Our 6 Favorite Paid Social Ads from the 2023 Holiday Season

It’s that time of the year again! Time to show everyone my top six favorite paid social media ads from the 2023 Holiday Season. In case you missed it last year, check out what was hot in the 2022 Holiday Season in my blog, Top 5 Fave Paid Social Ads from the 2022 Holiday Season

Ad #1: Capital One – “Sleighin’ Alive” featuring John Travolta

Let’s dive in! The first social ad that made a mark on me throughout the 2023 Holiday season was the famous John Travolta ad from Capital One. If you regularly watch TV or scroll through your social media feed, I am sure you have seen it and know what I am talking about. If you haven’t, see the screenshot above. 

This social media ad uses a video creative to engage viewers. The Capital One brand logo is apparent in the video, which automatically creates brand awareness. The video is relevant and timely as it shows John Travolta (AKA Santa!) breaking it down (or should I say sleighin’) on the dance floor! What I really like about this video is that it gets the primary message of the ad across, which is that any one of us can enjoy fun nights out like this AND earn cash back while doing it if we use a Quicksilver Capital One card. And it’s UNLIMITED cash back! 

The primary text, or the caption, of this ad, is straight to the point but is also humorous, which I personally enjoy. It tells a user where to go if they wish to get the card for themselves by simply clicking on the call-to-action button, which says, “Learn more.” 

A user is easily able to identify the name of the card due to the headline (the section directly underneath the video and next to the call-to-action “Learn more” button). This way, users know exactly what they are looking for when they visit the site and don’t have a bad user experience trying to figure out what the name of that card was from the video ad. 

All in all, this ad is engaging, humorous, and to the point, and it offers value. It also gets people in the spirit for the Holiday season! Using videos as your creative is likely one of the best ways to return great results, as video views have steadily increased in this day and age. 

Ad #2: Stanley – “Celebrate the Moment”

I am almost positive that whoever is reading this blog right now has heard of Stanley water bottles, has seen someone who has one, or personally owns one! I will admit I am brand loyal to Hydroflask and have yet to hop on the Stanley train. 

Anyway, let’s talk about this paid social ad. The creative is a high-quality image of their limited-edition drinkware, set in a fancy background with presents. The image clearly reveals the design and separates it from their original Stanley water bottles. By emphasizing “limited-edition” in the ad copy, consumers may feel more inclined to purchase the product because the design won’t be around forever, creating a sense of urgency. The ad is timely and relevant as the limited-edition design is holiday-themed, and the copy conveys feelings related to festivity and celebrating the moment.

This social ad is eye-catching and creates a sense of “FOMO” or fear of missing out due to the limited-edition design. All in all, it is a very effective ad, especially considering the brand loyalty that Stanley has created in the past year or so.

Ad #3: UGG – “The Best Gift Ever”

One of my favorite Christmas gifts I received this year was my short bootie UGGs. In my opinion, UGG is definitely a company that has gone in and out of trends over the years. When I was in middle school, UGGs were the winter boots to have. Eventually, they became out of style. However, UGG has really impressed me, as well as others, more recently.

They have a whole new line of products that Gen Z has really connected with. From what I have noticed, their short booties, slippers, and platform slippers have been the top products. In this video ad, UGG showcases multiple styles of shoes spinning on the UGG platform while text overlay pops up for every different shoe that is shown. The video transitions seamlessly and doesn’t look choppy or cut up. The text overlay describes the shoe that is shown in a way that relates to gifting. For example, you can see they chose the thumbnail as the platform slippers with the text, “Your cozy companion gift.” 

Text overlay in videos can significantly improve ad performance, especially when it is used strategically. The ad copy relates to the video as it speaks to UGGs being “The best gift ever.” The video almost presents different situations for all types of people on your Christmas list. For example, the video suggests this: Know someone who loves to be comfy and wear slippers around the house? Cool, get our platform slippers! 

I love the headline “Only icons under the tree” as it is very enticing and makes a user feel like if they buy this gift, it will be one of the coolest gifts they give to someone and will make that person feel like an icon. The copy is short and to the point. A lot of people are keen to ignore ads, or they will simply not read all of the information because they are impatient, so keeping your copy short is the way to go.

Ad #4: Hatch – “Choose Sleep”

Every year, I see Hatch ads in my Instagram and Facebook feeds, and I never skip past them. Hatch’s ads are always eye-catching and clever, and they get straight to the point. I specifically enjoy this particular ad from the Holiday season because it is clever and bold.

Personal well-being and health have become of the utmost importance in 2023, and it continues to become more and more important. Hatch relates to most people’s situations as it implies that family and friends will be hosting and gathering at get-togethers during the Holiday season, but then it twists it and basically says, “Hey, if you don’t get good sleep, your get-togethers will be painful. Buy from Hatch and get the sleep you need to make those get-togethers more joyful.” 

The video is carefully created, as the sleep alarms are placed in a way that makes it look like a Christmas tree. They also put ornaments on the sides of the bottom alarm clock to make it even more festive. The red background color of the video is carefully and cleverly chosen, as this is one of the main colors of this festive time of year.

The ad copy is clever and personal. It almost calls you out. Have you ever been in a situation where you really want to go to bed but can’t because you don’t want to miss out on what your friends and family are up to? I know I have! Hatch is basically saying, “We’ll make it easy for you to get to bed and fall asleep, instead of you ‘going to bed’ but not being able to fall asleep right away because you don’t have Hatch.” That is how I interpret the primary text and the headline, and I find it very clever and relatable. 

Ad #5: Goodr – “Holiday Happy Hour Sale”

Is it just me, or do Goodr ads always capture your attention? Goodr is known for being humorous and knowing how to capture your attention. Take a look back at the previous four ads in this blog, and the first thing you will notice is that this one is definitely different. This social ad stands out. It’s bright, colorful, and engaging. Also, this ad is a promotional ad.

The video showcases multiple sunnies and has creative elements pop up, such as the text overlay and the Goodr present element. Including text overlay on your creative, especially when the ad is promotional, is always a recommended best practice. Since you only have so much real estate in your primary text, headline, and description field, you may not be able to include all the messaging you would like to, as well as information about the promotion. Plus, reiterating the promotion in multiple places in an ad can really help the potential consumer, as it gets the point across to them that there is a sale.

This ad creates a sense of urgency by stating the end date of the promotion. I like how Goodr calls this a Happy Hour Sale, as it is only for a limited time and runs for a limited amount of days. Even the promo code relates to the Happy Hour message since it is “HOLIDAYCHEERS.” 

I like how the primary text mentions Carl the Flamingo, which is establishing brand awareness and recognition. People who have shopped with Goodr before will relate to this message as they know that Carl the Flamingo is their mascot. People who are just being introduced to this brand through this ad may become intrigued to know what Carl the Flamingo means, and this could lead the person to click on the ad to learn more, or they will go look it up on another device. 

The ad is timely and relevant as people are searching online for gifts this Holiday season. The use of bright pink and blue is sure to grab the attention of people scrolling through their feeds. Having eye-catching creative and standing out from the crowd is so important in the digital marketing world. As I mentioned earlier, people are so keen to ignore ads in their feeds, so it’s super important to capture attention and to capture it instantaneously. That is exactly what this paid social ad does!

Ad #6: Abercrombie – “You’re Invited”

This social ad from Abercrombie was super personal, and I really liked it. It is a video ad lasting 15 seconds. The video starts with what you see above in the thumbnail. It is an invitation from A&F that iterates that you are invited to “HOLIDAY 2023,” which is Abercrombie’s product line of clothing items that are perfect for the Holiday season and a night out.

The video is situational and totally relates to its target audience of young adults looking for something to wear out for the Holidays. It showcases different models (males and females) dressed up in Abercrombie clothes and making their way to the party. 

The primary text aids the video by being personable and telling the potential consumer that if they purchase something in their HOLIDAY 2023 lineup, they will look too good in it just to stay in. They need to go out somewhere and strut their stuff! The video makes a potential consumer feel confident and could easily convince someone to buy one of the gorgeous outfits they saw a model wearing in the video.

Another aspect of this video ad that I like is that the models in this video are all shaped differently. One critique that a lot of customers who are searching for clothes typically have is that all of the brand’s models are the same shape (super skinny and tall). How is someone with a different body type going to be convinced to buy an outfit if all they see is someone with a completely different body type wearing the clothing? This video shows multiple people of all body types wearing Abercrombie’s clothes.

The video also has some background music, which is slightly upbeat and makes you feel like you are getting ready for a night out. It includes text overlay messaging that pops up on the screen to guide the viewer through the video. The people in the video look confident, and they are all gathering with friends, smiling, and having a good time with each other. The video is totally situational and can easily convince a viewer to buy the sleek and elegant clothes that the models are wearing.

Cheers to 2023, and welcome 2024! I am already looking forward to seeing what social advertisers will come up with for their Holiday ads in 2024. Check back in a year to see what my favorite paid social ads will be, then! Thanks for reading, and Happy New Year!

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