In 30 seconds:
- We’re discussing where to put the focus in this year’s Easter holiday campaigns and how you can really crack it.
- When to begin your campaign? Hunting for the right traction this year means you need the right starting point.
- Looking for some inspiration? We’ve collected the best Easter campaigns and take you through exactly why they worked.
Ready to build winning Easter campaigns? Yes, Christmas is well behind us, and it’s coming up to that important time of year. Spring is in the air, which means you need to be hopping onto your strategy for the Easter season.
The competition is always strong. This year brands will be joining the hunt for customers, and only the fastest and most creative bunny will secure the fullest basket.
On a hunt to find out how to approach planning? No worries, apart from the mandatory puns, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of eggcellent campaigns and top Easter ads of 2023. Plus, we’ve uncovered their basket of tricks.
We chose each example to inspire you and ultimately drive reach, build brand awareness, drum up engagement, and increase your Easter ROI. Ready to get cracking with some Easter promotion ideas? Let’s go.
Easter predictions for 2024
Last year, experts estimated a total of £960 million spending on Easter — 3 out of 4 Brits were expected to celebrate the holiday and spend money on gifts.
We expected to see a decrease in spending due to the ongoing cost of living crisis, but overall, Easter held up better than other holidays and festivities. Considering inflation, the difference in spending from 2022 to 2023 amounts to around a 3% decrease. There are some trends to watch out for.
Confectionary will remain one of the most popular gifts, though adding a twist to them with unusual ingredients and creative tastes will help you stand out. Furthermore, we expect dining in to be chosen over the option to dine out, creating key opportunities for brands that are willing to get creative.
The outlook for Easter 2024 remains good — we expect the financial pressure to ease a little, and there is hope on the horizon. But just because people are spending, doesn’t mean you can just send out ad campaigns and hope for the best.
So exactly how is Easter marketed this year, and what will determine a successful campaign?
Easter is usually all about sharing and spending time with family. This year more than most, you’ll need to tap into this. But it might be time to think about sharing in different ways.
With the world still feeling very uncertain, and with an average of 37.1% of women and 29.9% of men reporting high levels of anxiety in 2023, people aren’t necessarily looking for the big Easter celebration. Plus, with Christmas just over (and more than 2 in 5 people feeling stressed during the holiday), it’s worth thinking differently about gatherings and opulence.
Yes, you’ll want to tap into the usual sentimental feelings of Easter, but equally, it’s all about thinking through your audience’s needs, actions and desires to drive engagement, boost sales and secure customers. Does your audience want a big Easter bash? Are they looking to treat the kids? Or are they younger and searching for a meaningful, smaller connection with a friend? Most importantly, which are the best channels to reach them on?
Instead of thinking in a formulaic manner, it’s important to first get to the very heart of what your target audience will be doing this year. That’s the main challenge.
When should you start advertising for Easter?
In 2024, we will celebrate Good Friday on March 29th and Easter Sunday on March 31 (the Easter weekend will be 29th-1st). Since the date can change from year to year, it may be a bit difficult to determine when to start advertising. We’re here to give you some tips on how to tackle this decision.
Being one of the most anticipated religious holidays, it’s generally a good idea to start your marketing efforts early to account for any early birds. Sales of Easter gifts and items increase around 2 to 3 weeks before the day. Get your customers excited about the holiday well in advance in order to ensure they choose you as their gift destination.
Keep stragglers in mind and make sure your marketing campaign keeps on hopping until the very day. Especially with last-minute buyers, it’s important to keep your campaign fresh and exciting, so it really stands out amongst the competitors.
The key is to test, measure and then adapt your campaigns. If using social media influencers, this is essential. Always take the top-performing talent and work with them again and again to receive the best ROI.
Ready to hop into the campaigns?
The top Easter-themed marketing campaigns
1. M&S Foods — A popular Easter treat with a twist.
Easter eggs are one of the most popular treats around the holiday. We all know it, and seemingly every sweets brand has come out with their version of it.
But there are so many more creative ways of dreaming up an “Easter Egg”. Remember when we had the Marmite Yeaster Egg from Asda, the flat-packed bunny from IKEA or, indeed, the avocado egg from Waitrose?
If you’re planning to throw your hat into the ring of chocolates and other sweet goods, you may want to do something different, something that will catch your customers’ eyes and make them look twice.
The people over at M&S seem to think so too. And for arguably the unsexiest holiday of the year, they decided to think outside the box and bring their customers something truly unexpected.
What they did
This Easter, M&S gave their community a new Easter egg product… or did they?
Their 23 Carrot Gold has definitely raised some eyebrows from passerbyes. The store advertises the product as a “carrot-shaped” easter egg which is decorated with real, edible gold leaf.
Initially a comically weird and definitely different concept, but this is not the only reason why people have to do a double-take when they pass it.
Commenters on their Instagram post have been very vocal about what exactly the product reminds them at first. Spoiler alert: it’s not a carrot.
“This post proves they knew they were making a #knobshapedveg and it’s not just my dirrrrty mind 😉😉😂😂 @allotment.fight.club @jamies_little_allotment @the_spencers_at_plot_13 😜”.
Why it worked
Not only did M&S take a popular and arguably overdone product and give it a new spin, but with its unique execution and marketing, they also ensured that people would talk about it.
It’s not just the weirdness of selling vegetable-shaped chocolate as an egg, which in itself is bold and genius on their part.
It’s probably not the promise of a different and delicious taste that attracted the masses.
It’s the comedy in its shape and packaging that people find hilarious and, fundamentally, their wink-nudge narration around the product. That alone made their socials blow up (one of the posts being the most popular post on the M&S page). It’s not quite as contraversial as the Durex Easter X campaign, but it’s definitely a little cheeky for M&S.
Of course, they knew exactly what they were doing when creating the product, and the way they continued advertising it with subtle and slightly naughty undertones shows it beautifully.
2. Tesco — Giveaways always hit the spot
Especially with the ongoing cost of living crisis, people might be a bit hesitant to indulge in gifts.
That’s ok, because, thankfully, the holidays are not just about pushing products and focusing on sales. Maybe you would want to take the moment to really lean into building a brand community and engaging with social media users.
Sometimes, engagement and reach of your brand can be more profitable in the long run than trying to simply come up with a new product.
Tesco shows you exactly why it’s a good idea to invest in the brand community part of your business. And they do so Easter-style.
What they did
Tesco didn’t just simply announce a giveaway where all the audience would need to do is comment, repost, etc. No, they really got creative and leaned into the holiday spirit.
In proper Easter fashion, they decided to switch their logo up for the holidays by incorporating an egg into some designs for their customers to find.
The #CrackingEaster rules are simple: find the egg in a logo, take a picture, and post it on your socials with the appropriate hashtag. A person can enter once a day and has to photograph a different location for every entry they make.
With some luck, they might be one of the lucky winners of a £1000 Tesco gift card.
Why it worked
Everyone loves a giveaway, especially now, when everything is more expensive than ever.
A giveaway is an excellent way to build conversations around your brand — people have to engage with you on social media in order to enter. Pushing for UGC (user-generated content) like this can have a dramatic effect on your brand-community-building efforts.
Even though Tesco isn’t pushing a specific product with this campaign, they are focusing on engaging and growing their community. 66% of branded communities agree that community has had an impact on customer retention, and 68% agree that it brings in new leads.
Brand community should certainly be on your marketing list this Easter period.
3. Cadbury — Influencer marketing is key
Cadbury has a brilliant track record when it comes to stand-out seasonal campaigns (anyone remembers the huge success of this Golden Goobilee ad for Cadbury’s Creme Egg?). Everyone loves an Easter egg hunt. Is it even a successful holiday without one?
They’re especially essential for children. Likewise, Easter is largely a family affair. So how can your company use this to its advantage?
The answer lies in influencer marketing. With a myriad of different content categories and their influencers, you truly have your pick here. All it takes is to make the right choice.
Cadbury understood the assignment and went all in on the influencer promotions this season for their virtual egg hunt. But it wasn’t just that they partnered with influencers. It was how they partnered with them.
What they did
With their Worldwide Hide, they essentially kicked off a massive virtual Easter egg hunt.
Their audience could hide easter eggs all around the world for their loved ones to find. They then had to give hints to enable them to find them, with a little egg thermometer telling the seeker how close they were.
Anywhere in the world goes, and your hidden egg would pop up on their Google Maps screen once they found the intended location.
In order to promote the campaign, Cadbury relied heavily on influencers. More importantly, they tapped into a niche that fits the holiday perfectly: family influencers.
Why it worked
The hunt for Easter eggs brings back happy memories for lots of us. The excitement of running around and finding that colourful box is accompanied by the thrill of competing with other kids.
Since an egg hunt is something mostly prepared for children by their parents and families, it’s not really something that would hugely grab adults’ attention. Cadbury challenged this. They created a hunt where everyone in the family got involved. And who better to promote this than actual families? Enter family channels.
Cadbury predicted the many promotional opportunities that would be fun and engaging if they tapped into these influencers specifically.
Like with this ad, the influencers could get creative: this one starts with an actual egg hunt for children and leads into Cadbury’s Hide, keeping the excitement going all through the video.
The best part is that the brand can kick back and let the creators run wild with their ideas and their production of user-generated content. Yes, they would have received a brief, and of course, you’ll want some creative control over the creators you work with. But in general, creators know how to, well, create! So let them do their thing like Cadbury did and watch the results.
4. Nestlé — Play into the nostalgia
As mentioned previously, a big part of Easter next year is going to be nostalgia. Getting together with family and loved ones to relive the emotions of childhood.
We all know that products have a powerful opportunity to tap into exactly that. Smells and tastes will do that for you.
Nestlé is well aware of the power they have over those memories, being a brand that has been firmly established in people’s childhoods for a long time. So they went all in and made sure that they had an emotional impact on people this season.
What they did
With their Easter campaign “Alice”, they not only played into the nostalgia of their products but also the well-loved story of Alice in Wonderland.
The promotional video is short, but well-produced and clearly intent on making people feel a certain way.
Besides just evoking nostalgia that is guaranteed to warm people’s hearts, it also simultaneously gets people excited to spend time with their families, just like we see the protagonist do in the short film.
Why it worked
For young adults, (Gen Z and Millennials), nostalgia plays a big factor in Easter. There are tons of videos on TikTok like this one and beyond making fun of the idea that parents might not be buying their kids an Easter egg now they are adults.
Nestle understood this. Their creativity tapped into that trend.
It’s food for thought for your brand this year. If you’re targetting Gen Z or Millennials in 2024, looking at nostalgia is a great way of getting their attention.
Nestle’s stunning visuals and fun creative play a huge part in ensuring the campaign will stick with their audience for a long time.
But this campaign isn’t listed for you to copy. Consider how you could bring nostalgia to the table in different creative ways. Perhaps even in a better way for your brand? If people are talking about it on social, listen up and bring forward a campaign that links to their posts and thoughts.
5. Lindt — Something extra to sweeten the deal
Easter eggs and Easter bunnies are a treat firmly established in the holiday tradition.
Especially if they’re from a big-name brand like Lindt.
But with the fierce competition, any brand has to ensure that people remain loyal to their brand and keep reaching for their products out of all the options they have.
Lindt knows that a little incentive can’t hurt and will lead to additional excitement this holiday season.
What they did
We all expect to see their pretty, gold-dressed bunnies on the Easter shelves in the stores.
They know we do.
So they decided to surprise their customers and add a little extra to their usual product. Some of the limited edition gold bunnies contained a token that could be exchanged for £5,000.
This way, Lindt had no need to change an already beloved product to have buyers excited about it.
Why it worked
The prospect of winning something by simply buying a product you want to get anyway is a powerful driver for anyone on the fence about purchasing the item.
Yes, the chances you win something aren’t huge, but they are there. And you don’t even need to pay extra for it, just the usual price of the item you were eyeing anyway.
There is a certain excitement that comes with anything that requires a gamble with luck. The difference here is that even if you don’t win, you’re left with a delicious treat you know you will like.
With their campaign, Lindt showed confidence in the quality of their products and the community standing behind them. They also showed that it’s not necessary to come up with new goods every holiday.
Sometimes a little extra love is enough to convince the buyers to commit to the sale.
Make them put all their eggs in your basket
Understanding Easter is one thing, but being able to use everything people love about it and tune it into a marketing campaign is an art.
You need to be creative, and your campaign needs to be well thought-out. Testing and adapting are essential to make sure it works to the very end and doesn’t fizzle out.
With this list of best Easter marketing campaigns, we’re sure you were able to gather valuable inspiration and motivation to get cracking on your own campaign.
If you’re still on the hunt and aren’t happy with the eggs you have so far, we’re here to join baskets with you. Together, we can build marketing strategies that nail your ROI and crack the code this Easter.
Get in touch, and together with your marketing team, we’ll deliver the most engaging Easter campaign of the season.
Fancy some more cracking content? Check out the articles below.