Top 3 Ways To Boost Brand Awareness During The Holidays


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How To Boost Your Brand During The Holidays

It's that time of year again. Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose, and it can only mean one thing...the last chance to meet end-of-year sales goals/metrics and start planning for the new year! 

If you are a brand needing some extra love and attention to help drive those sales and get noticed, here are a few of our favorite ways to jumpstart success for clients in December and January to get brands noticed at the last minute for the holidays and into the new year. In this blog, Hollywood Branded shares three ways to boost brand awareness and meet sales metrics at the end of the year.

Top 3 Ways To Boost Brand Awareness During The Holidays (1)

The Reason For The Season

I am not even sure by the time it gets to be December, exactly HOW it got to be December yet again. This year is no exception. Holiday movies aside, the months of November and December mean two very different things to those who do the work on a day-to-day basis and those responsible for the ultimate outcomes of said work and making sure the lights stay on and stakeholders stay happy.   

For many, this is the part of the year when everything becomes a little more relaxed. Office life is slowed down, holidays abound, with extended time off for relaxation.

For others, this is the last chance to make sales metrics to wrap up the past year and set up the groundwork to jumpstart success for the year ahead.  You can feel like a three-headed beast spastically charging around, trying to figure out where to focus time and energy to yield the biggest results. I see it often happens to the clients we work with, and I know I experience it myself. 

Throw in extra, sometimes stressful family time, lots of get-togethers you don't necessarily have time for, hustling to purchase the perfect gifts for your loved ones, friends, and the mailman - and your cup runneth over big time. 

End of Year Financial Checklist

Articles + Gift Guides + "Best Of" Listicles

There are two approaches to securing your brand's digital and print media coverage. Earn it, or pay for it. 

Now, realize there will be an initial fee you pay regardless. You are either paying to staff in-house or outsourcing to an agency to have a brilliant PR media specialist (or team of them) pitching editors on the latest and greatest of your brand. That is going to be needed, regardless.  It's an expense you need to plan for, and depending on the size of your PR team, something that will run the smallest brands at least $36k for part-time staffing, and the most prominent brands, a multiple between 10x to 30x that amount. Then add in the PR database subscriptions and your team's actual time to make results happen. Every brand across all categories should be actively engaging in some level of PR outreach to build reputation/clout, get in front of more (and the right) eyeballs who are actually interested in what you have to sell, and establish SEO. 

After this point, the option of 'earned' or 'paid' comes in.

For earned media, no money is being exchanged. You are instead ideally positioning your brand for one of two things. Either is the best solution for an article already being written, where they need to show some brand examples, and your brand fits in. Or as the story leading the writing concept, where your brand has done something to stand out and get noticed - where your brand has literally become the story that is interesting enough for consumers to take note.

For paid media, it's what it sounds like. It's also called "Pay For Play" and means you pay up to get that digital or print love you crave.  There are all sorts of paid media options, from massive campaigns with lots of new fresh video content shot, to articles where you can craftily write (or have someone write for you) advertorial content that toes the line of editorial if you don't go overboard, and even best of product lists (those are listicles) and gift guides. 

Good Housekeeping Gifts for him Gift guide

Photo Credit: Good Housekeeping |

I can tell you from a lot of experience. It can take a long time to dial in a PR program of earned media, and for brands with very little coverage, jumpstarting with some paid media is no shame. PR is like what we do for brands with our product placement programs.  You not only have to convince the decision makers that your brand is a cut above the rest and deserves the placement positioning. That's the earned media approach I shared, where it is all based on your pitch and relationships. 

What is great about Paid PR (or paid integration/product placement) is that you have the ability to get a little picky and choose with who you are going to share your dollars and have more command over the timetable versus waiting forever for that organic placement to finally show up.  With paid PR, you can choose your magazine (so many offer paid now) and the type of exposure you want within.  It's a great way to build your story and also see what resonates with readers who click - or don't.  In short, paid media is an excellent alternative to just crossing your fingers and HOPING that an editor and writer will fall in love with your pitch. Instead, you get some guaranteed coverage.

Affiliate marketing is also super important to remember today - because even if you are approaching media for earned media, that media outlet likes making money. They need to keep their lights on, and it's getting harder and harder for them. You absolutely need affiliate links and a backend system that works to be chosen from your other 'earned' media / no-fee products you are competing against for inclusion.

Best of all, there are options - GOOD options - out there for any sized brand.

Talk Show Giveaways

With talk shows, holidays are the time of giving show audiences love. Every talk show offers holiday gifting guides - and pricing comes down to whether the brand is a media buyer (much more expensive) or not, the price point which drives value, and the overall quality and interest of the brand to the audience. 

Talk show gift-giving is great because you get the halo effect of 'stardom' from having the hosts not only have to pre-approve you but who gloriously talk about your brand on camera. It's like a celebrity endorsement (implied)... only far cheaper - with a 5 to 6-figure commitment versus 7.

Check out a partnership we did with Famous Footwear and Ellen Degeneres this last year.

Ellen DeGeneres + Blake Shelton + Famous Footwear

Photo Credit: The Ellen DeGeneres Show | YouTube

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Satellite Media Tours (SMTs) - Shared Or Solo

Whether your brand has its own spokesperson or hires someone to be your brand's voice for a day of interviews, SMTs are a go-to favorite for brands year-round - as well as the holidays. Like the infomercial, content is scripted to be discussed by the spokesperson alone or by engaging with the show hosts. You get seen across 15 to 30 + media outlets comprised of local/regional morning and daytime television, radio, and syndication. There is a reason you see so many brands hawking their products to housewives and those at home tuning in. These exposures, even if they don't make the sale happen right then - are part of the building blocks you need to grow your brand. I admit I've bought an awful lot (and sometimes awful is the keyword) of products being hawked on daytime news and talk shows.

Some products I simply love and adore - like my air fryer. So great - go get one! My Flip 'n Fold I bought from a talk show? Well, that's still in the laundry room. Or under my bed. Or in a closet. Why I fell for the fact that it was buy 1 get 2 free, who knows. I don't do laundry of the folding type enough to need helpers to fold along with me. Wherever it is in hiding, it will sit and mock me for the next decade as I know I have the perfect tool to make my drawers look department store ready, but I'm clearly not up to the task of time needed.  Typically the products are great - it's just that maybe I didn't need the item ... but my defenses are down, and I'm intrigued, which is why these types of segments get you pulling out your credit card.

I shared one of my experiences - and why this type of marketing works - in the blog Increase Brand Sales With Talk Show Product Placement.

An SMT allows a brand to own a 3 to 4-minute 'story' that is scripted around the brand to be an interesting segment with a call to action and not just shove-it-down your throat commercial. 

They also offer the brand to SHARE the segment with 4 to 5 other brands, drastically reducing the expense and still getting the attention. These are called Co-Op SMTs, and they run every week nationwide. 

Co-op Satellite Media Tour

Photo Credit: News Media Group |

If you have an interest in any of these three opportunities, there is still time left in December and January to have you make some noise.  Just reach out, and we can share some upcoming opportunities for consideration. 

Like What You're Reading?

The Hollywood Branded Blog library has hundreds of great posts covering all things entertainment and pop culture - from integrations and product placement to working with influencers and celebrities. Check out these blogs below to learn more about holiday marketing and more!

Brand managers typically have enough on their plate dealing with daily job requirements than having the time and resources to negotiate and activate talk show activations, gift guides, etc. The easiest way to lay the foundation and develop a successful integration is to engage a seasoned entertainment marketing expert with social media and PR experience to provide guidance and actual activation.

Have you ever wondered how a comprehensive product placement program works? Or do you want to know how to create a promotional partnership strategy with a movie partner?  This video will answer all of your questions as it shows the steps and processes taken by Hollywood Branded that lead to your brand increasing both consumer engagement and sales!

How Product Placement Works Video