Holiday Advertising: 6 Tactics That Can Boost Sales

The holiday season is right around the corner, which means marketers are busy strategizing for their holiday advertising campaigns.

Holiday ads can help boost sales and brand recognition because of their nostalgic, cheerful content. Here, we’ll discuss some of the most memorable holiday video ads, along with tips to increase sales through the holidays and beyond.

Why Video Ads Are So Successful During the Holidays

People love holiday advertisements because they inspire a holly, jolly spirit. Video content, especially involving holiday themes, connects with viewers.

In addition to their nostalgia, holiday video ads are effective at driving consumer reach and increasing sales. Why? Viewers are emotionally invested in ads with a memorable narrative, which is something that holiday ads often have.

Whether it’s an ad about a family opening presents on Christmas morning, or one about last-minute shopping sprees, holiday video ads foster a personal narrative in a way typical content often doesn’t.

4 Examples of the Best Holiday Advertising Campaigns

The best holiday advertising campaigns captivate audiences with catchy tunes, heartwarming messages, and emotional statements. Here are some holiday advertisement examples for inspiration.

1. Microsoft: Let There Be Peace on Earth (2015)

This Microsoft holiday video ad is memorable because it combines a positive tone with seasonal greetings. The people gathering around singing “Let There Be Peace on Earth” is enough to put a smile on anyone’s face and remind them about the joys of the holiday season.

While Microsoft didn’t promote any offers or services, the sentimental value of this ad was more than enough to make it an effective piece of content for the holidays.

2. Apple: Share Your Gifts (2018)

This Apple holiday ad has everything—delightful music, quality animation, and an inspirational story message. Like the Microsoft ad, Apple did a superb job of tapping into our emotional side.

In just under three minutes, viewers get a heart-warming holiday narrative that is sure to leave a lasting impression on Apple users.

3. Microsoft: Reindeer Games (2018)

Here’s another Microsoft holiday ad with an uplifting tone and a powerful message about support and inclusivity. The ad starts with a kid running frantically to tell the neighbor children that something is about to happen, which builds suspense for the viewer. The big reveal at the end of the commercial is a heartwarming one, as we see the children cheering on their friend who uses an Xbox Adaptive Controller to win a game.

This ad promotes a sense of belonging while subtly promoting a product in a way that doesn’t distract from the ad’s bigger message.

4. IGA: Merry Cooking (2018)

Who doesn’t love video ads that exemplify the magic of Christmas and a young child who’s delighted about the holiday season? This IGA holiday ad shows a young boy committed to learning how to cook for Santa. Eventually, we see that joy passed on to his children as we’re reminded about the beauty of Christmas.

The ad is moving and leaves a memorable impression on those who cherish family time during one of the most celebrated times of the year.

Increase Sales with These Holiday Advertising Ideas

Here are six strategies for getting the most out of video ads this holiday season.

1. Create a Compelling Narrative

Consumers care more about the “why” behind video ads than they do about the “how.” Don’t fall into the trap of creating stale ads with unrelatable story plots. Instead, your video ads should present a compelling story about the holiday season that connects with consumers emotionally.

Use simple, feel-good narratives to highlight a larger holiday theme while encouraging customers to consider your services or products.

2. Promote Holiday Offers

People enjoy holiday deals that help them save money on gifts. Tap into the seasonal shopping trend by promoting your latest brand offerings.

Promote the offers on your social media channels to improve reach with consumers.

Some of the offers you can promote with video content include:

  • Gift discounts
  • Loyalty programs
  • Seasonal giveaways
  • Themed sales

3. Use YouTube Shopping Ads

If you want to increase consumer reach and brand recognition, YouTube shopping ads can go a long way in helping you do that. Because they are placed next to your videos, they can boost engagement rates and drive higher traffic to your website, which can increase sales.

Also, by using YouTube Shopping Ads, you can focus on building a strong customer base with the hopes of converting them into loyal, long-term buyers

4. Optimize Your Holiday Video Ads for Mobile Devices

Thanks to the rise of mobile devices, more than 75% of U.S. adults spend two hours a day watching short-form video content. If you’re not optimizing your holiday ads on mobile, then you probably aren’t getting as many conversions as you might with mobile-friendly ads.

To increase ad effectiveness, optimize video ads for low bandwidth connections, establish clear visuals, and communicate your selling point quickly.

5. Give Yourself Enough Time to Create Holiday Video Ads

In 2022, Black Friday ranked as the most popular sales day of the year, with 53% of Americans stating that they intended to purchase a gift that day. Considering the high potential for sales during Black Friday, give yourself enough time to create and modify your campaign before you start running ads.

6. Set Measurable Goals

As with anything in marketing, set quantitative goals for your holiday marketing campaigns. Doing so will help ensure you can accurately measure the effectiveness of video ads, saving both time and money. A common best practice when developing your goals is to determine what went well and didn’t go well in your previous holiday campaigns.

Perhaps sales were stagnant, or engagement rates with your ads were not as high as you wanted them to be. Whatever the case, learn from previous holiday marketing mistakes so you can prepare for the upcoming holiday season.

Remember, advertising during the holiday season can be pricey, so you’ll want to be strategic about where you place your ad dollars.

Prepare for Holiday Advertising with Channel Factory

If you need a company that can optimize your holiday advertising campaign, Channel Factory is ready to be your partner. With our brand suitability solutions, we’ll ensure your holiday ads appear next to appropriate content. This way, you can connect with the right audience and achieve a high conversion rate.

Contact us to learn more.

Are YouTube Ads Worth It? What to Consider for Your Marketing Campaign

First launched in 2005, YouTube is one of the oldest social media platforms, but it also remains one of the most popular—with 2.70 billion active users. Consumers spend hours on YouTube seeking entertainment, education, and even holiday gift ideas. In fact, holiday advertising statistics show that nearly 50% of Gen Z consumers use YouTube as inspiration for holiday shopping.

So. Are YouTube ads worth it? Can they help you with brand promotion? What about sales? We’ll discuss everything you need to know about advertising on YouTube, including the costs, pros and cons, and ad optimization best practices.

How Much Does It Cost to Advertise on YouTube?

It depends. YouTube advertising costs fluctuate. While YouTube video ad costs range from $0.10 to $0.30 per view or click, exact estimates can change because of multiple factors.

Let’s examine three conditions that can affect ad cost:

  • Type of Ad: YouTube offers several ad formats. How much you pay depends on which format you select and how your viewers interact with your ad.
  • Ad Bidding: If you’re bidding for popular ad placement spots, you can expect to pay a higher price. This is because you’ll be competing against other advertisers that are targeting the same spots.
  • Audience Targeting: Some audiences are higher in demand than others. How much you pay for YouTube ads will depend on which audiences you’re trying to connect with and convert into loyal customers.

Pros and Cons of YouTube Advertising

YouTube’s advertising revenue amounted to $29.24 billion in 2022, but are YouTube ads worth it for your advertising campaign? Let’s examine the benefits and drawbacks of advertising on YouTube.

Pro: Audience Targeting Capabilities

YouTube’s targeting options allow you to pinpoint the user that best aligns with your brand. You can target based on behavior, age, gender, and geographic location. The more specialized your targeting options, the higher the chance you’ll connect with potential repeat buyers.

. Loyal customers not only make frequent purchases but also actively engage with your brand on multiple levels, such as positive reviews, word-of-mouth recommendations, and participation in brand-related events or promotions. They’re often your best advocates, and their endorsement can significantly boost your brand recognition.

Pro: Valuable Metrics

Understanding which ads work and which don’t can help you enhance your marketing approach.

You can use YouTube’s measurement tools to track your ad’s impressions, clicks, and video view length. This can help you notice patterns with your ads or holes in your strategy.

Perhaps you’re noticing that your click-through rates are low despite receiving high impression rates, or your YouTube ad campaigns are driving significant traffic to your website. Yet, you notice that the bounce rate is exceptionally high. Whatever the case, YouTube metrics can bridge the gap between your goals and current advertising performance.

Pro: Retargeting Efforts

Retargeting allows you to connect with consumers who have expressed an interest in your business. You can retarget those who clicked on your ad, engaged with your content, or subscribed to your channel. Targeting those already connected with your business will make your ads more successful.

Con: Skippable Ads

Few people will voluntarily watch an ad from beginning to end if the option to skip is available. While you can bypass this concern with non-skippable in-stream ads, you’ll still need to ensure that your ad is simple and meaningful.

To make your ad “unskippable,” you’ll want to focus on providing value while also incentivizing your viewers to take action. If your ad is seen as overly intrusive, it could damage your audience’s perception of your brand.

Con: Ad Fatigue

Ad fatigue occurs when viewers are repeatedly exposed to the same ads, so much so that they stop paying attention to them completely. Since the average American sees 4,000 to 10,000 ads daily, running the same ad content on YouTube repeatedly in a short period can damage your campaign. You’ll have to modify versions of your ads so users don’t get annoyed with your content.

Three Ways to Maximize Your YouTube Marketing Campaign

YouTube is one of the best marketing tools if you know how to use it well. Here are three suggestions for optimizing your YouTube ads:

1. Determine Campaign Objectives

Are you hoping to improve brand awareness, increase product sales, or increase website traffic? Whatever the objective is, your campaign goals should dictate your YouTube marketing strategy, so you get the most value out of your advertising efforts.

Remember, no matter the campaign objectives you have in place, you’ll need to determine which metrics you want to track over time. This way, you can optimize your campaign based on data that reflects wins and challenges.

2. Grab Your Audience’s Attention

First impressions are everything, and the same goes for YouTube ads. With so many companies targeting the same consumer, you only have eight seconds to capture the viewer’s attention and encourage them to keep watching instead of clicking the “Skip Ad” button.

How do you capture your audience’s attention? Provide an exciting hook, appeal to their emotions, and, above all else, include a clear call to action that gets them to click on your ad to learn more about your offers.

3. Schedule Your Content

It’s difficult to achieve success with a YouTube marketing campaign if you fail to plan out and schedule your content ahead of time. With a consistent schedule, you can post when subscribers are most active online, edit your video ads ahead of time, and determine what content is most popular at peak times.

Plus, you’ll have more time to distribute quality video ads instead of putting out rushed ads that offer no consumer value.

Improve Your YouTube Performance with Channel Factory

Is YouTube advertising worth it? Yes! To make YouTube advertising worthwhile, set clear objectives, be creative, and measure your results.

Here at Channel Factory, we’ve been helping businesses and agencies with their social media video advertising for over a decade. YouTube video advertising wouldn’t remain at the forefront of our business if it wasn’t worth it for us and our customers.

Take advantage of our contextual strategies to ensure your ads appear next to relevant content. This way, you can target the right audience at the right time.

Contact us to learn how we can help you keep up with the latest advertising demands.

How to Measure Ad Recall and Brand Lift: A YouTube Optimization Guide

Do you have a solid strategy for measuring the effectiveness of your YouTube marketing campaign? Have you considered analyzing specific performance metrics like brand lift and ad recall scores to understand the relationship between consumers and your brand?

If you advertise on YouTube, it takes more than flashy ads with effective CTAs to encourage users to take action.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to measure ad recall and brand lift and use the findings to optimize your video campaign’s impact on target consumers. But before we begin, let’s define ad recall and brand lift and discuss their benefits.

What Is Brand Lift?

Brand lift measures a video marketing campaign’s effectiveness in influencing consumer actions, behaviors, and brand awareness. This metric examines consumer perceptions of a brand after launching a marketing campaign.

The idea is to better understand how well video ads influence a consumer’s relationship with a brand throughout the customer journey. Advertisers can use those findings to optimize video marketing campaigns and improve their brand image.

To better understand brand lift, you need to examine several metrics. Here’s a sample of those metrics:

  • Awareness: The extent to which consumers are familiar with a brand.
  • Ad Recall: How well consumers can recall and attribute an ad to a specific brand.
  • Purchase intent: How inclined target customers are to purchase an item or a service from a specific company.
  • Web traffic: The number of users who visit a company’s website.
  • Conversions: The number of purchases and other actions consumers take after exposure to a brand’s offers.

Why Is Brand Lift Important?

Brand lift reveals meaningful insights that can tackle campaign challenges and help develop better advertising strategies to address consumer needs. Here are a few benefits of brand lift:

  • Helps optimize spending: By understanding which videos perform better, you can modify spending habits and focus on ads that generate excellent campaign results.
  • Provides audience engagement insights: With brand lift, you can dive deeper into engagement levels by understanding how specific messaging tactics influence brand perception.
  • Generates more sales: Brand lift data can be instrumental in making informed video advertising decisions that increase company sales.

What Is Ad Recall?

Ad recall is a different campaign metric. While brand lift focuses on a video campaign’s impact on the overall brand perception, ad recall measures how memorable an ad is to a target audience. When thinking about ad recall, ask these questions:

  • How likely will an audience attribute an ad to the correct brand?
  • Will they remember the ad content?
  • Do audiences perceive a brand positively or negatively after recalling an ad?

Companies usually measure ad recall with surveys, asking audiences if they remember a specific ad and if they can identify the correct brand or company.

Ad recall focuses on memory, and this metric can be useful for optimizing your campaign. Analyzing ad recall is an essential element of brand lift metrics as it identifies the effectiveness of your messaging tactics and sees which ones increase brand awareness. With ad recall, you can also:

  • Uncover useful advertising campaign trends.
  • Understand the creative elements that make appealing ads.
  • Modify video marketing strategies to improve consumer reach and brand recognition.

How to Measure Brand Lift and Ad Recall for YouTube Advertising Campaigns

Knowing how to measure ad recall and brand lift is an essential part of a YouTube advertising campaign, and you can use the same measurement strategy for each. While surveys are your best friend, you’ll want more than a standard questionnaire to get accurate results.

You’ll need to use the Brand Lift Study tool—a free tool advertisers can use to measure their video ad impact on brand perception.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Identify a product or a brand you want to advertise for the study.
  2. Select the survey questions for your study.
  3. Let Google create two groups from your segments: a randomized control group that doesn’t see your ads and an exposed group that does.
  4. Allow Google to show your surveys on YouTube to the two audience groups as your campaign runs.
  5. Analyze the response differences between the group that viewed the ads and those that didn’t.

The Brand Lift Study tool is an excellent resource for gathering information on clicks, impressions, and views, all essential in determining consumer brand perception. The tool also helps with ad recall as it assesses how well people who have seen your ads can remember them.

Improve Ad Recall and Brand Lift with Channel Factory

Learning how to measure ad recall and brand lift is an excellent way to gain valuable consumer insights that you can rely on to modify your YouTube marketing campaign. Channel Factory is here if you need a trusted partner to optimize your ads and improve ad recall and brand perception.

With our contextual alignment solutions, we’ll ensure your ads appear alongside content your audience finds relevant and engaging, which means you’ll see improved results in audience engagement and brand awareness.

Contact us to see how we can improve your ad performance.

For more information on contextual alignment, download our YouTube attention performance guide.

Advanced Contextual Targeting Strategies: Going Beyond Keywords

The modern world is always online. There are 2.7 billion monthly visitors to YouTube worldwide, with over 122 million accessing it on a daily basis.

There’s no doubt: If you need to get your brand, products, or services in front of the right audience, contextual ads on YouTube are the way to go.

We’ll break down how contextual targeting strategies outperform keyword ads and how this helps you get the greatest ROI from your ad spend.

What Is Contextual Targeting?

Contextual advertising is a method of placing online ads based on the content consumed. When ads are served based on their relevance to content and format, consumers are more likely to be interested in buying items from that brand.

In fact, we conducted a survey on this. The result was a 17% lift in ROI (sales) across all verticals using contextual targeting on YouTube.

Channel Factory provides contextual targeting on YouTube to deliver maximum brand suitability, content alignment, and performance. Contextual targeting is most effective when content is not only served based on video categories but also according to specific channels and videos that align with the ideals and messages of your brand.

Keyword Targeting vs Contextual Targeting

Keyword targeting and contextual targeting are used for online ad campaigns, and both can be extremely effective—but that doesn’t make them equal. Let’s compare some of the pros and cons of keyword targeting and contextual targeting.

Pros and Cons of Keyword Targeting

Keyword-targeted ads allow you to create ad groups centered around specific keywords people are searching for. These ads can appear virtually anywhere.

Keyword Targeting Pros

Keyword Alignment

Ad groups can be designed based on user interests coming directly from specific keyword search results.


When a user clicks on a keyword-targeted ad, a cookie within their browser session can track them and continue to serve new ads based on their online activity.


Keyword ads can be good for brand awareness since they help users associate a brand with specific searches.


Keyword ads can be designed around a wide range of demographics, including:

  • Age
  • Profession
  • Location
  • Net worth

Keyword Targeting Cons


People worry over how much of their personal information is shared or sold online. Data breaches and cybersecurity concerns make people skeptical of companies that track users.


Keyword-based ads can have an extremely high volume, which is excellent for serving maximum impressions. But impressions don’t necessarily equate to a click-through rate (CTR).

High Cost

Getting your ads served with the most desirable keywords can be expensive, limiting how many people in your target audience you can afford to reach.

A/B Testing

To be effective, keyword ads must be tested with multiple ad groups, messaging, keywords, display ads, and demographics.

Pros and Cons of Contextual Targeting

Contextual advertising aligns with videos your audience is currently consuming to determine relevance when placing ads. The following are the pros and cons of contextual ads.

Contextual Targeting Pros

Content Alignment

Contextually targeted ads appear directly in the feed of videos in the same category.

Perfect Timing

Contextual ads aren’t only served to people interested in topics that align with your brand. They are served precisely when people are viewing relevant content, so you know you are advertising to an engaged audience with the perfect mindset to learn about your brand, product, or services.

Brand Awareness

Contextual ads are effective for building brand awareness. In 2020, Channel Factory partnered with the University of Southern California’s Applied Consumer Psychology Department to examine the impact of contextual advertising. We found that contextual ads drive a 93% increase in brand awareness.

Audience Attentiveness

Contextual ads engage viewers directly where they consume media. Contextually targeted solutions on YouTube outperformed industry benchmarks by 28% for retaining audience attention.

Strong Conversions

Getting impressions and clicks is great, but the most important metric is for your ads to eventually convert from interest to a sale. 73% of consumers are more likely to buy something from an ad relevant to the content they are watching.

No Negative Associations

Make sure your ads aren’t served with topics or channels that your audience would dislike. This is important because 64% of users develop a negative opinion of a brand that appears next to content they find unsuitable.

No Privacy Concerns

Contextual ads don’t track personally identifiable consumer data, so people are less apprehensive about clicking on your content.

Contextual Targeting Cons

User Distraction

Those who aren’t interested in clicking your ad may feel they were served an unwanted distraction from the content they’re watching.

Ad Blockers

People can use ad blocker browser extensions to avoid viewing ads.

Ad-Free Subscriptions

Subscribers of YouTube Premium can watch YouTube videos ad-free.

Improper Placement

If your ad campaign isn’t planned professionally, it is possible to associate your ad with a company, channel provider, or specific topic that your target audience dislikes or finds offensive.

Which Strategy Is Better?

While keyword-targeted ads have many benefits, the pros of contextual targeting outweigh concerns about online privacy and being tracked by retargeting ads that come with keyword placements. Contextual campaigns don’t have this problem.

Contextual ads are also more effective in aligning user intent and capturing people in the moment they are the most interested in your topic.

6 Tips When Doing Contextual Targeting

1. Use contextual targeting to avoid unwanted content. The Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) and the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As) establish standards to help advertisers avoid unsafe context categories. There are 13 categories, including:

  • Adult and explicit material
  • Arms and ammunition
  • Hate speech
  • Illegal drugs

You get the idea. Channel Factory ensures context remains intact so your ads are placed with the highest relevance, being equally careful to avoid GARM/4As categories that could hurt your brand.

2. Be consistent with your messaging. Ensure your ad content is specific, clear, and to the point.

3. Know your audience. Make sure you understand what your ideal audience personas are looking for and match that closely with ad placement.

4. Use strong calls-to-action (CTAs).

5. A/B test your ads. Try different CTAs and approaches to your marketing message and fine-tune your campaign based on the best-performing ads.

6. Let Channel Factory improve your YouTube ads with the power of our contextual targeting strategies.

Unlock the Power of Contextual Ads with Channel Factory

Ready to get started? Get in touch with one of our ad experts today!