2021 Holiday Video Ads: Here’s How You Can Start Planning Like a Pro

The clamor for holiday shopping is here again. According to various reports from Google and BCG, 2021 has seen continuous growth in online shopping following the pandemic-induced shift to go digital in 2020. 

There was a consistent high share of online transactions made across most retail categories. Among the 12800 US consumers surveyed, 42% shopped online from March to October 2020, compared with 41% from October to December 2020.

It is said that the more these new behaviors persist, the more ingrained they will become for consumers. The survey also showed that 1 in 3 consumers would visit physical stores less frequently after the pandemic. 

U.S. holiday retail sales in 2021 are predicted to increase 2.7% to $1.093 trillion, with eCommerce accounting for a record 18.9% of all holiday retail sales.

So what do these numbers mean for the 2021 holiday season? One thing is certain— it’s going to be different from last year. This article will help brands gear up for the 2021 holiday shopping season with tips, strategies, and ideas that will resonate with consumers.

What to expect for this year’s holiday season?

With the widespread access to the COVID-19 vaccine worldwide, several retail shopping restrictions are being lifted. While there is still some lingering threat of infection, 2021 is the year poised for a significant (if not a major) return for all things holiday. 

As consumers approach another year of holiday shopping amidst a global pandemic, brands are lining up their digital marketing capabilities as they try to figure out what will resonate this year.

That’s why it’s about time for brands to get started with their holiday video planning. This year, brands have the opportunity to use an omnichannel approach as the growth driver for their 2021 holiday strategy. 

Brands that have accelerated their digital capabilities last year can use those strategies to drive their online consumers to return to stores.

Here are several key considerations that brands need to answer in order to meet the holiday shopper’s expectations for a new in-store shopping experience: 

·   What is the future role of the brand’s physical stores?

For multi-category brands, it’s imperative that the physical stores are reimagined to suit the locally mandated health protocols. Such changes need to include additional contactless checkouts with revamped fitting room operations to enable a seamless product trial experience.

·   How can the brand improve the economics of e-commerce fulfillment?

Matching the need for urgency to delivery speed can help mitigate the added pressure of fast delivery during the holiday season. Brands need to set consumer expectations early on in terms of when their packages are expected to arrive. Likewise, brands should also prioritize product categories that consumers are expecting to be delivered on time. Providing other fulfillment options such as in-store and curbside pick-ups is an excellent way to manage the influx of holiday shoppers.

·   How is the brand’s shopping experience on mobile?

Optimizing a seamless experience for mobile devices is just as important as desktop computers. Since the start of the pandemic, more than a quarter of online shoppers have made purchases on mobile, even though they can readily access their PCs at home. As a result, brands need to understand the value of each of these shopping channels to optimize the online experience for the holidays effectively.

·   What is the brand’s acquisition strategy online?

Over the past year, the surge in eCommerce has prompted an opportunity to acquire “dislodged” consumers online. By leveraging online touchpoints such as social media through video ads, brands can have the chance to grow their consumer base.

Shakr can help brands create memorable video ads for the holiday season with their easy-to-use video creation platform. Taking your video ads creation to the next level, Shakr creates engaging branded videos that are personalized and localized to the brand’s target audience

2021 Holiday Planner: A Step-By-Step Guide Adapted from Google

STEP 1: Set Objectives

Brands are three times more likely to hit their business goals when they are tied to their holiday marketing goals. So make the holiday planning more robust in the days leading up to the critical sales period.

Brands should build long-term relationships with their consumers even before the start of the holiday season. Keep up with real-time trends and insights to keep a pulse on how this year’s holiday shopping season is shaping up. Discover local demand and find out what holiday shoppers are looking for.

STEP 2: Get Ready

Success is built on solid foundations. Make sure that the brand stands out with a roster of powerful video ad creatives for its products and services. 

With Shakr’s video creation platform, brands are empowered to make hundreds and even thousands of video ads at scale. All of these can be hyper-personalized and localized with their target demographics for this year’s holiday shopping season.

STEP 3: Take Action

Enrich the holiday marketing strategy by capturing existing demand and generating new demand from holiday shoppers. Consumers turn to social media to decide what to buy for gifts during the holiday season.

This is an excellent opportunity for brands to generate demand to drive more conversions using video ads. Shakr enables brands to create dynamic video ads campaigns with product catalogs for social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. With the help of Shakr’s video creation tool, brands can create hundreds of videos at scale, each unique to their individual product catalog.

STEP 4: Evaluate & Expand

Meet shoppers where they are by evaluating and expanding campaigns using localization strategies. 

Shakr creates high-quality video ads for the 2021 holiday season to help increase lead generation for brands with its location-based creative personalization tool. With the help of Shakr’s powerful video creation platform, Shakr has empowered over 10,000 brands worldwide with top-notch video ads for both their paid and organic digital marketing campaigns.

2021 Holiday Marketing Tips

TIP 1: Encourage personal storytelling.

This is the year for genuine and heartfelt stories that the brand’s audience can relate to. Brands can start with re-embracing old and new traditions by sharing the joy (and challenges) of in-person holiday gatherings. Brands should veer away with a one-size-fits-all holiday messaging this year. It’s almost guaranteed to be ineffective and potentially off-putting to holiday shoppers.

Best Practice Tactic: Create content that feels personal, organic, and relevant. Be open to trying out new social media platform features and content trends that are gaining popularity.

TIP2: Tap to reclaim the holiday magic.

Last year was full of missed milestones and gatherings, so this is the year to show the brand’s desire to make up for the lost time. As a result, there’s bound to be a renewed interest in going all out for this year’s holiday season. Consumers will more likely compensate for last year’s toned-down holiday celebrations with a renewed focus on decors, cooking, entertaining, and more.

Best Practice Tactic: Promote shareable holiday-centric content such as how-tos, decorating, crafting, and gifting ideas.

TIP 3: Promote unique gift suggestions.

This holiday season will focus on reconnecting with considerate gifts aimed at preserving memories. Charitable donations, health & wellness services, and travel-related gifting are just some of the gifts that will most likely appeal this year. 

Best Practice Tactic: Create video content that focuses on how the brand helps capture the moment with a personalized experience that offers twists on standard gift-giving. 

TIP 4: Leverage the power of gift guides.

Gift guides are the perfect curated, personalized content that most audiences can respond to. There will be a significant overall trend towards holiday shoppers that buy products with intention. Brands need to show consumers that they understand their day-to-day needs and the products they care about.

Best Practice Tactic: Create a niche gift guide with various personalization strategies. Shakr can help brands connect with their holiday shoppers in a whole new meaningful way with its top-notch hyper-local campaign creative at scale.

Strategies to Optimize Video Ads for the Holidays

STRATEGY 1: Celebrate the holidays by making festive video ad copy and content.

Brands tend to have a higher clickthrough rate (CTR) for video ads that directly promote the holiday season from November to early December. In addition, locally relevant ads are perceived to be highly personalized and can dramatically increase local businesses’ consumer engagement.

Shakr can help your company plan early for the holiday season with locally relevant video campaigns at scale for your brand. Shakr will help create a unique and customized creative video that can be deployed to multiple locations during this year’s holidays.

STRATEGY 2: Choose holiday CTAs wisely.

Creating ads for the holiday season may sound like a daunting endeavor. With so much competition around this time of the year, it’s crucial to have optimized video ads for the right audience. As such, it’s essential to craft CTAs with solid active verbs that make taking action compelling to holiday shoppers. Be clear, direct, and straight to the point. Don’t hesitate to stick to the usual “Shop Now” CTA if it works for the brand’s target audience. 

STRATEGY 3: Use holiday-centric video templates and images.

The holidays are a season of festivities and gift-giving. Alongside compelling headlines and CTAs, brands also need holiday-specific images to trigger the warm and festive theme in their holiday video campaigns. Make sure to use the relevant festive theme that evokes holiday sentiments.

Shakr provides world-class video creative services with bespoke templates for the holiday season. The Shakr Creative Lab experts will help your brand get started with video ads campaigns on social media by creating bespoke video templates.                     

STRATEGY 4: Find the perfect gift-giving audience.

The holiday season is one of the most competitive seasons for brands. As such, brands need to start targeting the right holiday shoppers early to get the best results. The last thing the brand needs is spending the holiday video ads budget on consumers who are not interested in buying your products.

Personalization and marketing localization are a brand’s best weapon for cutting through the noise from the online holiday campaigns this year. Fortunately, marketing localization can easily be deployed in Shakr’s video marketing campaigns. So your holiday video creative will surely reach the right audience at the right time during the holiday season. 

STRATEGY 5: Design creatives that highlight competitive offers.

Every brand online and in-store is bound to offer ludicrous deals during the holidays. Therefore, the brand’s promotions need to be clear, simple, and highly compelling to stand out among other retailers. With Shakr’s easy-to-use video creation platform, brands can quickly create high-quality video creatives for their holiday video ad campaigns. Within minutes, brands can have high-quality video ad campaigns ready to upload on social media.

Holiday Video Inspiration from 2020


With their tasteful product placement, Amazon’s video ad told the story of a young dancer whose spirit and tenacity triumphs through the challenges of 2020. With a little help from her family and community, the girl finally gets the opportunity to dance the piece she has been practicing since the beginning of the year. 


Coca-Cola is a brand known for its legendary holiday marketing campaigns. Last year (despite the pandemic) was no different. Take a look at this dad’s adventure to be home for Christmas and fulfill his daughter’s wish. Santa Claus saves the day once again by driving a Coca-Cola truck to take the dad home. 


Microsoft’s holiday ad takes a fun spin on celebrating the holidays at home with loved ones, and of course, your fur babies. The commercial focuses on a puppy named Rufus who wanted to play with the family, but everyone was too busy listening to video calls and playing video games. The ad gives a playful reminder to cherish our loved ones and pay attention to our pets over the holiday. 


Learn more about this campaign here.

Kool-Aid ran a holiday-themed branded hashtag challenge on TikTok last year #OhYEAHChristmas. Featuring a signature song from the rapper Lil’ Jon, the Kool-Aid man himself, the catchy original soundtrack created massive engagement on TikTok. The challenge inspired TikTok users to create refreshing holiday content on the platform.

Shakr is here to help your brand gear up for the holiday season with video creatives that will hone into your holiday shoppers.

Start planning those video ad series as early as now. Let Shakr help you create holiday videos at scale with personalized and localized video ad campaigns for the 2021 holidays. Video ads will help your brand stand out among tons of holiday shoppers. 

So, what are you waiting for? Schedule a discovery call with us now!

Slye is an inbound marketing professional who specializes in growth-focused content marketing. He is the Managing Director at Content Hacker.

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