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To say that 2021 was a challenging year is an understatement, but brands are striving to end the year on a lighter note with positive, emotive and imaginative social media Christmas campaigns.

From Twitter to TikTok, which brands have smashed it on social this festive season?

JD Sports

Campaign hashtag: #JDStreet

JD Sports’ “King of the Streets” festive campaign aims to represent the authentic role that the brand plays in today’s youth culture.

To reach its audience where they’re at, JD Sports launched a TikTok branded hashtag challenge in line with the release of their Christmas TV advert, with participants having the chance to win a £2,000 cash prize as well as a JD VIP experience.


Wanna’ WIN £2000 & an exclusive JD prize?! Show us ya skills and #JDSTREET for a chance!

♬ Deserve The Finest (JD Sports Presents) – Shaybo

With over 2.5 billion views, it’s safe to say JD Sports have successfully maximised the reach of their campaign by inspiring “Gen T” to become brand ambassadors.


Campaign hashtag: #CarryTheMerry

Starbucks has created an innovative strategy to increase brand awareness throughout the holiday season. When the contest first launched in 2015, customers were invited to upload a photo of themselves holding the iconic Starbucks red coffee cup and hashtag it with ‘#RedCupContest’ – for the best five entries, there were five prizes of $500 up for grabs. Since then, year after year, Starbucks’ limited-edition red cups generate a boost in user-generated content, as the Red Cup has become a Christmas tradition around the world.

Consumers become advocates when they organically show off their products through user-generated content, and as a result, those customers receive recognition, have the potential to be featured on the brands’ platform, and may even grow their own following off the back of it.


Campaign hashtag: #AldiAmazingChristmas

Aldi has taken to Twitter to increase the reach of their Christmas TV advert. Following a dispute with competitor M&S over Cuthbert the Caterpillar cake earlier this year, Aldi included a scene in which Cuthbert was arrested in their TV ad. This sparked a lot of discussions, and where do people go to talk about controversial topics? Twitter.

To strengthen visibility, they’ve created a branded hashtag with a half carrot emoji – these hashtag emojis are created with Twitter and typically attract greater interaction from younger audiences. In addition, they introduced “Marcus Raddishford,” a character voiced by Marcus Rashford, to their TV ad. Because Rashford also created his own content to share with his 5.2 million Twitter followers, the use of an influential figure has had a significant positive impact on the campaign’s reach.

TK Maxx

Campaign hashtag: #ChristmasToTheMaxx

This year, TK Maxx has adopted a multi-channel, multi-hashtag strategy. #ChristmasToTheMaxx serves as their umbrella Christmas hashtag, matching their TV advert. However, they’ve also launched a #Maxx50Challenge across their social media channels to encourage consumers to buy their Christmas gifts for under £50.

In addition, the brand created developed a TikTok effect with the hashtag #TKMaxxTalentShow, which encourages users to get creative “to the MAXX”. This currently has 1670 videos and 3 billion views with users singing, dancing, playing an instrument, ice skating and even getting their pets involved!


This is your chance to show your talents and take Christmas to the Maxx! #AD #TKMaxxTalentShow #ChristmastotheMaxx @TK Maxx

♬ Christmas to the maxx – Lachlann Doley


Campaign hashtag: #PercyPigmas

For their 2021 Christmas campaign, Marks & Spencer has brought its beloved mascot, Percy Pig, to life.

“Social media is helping change perspectives of M&S.” Sharry Cramond, Director of Marketing for M&S Food, said the TikTok push is part of its “overall strategy to be more relevant, grow with families and attract a younger audience”.

In the run-up to Christmas, M&S plans to increase activity on its Facebook and Instagram pages. Its social media platforms are now brimming with user-generated content from both its employees and customers.

The popularity of the #PercyPigmas has inspired users and marketers to piggyback (no pun intended) on the campaign’s success by creating memes, further enhancing the brands’ audience reach.

What was the secret to all of these brands’ successes? Each campaign leveraged a multi-platform social media strategy to reach its target audience. They tweaked the content to take advantage of each platform’s strengths: Twitter was used to spark conversation, Instagram inspired user-generated content and TikTok built communities.

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