Odney Advantage Newsletter

Marketing Lessons from Christmas Classics, Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Odney Advantage Newsletter
Marketing Lessons from Christmas Classics
We watch them year after year, from childhood through adulthood, and now they’ve become part of our holiday traditions. These Christmas classics endure because they’re charming, entertaining and heart-warming, not because they contain marketing lessons. But it is possible that "Christmas Vacation" is really just a promotion for the Jelly of the Month Club. After all, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Here are a few marketing lessons to be learned from favorite holiday classics.
A Christmas Story
Ralphie anxiously checks the mailbox every day, and it’s finally here – his Little Orphan Annie secret decoder ring. Finally! He’s one of the in crowd, a member of an elite group with access to top-secret information. As he listens to the radio show, he writes down the coded message and then races to the bathroom to decode it in private, only to discover . . . “a crummy commercial.”
The problem here isn’t the “commercial” part. It’s the “crummy” part. The message means nothing (except disillusionment) to a nine-year-old boy. He wants to feel like he’s part of something special. A message tailored to a young audience and crafted to create a sense of belonging would have had him tuning in every week, excited to decode each new message. Instead he feels duped. So don’t just create a crummy commercial. Create something that truly speaks to the needs of your audience.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
A water pistol that shoots jelly? That’s not a misfit. That’s awesome. A “Charlie in the Box”? That’s not a misfit. It’s the next generation of “in the box” toys, that “think outside the box,” a step up from old-fashioned Jack. There’s nothing really wrong with most of the toys labeled as misfits in this holiday classic. They’re just not what you’d expect. Those unexpected qualities can be opportunities to stand out from the crowd. And for Rudolph, the ultimate misfit, his red nose turns out to be his claim to fame.
Christmas In Connecticut
Barbara Stanwyck is a magazine columnist who writes about her idyllic life in the country with her husband and child, cooking up fabulous meals in her beautiful farmhouse. Except that she’s really a single, childless city dweller, and those famous meals are take-out from a nearby restaurant, with the recipes provided by the chef. But it’s all going well until her publisher decides she should host a recovering war hero at her farm over the holidays, leaving her scrambling to create the illusion of the life she’s been depicting.
The lesson here is “be authentic.” We often work to position products or brands within their category to differentiate them from their competition. But that positioning has to come from something that’s real and genuine. Long-lasting, successful brands aren’t created by grafting a tagline onto a product. They’re created by communicating what makes that product unique and what it genuinely has to offer, and the product must deliver on that promise. Even if it’s just flipping flapjacks

Odney Named Runner-up in "Top Places to Work"
North Dakota Young Professionals recently chose Odney as a runner-up in their 2017 Top Places to Work awards. “We have family-friendly policies, good benefits, flexible hours and we encourage ongoing professional development,” says Odney president Patrick Finken. “Our employees are what makes Odney so successful, and we want to make sure Odney is a place where they can do their best work.” 

​2016: Best, Most Popular, and Trends for 2017
The big trends of 2016 were the rise of online video across numerous channels, the transition from desktop to mobile, and continued cord-cutting as TV audiences turned from cable and satellite to streaming services. Here’s a roundup of some of the best and most popular marketing of 2016, with trends to watch for in the coming year. 

Community Action Toy Drive
toys.jpgIt’s a great time of year for overflowing boxes of toys, and even better when those toys are going to kids in need in the Bismarck-Mandan community. Our Odney office-mates admire the good work done by the Community Action Program of the Bismarck Region all year long. They stock food pantries, help folks pay their energy bills, and send kids to school with backpacks full of supplies. So during this time of year when gifts are anticipated by children everywhere, we wanted to be sure this program had some help spreading the cheer.
Around Thanksgiving, we set out bins for each of the age groups of children Community Action seeks to help, with some gift ideas for each. We asked our coworkers to think of these kids when they do their Christmas shopping, and pick up something extra to donate to Community Action. We noted that teens and babies are often overlooked during toy drives, as they’re not always the “fun” toys to buy.
Our coworkers took the challenge to heart, as you can see. We’re glad we could help Community Action spread holiday cheer to kids of all ages. 

Pro Tip
Rock your Christmas party like a pro with the ultimate ugly Christmas sweater from Burger King – complete with an open-front pocket for your smartphone and an app displaying a flaming yule log. 

​Happy Holidays
We’d like to wish all our clients, partners and vendors a merry Christmas and a happy, bright and prosperous New Year.  

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