Avoid advertising blahblah: the real meaning of Christmas?

Ah, Christmas messages – dontcha love ‘em?

What do you say to your clients, your staff and other stakeholders during the festive season? Do you stick with the traditional Merry Christmas and Happy New Year? If so, you’re not alone!

MerryChristmasLightsIt has struck me that this standard message is regurgitated by a lot of organisations in their marketing and advertising material and it’s a wasted opportunity. (I may also be guilty of this).

I watched some regional SA television recently – during a Christmas trip – and saw a swathe of festive commercial messages from local retailers. Each one had the chance to share one image and have their Christmas message read on air for about 10 seconds each.

Every message was the same – bar the name!

“The team from THIS COMPANY wishes all its customers a very Merry Christmas and a happy and safe New Year”.

It was tiresome to hear five of those messages in a row. After hearing 10, I was embarrassed for them all. Advertising is an important communication channel that enables you to craft your own message, be creative, stand out, and say something interesting to customers. If you have parted with some hard-earned cash for your 10 second message, why not say something more meaningful?

How about these variations for the fictional Company:

Merry Christmas from The Company. We’re looking forward to 2016 when we launch This New Product Which We have Exclusive Rights To.

Thank you for a great 2015! This year The Company served more than 5,000 meals and we’re looking forward to opening our doors again on January 4. Happy New Year!

Season’s Greetings from The Company, which won This Award and This Award in 2015 and would like to thank its loyal customers for their ongoing support.

Merry Christmas from Al, Val and Sal, the family behind The Company who have been delivering Your Favourite Service in This Town since 1967 and will open a new store in June.

It’s Christmas and we’re exhausted! What a huge year at The Company where we expanded our Great Product Division. For now, we’re going fishing. See you when we re-open on January 11.

Look for every opportunity to wedge in a piece of news / a key message you’d like to share / something personal about your company / reminders about why customers should choose you over your competitors.

Don’t fall back on clichés or safe phrases which you think your audience wants to hear. It becomes a massive wall of blaaaaah.

Of course, good media and advertising companies should help their clients toward this. If you’re in media sales, it’s part of your expertise to educate clients and think of more competitive ways for them to reach their audiences and gain attention. Not every business person has the time or the nouse to devise a unique Christmas message; they need all the input they can get.


As for me? This blog has been quieter this year as I’ve embarked on a PR consultancy again. I became President of the SA chapter of PRIA, and took on PR lecture and tutor work at the University of South Australia. Over the 2016 summer I plan to post a little more regularly. Thanks for sticking with this blog, which began in 2009. Enjoy your January – and if the New Year motivates you to look at your PR program please message me [michelle @prakky.com.au] for a chat.


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