturday campaign aimed to promote shopping at local businesses, rather than with large, multinational retailers. They even offered cardholders up to $30 back on their purchases, and their integrated campaign rolled out both online and off.

View it here.


REI #OptOutside


2) REI: #OptOutside

REI is an outdoor clothing and equipment shop, and this year they’re repeating their successful #OptOutside campaign in which they close the company’s doors on Black Friday and pay their employees to take the day off and spend it with friends and family, preferably in the great outdoors. This is in direct contrast to most retailers, traditionally hiring extra staff for Black Friday to cope with extra shoppers and make the most of potential profit. The campaign worked well because it combined digital communication with real-world action, and through supporting the company’s mission of encouraging people to spend time outside.

View it here.


1) Macy’s: The Parade

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been an American tradition since its inception in 1924, almost 100 years ago. Marketing has evolved since then, but Macy’s has changed with the times and turned their original offline campaign into a digital and social media extravaganza. The company set up a social hub on their website and ran a social media campaign around it, as well as releasing apps and a live Twitter feed. By sharing extra content and information about the parade, fans can get their fix in an environment to suit them, whether that’s on the microsite, on television or even in-person as they watch the floats go by.

View it here.


Macy's Parade


Over to you: 

Do you celebrate Thanksgiving? And will you be shopping online on Black Friday? Let us know what you think by tweeting @thisisfst.