Thanksgiving and Holiday Shopping Season 2021 | How Brands Can Reach Consumers with Conversational Media

June 1, 2021

The holiday season will be here before we know it, and will come as a refreshing time of year compared to 2020. With significant progress being made in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, we predicted that people would once again be excited to celebrate the season and return to traditions with loved ones. 

Our recent holiday surveys revealed that our predictions are correct; people are once again joyous about the thought of celebrating the holiday season much differently than they did last year. With a reinvigorated spirit, people are planning to return to stores to shop and be amongst family and friends for the holidays. You can learn more about our findings in our latest data reports about Thanksgiving & Holiday Shopping and Planning.

In this blog, we’ll discuss how brands in key verticals can reach people ahead of and during the holiday season with Conversational Media campaigns. 

Conversational Media: Delighting Consumers in the DMs During the Holidays 

Before the turkey is carved and the gifts are purchased, people turn to messaging to discuss holiday plans and gift giving, and even settle shopping bills and celebrations in payment apps. On the actual holiday, messaging is also where people go to send well wishes to those that mean the most. 

In fact, 57% of people say they use content, like stickers and GIFs, in their Happy Thanksgiving messages. 

people use content in messaging on Thanksgiving

And when it comes to holiday gift ideas, 37.6% of people ask others what is on their wishlist in messaging

Historically, brands weren’t invited into these conversations in messaging, but Conversational Media has recently changed the dynamic of how brands can connect with consumers in chat and payment environments. 

Conversational Media, by definition, is “The various types of media leveraged in peer-to-peer messages to enable richer communications between two or more individuals on conversational platforms.” You can learn lots more about Conversational Media as a medium in this blog

With Conversational Media campaigns, brands reach consumers with relevant and useful content for chat. The brand is present, but not intrusive, because no one wants banner ads served to them in their private messages. Instead, brands work with Holler to create unique, contextually targeted content that helps elevate the conversation while keeping the brand top-of-mind.

Holiday Tentpoles: An Effective Way to Enter the Chat

A specific tentpole Conversational Media strategy, especially around the holidays, is a great way to reach people with a hyper-targeted approach. Brands are able to align with holiday discussions and provide people with relevant content that adds value and fun. Want to see what we mean?

Take a look at how beer brand Miller Lite aligned with the holiday season to reach people in discussions about celebrations, food, and drinking. 

Miller Lite | Reaching People in Messaging During the 2020 Holiday Season  

Miller Lite wanted to reach people during the holidays as they were discussing holiday plans, meals, and more. With a targeted Conversational Media campaign in partnership with Holler, the beer brand entered payment notes, not only about beer, but about holiday gatherings and feasts - topics of conversation that were relevant to the brand, but not tied so specifically to their product offering. 

The results were amazing! People utilized Miller Lite content in holiday chat throughout the season, keeping the brand top-of-mind in key tentpole conversations. 

Certain Brand Verticals Evoke the Holiday Spirit 

Our most recent holiday data reports revealed which types of brands people associate most with the holidays. The results were insightful and provide clues as to which brands would be most successful in running Conversational Media campaigns during the season: 


  1. Food and Drink Brands
  2. Entertainment and Sports Brands
  3. Alcohol and Spirits Brands

This top 3 lineup makes perfect sense; Thanksgiving is all about eating, drinking, and being grateful for what you’ve got! Thanksgiving traditions also include watching football games on turkey day, enjoying Thanksgiving parades, and getting into the spirit by watching holiday movies. Learn more about Thanksgiving 2021 in our latest data report

Holiday Shopping & Planning

  1. Toys and Gaming Brands 
  2. Clothing and Retail Brands 
  3. Entertainment and Sports Brands

Holiday gifting season is a big one, and it’s no surprise that these top 3 are the types of brands that evoke the holiday spirit for consumers. 

Brands within these specific categories should think about how they can take advantage of Conversational Media campaigns in order to reach holiday-focused consumers in a fresh way. 

Conversational Media: Connecting Brands to Consumers this Holiday 

Although the summer is just beginning, the holiday season isn’t so far away; now is an ideal moment for brands to begin to think about big picture marketing strategies for the most wonderful time of the year.

Including a Conversational Media campaign as part of your overall marketing mix can be the perfect way to reach more consumers where they’re most active - in messaging.

To discover how to create a Conversational Media campaign for the holidays, get in touch.

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