Advertising for the Holidays

It’s that time of the year where brands put their best deals forward with advertising for the holidays! Coming up with the creative can be an overwhelming task. So we’ve compiled a list of inspirational advertising from different industries, to help your creative juices flow. But before we dig in, let’s talk about the historical connection to the colors you find on holiday advertisements.

The history of Christmas Colors

During the holidays, brands will use colors red, green, white, gold and blue to their advantage. These colors were once part of a cultural awareness that linked to the significance of Christmas. Color in today’s society has become less significant than it once was and now closer to advertising and sales. Before this shift occurred, these colors held a particular significance to the meaning behind Christmas.

  • Green links to Christmas trees and the mistletoe. The use of Christmas trees can goes back to medieval times, where it was believed to symbolize the Garden of Eden.
  • Red is closely associated to the holy berry and the blood of Jesus.
  • Gold links to the presents given to Jesus by the three wise men.
  • Blue connects to royalty as the pigments to produce the die were expensive.
  • White connected to the purity of the spirit and snow. But it’s also likely linked to the communion wafers hung on trees, which happened to be white.

Even though brands may not all connect to the historic meaning of Christmas, as a society we have adapted these colors to symbolize the holiday spirit. While people may celebrate differently these holidays, the spirit of joy, love and giving is still seen across advertising. The brands listed below have successfully linked color to their advertising this holiday season.


Brands and their holiday advertising

The most well known brand for embracing the holiday spirit is Coca Cola. While their advertising has changed throughout the years, their focus is still on the experience of their product.

A photo posted by Coca-Cola (@cocacola) on

Starbucks is known for their holiday cups and the way they use their products is incredibly successful. Their holiday advertising doesn’t scream “buy me”. Furthermore, it shows the experiences people have with their coffee. As a result, you feel a warm, cozy vibe that’s clearly connecting to the comfort of the holidays.


This beautiful styled image brings a sense of awe with color and certainly gives you a lot of options with what they are selling. And you see the full picture, without needing to overwhelm the audience with the objects.

A photo posted by J.Crew (@jcrew) on


Reebok is pretty clever about their advertising as it wasn’t directly saying get these for the holidays, but you can clearly see the visual cues gearing up for the holiday season. The action shot clearly links to their fitness-centered brand.

A photo posted by @reebok on


Blue, white and red clearly stand out in this candid shot by Fossil. Since the background has blue and white tones, you clearly feel the Christmas spirit. This was actually brilliant because those two tones allowed the red bag to stand out and become a focal point.

A photo posted by fossil (@fossil) on


Beyond the photography

Visuals are a key way to capture your audiences attention, but not all of it is photography-driven. What if you need to drive that extra mile and have compelling copy in your ads? Our recent collaboration with Adobe Spark and Twitter business is packed with tips and ad templates you can use for your advertising this holiday season. And if you are looking for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday or even Cyber Monday templates, be sure to check out our latest collaboration with Adobe Spark here.

Are there any other brands that you feel are successful with their holiday advertising? We’d love to know.

Nicte Creative Design
Nicte Cuevas, Principal of Nicte Creative Design, empowers mission-driven businesses through strategic design & branding. Nicte has applied this when working with Adobe Spark and Twitter Business, Dogs on Deployment and Purina, Girl Scouts, The Houston Zoo and The Contemporary Arts Museum. Her excellence in communication design & marketing has been recognized by multiple national / international awards, including a coveted feature in Graphic Design USA's People to Watch.

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