How Coke is bringing the magic of its Christmas campaign to Canada

A mix of new platforms and classic TV spots aim to combine reach with interactivity and frequency.
Hero Asset_Coca-Cola Cameo Partnership

Coca-Cola has launched this year’s holiday campaign, and its Canadian media mix is built around delivering its annual holiday creative on traditional storytelling platforms with the additional reach, frequency and engagement offered by digital.

As part of the “Real Magic at Christmas” global campaign, consumers in North America can request a video from Santa Claus himself in either English, Spanish or French through Cameo. The Cameos will be sent to consumers at random to spread “real magic” throughout the holiday season. Like all Cameo videos, the greetings can also be downloaded and saved to a phone or laptop and shared with friends and family in real life, via text or social media.

The Cameo activation extends the brand’s longstanding association with Santa, the modern image of whom first graced Coca-Cola advertising in the 1920s and ultimately helped shape the modern-day image of the gregarious man in the red suit with a white beard.

Arthur Leopold, chief business officer at Cameo, says it’s taken a traditional meet-and-greet with Santa Claus and turned it into a more accessible, personalized experience. Coke and Cameo are also hosting a live virtual event open to the public, where Santa will introduce the “Real Magic” short spot with celebrity guests popping in.

The film, and a series of shorter versions will be available in more than 90 countries, including the U.S. and Canada where it will premiere on Nov. 15 on TV, online and in cinemas.

The TV buy will surround “holiday classics” programming airing on CBC. There’s also a sponsorship of the annual Bye Bye New Year’s Eve sketch comedy special, broadcast by Radio-Canada with supporting media including brandsell, pre-roll on digital platforms and banners.

“We are using TV as that classic reach builder for the holiday campaign,” Coca-Cola tells MiC through a spokesperson. “Historically, users look forward to seeing it on their TV screens. The online tactics are included to build frequency with the shorter form videos and engage with our audience, using more interactive formats to drive home the magic that Coca-Cola brings to the holiday season.”

For the Canadian market, there’s also a OOH executions in areas like Toronto’s Distillery District known for annual holiday markets, which are expected to draw bigger crowds this year. Cinema is included because of the highly engaged movie audience and big-screen experience.