Here Come the Holiday Promotions!

The Lempert Report
December 06, 2023

On the bullseye –  the Christmas trees are being decorated, house lights are being put up and blow up reindeers are popping up on lawns throughout the nation; so its no wonder that brands are starting to get in the act with their holiday promotions. The holiday season, especially Christmas, has a rich history intertwined with food-related promotions and traditions that have evolved over the centuries. Looking back, the tradition of holiday feasting dates back to ancient winter solstice celebrations. In pre-Christian times, festivals like Saturnalia in ancient Rome and Yule in the Norse tradition involved lavish meals. With the advent of Christianity, these practices were incorporated into Christmas celebrations. In medieval Europe, Christmas was a grand affair. The wealthy hosted extravagant feasts featuring exotic meats like peacock and boar. These banquets were not just about food but also about demonstrating power and wealth. Meanwhile, the church often provided more modest feasts for the poor. The Victorian era brought significant changes. The publication of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" in 1843, which depicted the joyous Christmas feast at the Cratchit's home, popularized the idea of Christmas as a time for family gatherings centered around a lavish meal. This era also saw the introduction of now-traditional foods like Christmas pudding and mince pies. Zoom ahead to the 20th century where we saw the commercialization of Christmas. Companies began to recognize the potential of the holiday season for marketing. During the World Wars, however, food shortages led to more frugal celebrations, emphasizing the value of family and togetherness over extravagance. holiday food promotions are a major part of the season's commercial landscape. From those dreaded pumpkin spice lattes – and for that matter pumpkin spice everything! -  these foods herald the start of the season to special Christmas menus in restaurants – and make no mistake about it, these promotions are a significant business. Supermarkets and food brands compete to offer the most enticing festive products and promotions.

Witness, the inaugural 2023 Pop-Tarts® Bowl which airs live on ESPN December 28. Pop-Tarts’  "Agents of Crazy Good," is their newest holiday campaign where the PopTart is ready to challenge expectations for where it can show up next. The Pop-Tarts Bowl Mascot is an IRL manifestation that runs around the stadium interacting with fans and, when the final whistle blows, transform into a game-winning snack for the victors, the winning team will celebrate by taking a bite of the giant pastry mascot, according to the company. Wonder what that cost them!

A promotion that I really like is from Truly Hard Seltzer, who’s promotion "keep it light" will cover the utility bills for festive holiday light enthusiasts through 'Truly Keep It Light Holiday Edition' contest. One grand prize winner will be rewarded with, what the brand calls, an epic, energy-efficient holiday lighting display upgrade that uses the latest and most state-of-the-art LED and solar technology. The display will ensure their house, apartment, or living room is the brightest and most efficient on the block through a custom build installed by a team of certified holiday lighting experts who specialize in keeping it light. In addition, 100 fans will score $350, paid through Venmo, to cover the cost of their holiday utility bills, décor, or even solar-powered lights to help cut future costs. A smart and timely idea!

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