3 Tips for High-Impact Holiday Projects

Upanup team member decorating for the holidays

The holidays offer a great opportunity to connect with your audiences on a personal level, spreading joy and warm wishes. Viral videos like WestJet's Christmas Miracle paved the way for organizations to nix cookie-cutter, corporate greetings in favour of more interactive holiday messages.

Fun Animations

Viking Air is a leading utility aircraft manufacturer whose aircraft, like the Twin Otter, operate worldwide. This holiday season, our team created a heart-warming video for social media to follow up on last year's fun holiday message. A young otter, in awe of the magic of flight, grows up to earn his wings and inspire a new generation of pilots. See this year's holiday video here

Three of our designers applied their professional animation experience to create anthropomorphic characters whose expressions and movements pull viewers into the story and convey believable emotions. Animation is a highly specialized skillset, and one that is great to have in-house at Upanup.

Animation of an otter family opening gifts

 

Tip #1
For videos like this one, it's important to cater to your niche audiences. Viking's social media followers are passionate and highly technical, and they pay close attention to the details. We had fun with a nostalgic storyline that hits close to home for many aircraft enthusiasts. Viking fans noted all the animals that reference specific aircraft models, and immediately identified the toy (a CL-415EAF, in case you're wondering!).

Custom Cards

Serafina Energy is a heavy oil company based in the Canadian prairies. Over the years, our designers have collaborated with their team to illustrate a whole series of cards with a vintage travel poster aesthetic. Each card features their logo hidden somewhere in the landscape, inviting you to look closer. 

Serafina’s distinctive style helps to build their brand recognition. Their new holiday card featured an elegant reindeer in the rolling hills of Saskatchewan, with their logo appearing in gorgeous cirrus clouds.

Several Serafina holiday cards

 

Tip #2
For illustrations, use vector graphics for a great return on investment. Vectors are crisp and clear at any size (making them useful for virtually all marketing applications). The illustrations are layered, so it's easy to pull out an element like the reindeer for use on its own. These layers can be adapted, too, so that Serafina's cards create brand continuity by showing the prairie landscape in changing seasons. 

Creative Calendars

We enjoyed working with the BC Hydro to create an interactive holiday countdown calendar. Featuring 31 chances to enter a grand prize draw, participants gained access each day in December to a new quiz, game, article, or activity, plus an entry to the contest. The calendar included all kinds of tips for safe and energy-efficient holidays.

This was such a fun, dynamic concept that gave us the chance to stretch our creative muscles alongside the team at BC Hydro. A few of our favourite days featured shortcuts to classic holiday TV show episodes, funny quizzes about holiday habits, tried-and-tested recipes, and a green gift-giving guide. Check out the holiday calendar project here

Screenshot of interactive holiday calendar

 

Tip #3
Capitalize on the momentum of the season to engage your audiences more than once. The holidays are a hectic time for everyone and a one-off message can be missed. By offering a fun way to interact with your brand over the season, you can add to the magic and excitement of the holidays and build positive rapport with your audiences. 

Personal Messages

Our team had a lot of fun designing the Upanup holiday card! If you've ever stopped by our offices, you know we have Spotify playlists on constant rotation and a (very) wide array of musical tastes. Inspired by a love of music and Upanup's brand refresh, we created a fun and silly holiday playlist to introduce all 20 people on our team by name. We hope you liked receiving it as much as we enjoyed making it.

Views of Upanup's holiday card

 

It really is never too soon to get started on holiday projects. If you have any great ideas you'd like to explore for this coming year, we'd love to hear it!