Thanksgiving Day signals the beginning of the holiday season. For businesses, this means that the much-anticipated holiday shopping season is in full force, fueling increased revenues. From Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, until Cyber Monday a few days later, people come out in droves to the stores, both brick-and-mortar and online, to purchase presents and goods for personal use or loved ones. The period is characterized by huge price markdowns to encourage shoppers to purchase more.

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Different businesses come up with creative advertisements during the holiday spending season to corner the biggest share of the market possible. Advertisements from past holiday seasons still inspire businesses to strive for better marketing campaigns every year.

The following are some of the greatest Thanksgiving advertising campaigns of the recent past:

  • The “Best Thanksgiving Ever” of 2012 – This was a social media campaign that offered a $5,000 prize to participants who could post five or more Thanksgiving recipes from Better Homes & Gardens or from Allrecipes to their “Best Thanksgiving Ever” Pinterest boards. It succeeded in driving high-volume traffic to the sponsoring websites. People were drawn in by the challenge to capitalize on the growing trend of searching for and posting recipes online.
  • The “Carving Board – Giving Thanks” campaign of Oscar Mayer – This was a humorous take on the common little fiascos and stresses of Thanksgiving, including food gaffes and relationship strains. The comedic slant of the commercials was very well-received and broke the monotony of typical holiday advertising.
  • The “Head of the Table” campaign of Publix – This campaign was one of the company’s sincere holiday advertisements featuring three families from different ethnic backgrounds. It capitalized on the country’s diverse underpinnings and expressed the fond feelings that many Americans have in reconnecting with loved ones for Thanksgiving.

These memorable campaigns succeeded in attracting Americans’ collective attention. They moved us to action to laughter and to tears and taught us a little bit more about ourselves in the process.