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The Best New Year’s Marketing Campaigns Ever


google-meetGoogle: Year in Search

Every year, Google makes a video with snippets of all the hottest search terms that people have been typing in that year. Last year’s edition highlighted:

  • The refugee crisis
  • The Mad Men finale
  • Black Lives Matter
  • The women’s World Cup
  • The Cuban embargo being lifted
  • Gay marriage being legalised in the U.S

…and that’s just a few of the things they included!

San Diego tourism board: “Happiness is Calling”

New years bring the promise of new beginnings and new adventures — making them the perfect time to promote an exciting destination. The San Diego tourism board created a campaign titled “Happiness is Calling” to convince people to spend some time in their sunny city.

Even better, the new video was shown on the big, big screen in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. It featured lots of sunny beach scenes and beautiful scenery, plus a reminder that the average temperature there is 72 degrees.

Virgin ActiveVirgin Active

So that other thing people often think about in January — which is a lot less fun than their holidays — is losing weight. Virgin Active timed the launch of their gym-themed emojis collection with the new year. They also had a video series called “We’ve got a workout for that” to jump on the momentum.

Kick-It: “Stop the Rot”

Kick-It works to help people stop smoking, so the New Year when people are making resolutions to do just that is the perfect time to have a campaign to support them. This one showed smokers exactly what sort of damage cigarettes can do to your body.

Ciroc: #CirocTheNewYear

New Year’s Eve parties + alcohol is a match made in heaven (er — most of the time). So it makes sense that a premium alcohol brand would jump on the opportunity to create a cool ad featuring their booze as the one to have at your NYE bash.

That’s what French vodka brand Ciroc did, and even roped in Sean Combs (or, as you may know him, P. Diddy) for the ads. He also hosted a #CirocTheNewYear party sponsored by the vodka to ring in the new year.

Thomas CookThomas Cook: “Be Lazy” and “Be Crazy”

Another holiday themed brand campaign, Thomas Cook had two ads that debuted on Boxing Day – one “Be Lazy” and one “Be Bold.”

The campaign actually launched just before Christmas and also featured coverage on radio, paper ads, online ads and social media, but the final piece was saved for just as people started looking forward to the new year.


Just in case you were already feeling annoyed at all your friends asking you to do Dry January, the Yorkshire Drinks Company has got your back. They launched a “Tryanuary” alternative campaign, where you use the first month of the year to enjoy exploring new beers and ales, with an emphasis on local pubs and breweries.


About Erik Mickelson

Erik Mickelson is the author of Northwest Custom Apparel's blogs. Erik has been with Northwest Custom Apparel since 1996 after graduating from Washington State University and is the founder of the Apparel Graphic Academy. Trained by the custom graphic apparel industry's best, Mark Venit, Erik brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Embroidery Adventure blog. As they say, 'Experience is the best teacher.' We are proud to have Erik as part of our team!

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