5 ways to create a culturally inclusive holiday campaign

14th November 2022

Inclusivity is the practice or policy of including people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalised. Inclusive campaigns reflect inclusive marketing—creating materials that accurately reflect the diverse communities that will interact with your content.

Around Q4 (October, November, December), brands typically roll out numerous holiday marketing campaigns for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. However, brands rarely celebrate Yom Kippur, Indigenous Peoples Day, Diwali, Dia De Muertos, Small Business Saturday, Omisoka, Giving Tuesday, Winter Solstice/Yule, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

Gartner Marketing Insights reveal a growing expectation for brands to show a commitment to diversity and inclusion, particularly among millennials and Gen Z – and if your brand is perceived as falling behind in this regard, you risk short-circuiting your potential for long-term growth.

From the messaging in your TV ads to the imagery in your Instagram feed, approaching your holiday campaign with an inclusive mindset can unite your community and set your brand apart.

This blog will discuss how brands can create inclusive holiday marketing campaigns without excluding certain communities and cultures. 

#1 Avoid assumptions

In 2020, a YouGov survey revealed that 86% of people in the United Kingdom celebrate Christmas; because of this, many brands focus their advertising efforts over the holiday period. But as the United Kingdom becomes increasingly diverse, it is important to recognise that your customers likely commemorate many moments and festivities—from Diwali to Hanukkah to the Lunar New Year. Instead of assuming that everyone celebrates the same holidays, as you do, start by identifying your own biases. This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to overlook; make sure you know when the major holidays in each tradition are happening and recognise them across your communication platforms. This could be started by creating a culturally diverse holiday calendar to post across your social media channels.

Your holiday marketing should focus on what brings people together if you want to reach a large, diverse audience. Build your marketing campaigns around common values and universal themes with resonance across your target audience. For example, if you analyse the meaning of the holidays across the different cultures around the world, the values that are celebrated boil down to family, community, faith, and belonging.

#2 Use neutral messaging and highlight common values

Therefore, campaigns can be created that celebrate value-based messaging rather than holiday-based messaging. Think about messages about family, community, belonging, faith, and peace. as opposed to gearing messages toward specific holidays such as Christmas, Hanukkah, and Diwali. Exclude targeted messaging toward celebrating a specific holiday or promoting a single cultural or religious tradition.[MR1] 

#3 Diversify your content 

People are more likely to feel an authentic connection with your brand when they recognise themselves in the marketing for your company. To ensure that your visual collateral represents a diverse cross-section of people, whether you’re using stock media or creating original content, be sure to do so. You don’t want your well-intentioned efforts to come across as being insincere, insensitive, or pandering in nature, so be careful to avoid any appearance of tokenism or appropriation.

#4 Create a localised strategy 

Consider where your audience is located when creating your content to make it more relatable. Instead of broad campaigns, think about developing localised campaigns. By conducting market research on the regions, you want to target; you can ensure that your content is culturally appropriate by working with local experts (such as staff members, partners, or agencies). Additionally, they can assist you in communicating your message in a way your target audience will find relatable and comfortable.

#5 Voluntary Christmas Celebrations 

While company holiday parties are popular, some people do not celebrate holidays. Being inclusive during the holidays also means respecting those who simply don’t want to be included. Therefore, as a brand, you can choose to make any celebrations voluntary for your team and audience. Don’t exclusively create holiday events that are only tailored to one specific culture, and if you do, make sure you include a voluntary option.

Do you need help crafting an inclusive holiday campaign this year? Here at GottaBe! Ethnic, we can help. Our ethnic brand has 14 years of experience working with a broad range of clients; we have got the perspectives to help your brand speak to a diverse audience and create a truly inclusive holiday campaign. 

Let's see how we can work together