The Official AdLand Advertising Tutorial- Part 4: Holiday Ads

While sugar plum fairies dance in your head (or is that just a hangover from all the holiay parties this time of year?) we've been working on the next installment of the Official AdLand Advertising Tutorial. So far we've covered radio, viral, and art direction. This time around we've decided to take the Tutorial for a topical spin. 'Tis the season to create helpful and unhelpful advice on how to advertise during the holidays.

The Official AdLand Advertising Tutorial: Part 4: Holiday Ads

Professors: Brent Hahn, John Backman, Åsk Dabitch Wäppling, Jane Goldman, Clayton T. Claymore, and Alex Stone (in no particular order.)

Sincere advice creating holiday advertising for those unfamiliar with sarcasm:

Chapter 1: Concepts and Layout

Add anything red, green and gold to the ad, but not too much as it'll end up looking like a rastafarian poster.

Don't use red green or the client will tell you this is *not* a Christmas ad, but a holiday ad so the colors must be festive but not too much one way or the other. ;)

Try not to offend any religion, while including all. Think wordings like "happy holidays" and "merry Chrismahanukwanzakan"

Start with a big red chair, big red bow, pretty much anything big and red will work.

Update your jingle with jingle bells! No need for fancy rewrites - just shake some sleigh bells over the existing track!

Chapter 2: Speaking of Music...

When it comes to music for your spot there are two kinds of Christmas, er, Holidayesque music: Huggy and Hip.

Huggy music is inexpensive, but the list of choices is a short one. These are, of course, the tunes that are both Public Domain and Jesus-Free. "Jingle Bells," "Deck the Halls" (except for the "gay apparel" part), and various bits of "The Nutcracker." If your client can stand just a hint of Jeezitude, this list expands to include "Good King Wenceslas," "O Tannenbaum," and "The Twelve Days of (This Holiday Season)."

But if you want to be Hip, it's gonna cost you. You're required to exhume an ancient recording, and the performer must be at least three of the following:

- Black
- A Woman
- An Alkie/Junkie/Stoner
- A Rat Pack Member
- Dead

Following these criteria, Ray Charles, Eartha Kitt, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank, Sammy, and especially Dino are deemed Holiday Hip, while Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Johnny Mathis and Doris Day get kicked to the
Kris Kringle Kurb.

Chapter 3: Tried and true Christmas commercial themes:

Santa gets stuck in the chimney.
Santa makes a mess.
Santa gets indigestion.
Santa has a disgruntled elf.
Santa has a problem making a modern toy.
Santa has diarrhea.
Santa has erectile dysfunction.
Santa covets something he sees in a house he visits.
Something happens to Santa's outfit - pants rip, lost.
Santa wears a non-traditional Santa hat.
Santa's body produces an excess of those "twinkle" sounds.
Santa has to pee.
Santa doesn't like the food set out for him.
Santa is lactose intolerant.
Santa is on a diet.
Lead reindeer is incontinent.
Santa is lost.
Mrs. Claus saves Christmas.
Santa prefers luxury vehicles to reindeer/sleigh.
Santa prefers economy vehicles to reindeer/sleigh.
Santa's reindeers are replaced with [product]
Santa prefers to sleep in.
Santa's reindeers are replaced with [product]
Santa is missing!
Santa buys [product] for Mrs claus
Store santa is real santa
Mommy is kissing Santa Claus
Elves causing mischief/running amok
Adults sitting on santa's lap telling what they want
Santa has a hangover
Scrooge is too stingy to buy [product]
The ghosts make Scrooge realize he should buy [product]
Adults acting like kids
Stealing from classic Christmas movies like "White Christmas", "It's a Wonderful Life", etc.

Missed a tutorial? No biggie. Check them out here:
The Official AdLand Advertising Tutorial Series - Part One: Radio
The Official AdLand Advertising Tutorial Series - Part Two: Viral Advertising
The Official AdLand Advertising Tutorial Series - Part Three: Art Direction
The Official AdLand Advertising Tutorial Series - Part Four: Holiday Ads
The Official AdLand Advertising Tutorial: Part Five - Account Executives
The Official AdLand Advertising Tutorial: Part Six - Creating TV commercials

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