Best Practices

Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice: Thanksgiving Marketing Campaigns and Ideas

By Editorial Staff

Thanksgiving is the start of a holiday season teeming with festive feasts and limited-time deals. For marketers, Thanksgiving is the optimal time to hit new marketing goals! Are you looking to connect with new and returning audiences or generate revenue but don’t know where to begin? You’re in luck – NeoReach has compiled some of the best Thanksgiving marketing campaign examples and ideas to help brands spread their holiday cheer!

Did you know that NeoReach runs world-class influencer marketing campaigns? Check out our case studies here!

1. Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” Campaign

Coca-Cola is a brand that has stood the test of time, appealing to both younger and older generations. However, Coca-Cola didn’t always appeal to millennials. In 2011, Coca-Cola sales were down immensely, and newer generations weren’t interested in the drink. Coca-Cola’s Australian marketing team developed the “Share a Coke” redesign to help generate sales. Each bottle label said, “Share a Coke with” and a random name.

When the Share a Coke campaign was released early next year, Coca-Cola reported a sales increase of over 2.5% percent. In addition, Coca-Cola consumption among millennials jumped by 7%. Because of Coke’s impressive success, the Share a Coke bottle redesigns hit the shelves in over 70 countries.

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Coca-Cola revised their marketing strategy to honor “holiday heroes” who have done charitable deeds in their community. Coca-Cola stated that they revised the campaign to “help people feel connected” while celebrating people in the community who “deserve an extra special gift.”

Thanksgiving marketing campaigns are all about expressing gratitude to people we care about, and Coca-Cola’s campaign elevated the otherwise bleak mood of 2020. With the help of digital marketing, Coca-Cola’s popularity skyrocketed, and the campaign reported historical, long-term success.

2. Target’s Campaign Prioritizes Light, Magic, and Affordable Gifts

Among Target’s plethora of Thanksgiving marketing campaigns, one addressed the financial struggles associated with holiday dinners, especially during 2023’s inflating consumer costs. Target’s latest holiday campaigns accommodate consumers with tight budgets by promoting gifts, decorations, and food.

In addition, Target’s annual Top Toys list includes affordable toys for children. Disney and Target collaborated on limited-time retro Disney toys and products but with a modernized, contemporary twist on color schemes and designs. These consist of dozens of toys, apparel, entertainment, decor, and accessories, all for the affordable price of $25 and below!

Target’s Thanksgiving Feast

On November 1st, Target announced their affordable Thanksgiving dinner! This affordable dinner for four includes traditional Thanksgiving foods like potatoes, stuffing, cream of mushroom soup, cranberry and gravy sauce, and vegetables.

What makes Target’s Thanksgiving marketing campaign an ongoing success is Target’s desire to make traditional holiday meals affordable for all families. With the help of Target, the holiday spirit forges connections with friends and family and gives everyone something to be grateful for.

3. Whole Foods x Chloe Coscarelli Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner

In November of 2021, Whole Foods did the unthinkable and collaborated with Food Network influencer Chloe Coscarelli (@chefchloe) to create an all-vegan and ethically friendly Thanksgiving meal. Coscarelli meal box feeds two people and includes traditional Thanksgiving foods with an authentic twist: miso greens, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, mushroom roast, and more!’

Additionally, Whole Foods created a webpage dedicated to vegan Thanksgiving recipes for aspiring chefs. Compared to other Thanksgiving marketing campaigns, Whole Foods targeted a niche audience with the perfect influencer to subtly address issues like animal welfare and sustainability. If you’re a brand, check out this NeoReach blog to learn how to connect with niche influencer communities!


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A post shared by Whole Foods Market (@wholefoods)

4. REI x Miranda Webster Thanksgiving Oatmeal

What flavor is always associated with Thanksgiving and Fall dinners? That’s right – pumpkin spice. Recreational Equipment Inc (REI), a popular outdoor recreation brand, partnered with micro-influencer Miranda Webster (@mirandagoesoutside) to showcase her cozy oatmeal recipe!

REI uploaded the how-to video on their official Instagram account. In the video, Webster is wearing REI apparel while providing a step-by-step guide on creating this campsite treat. Webster attracted outdoor and camping gurus who would rather spread Thanksgiving outdoors, admiring the changing of seasons and crinkling tree leaves.

REI’s collaboration targeted Webster’s niche audience and encouraged fans to purchase their apparel on outdoor treks. The campaign made it easy for veteran and newbie cooks to create oatmeal recipes with seasonal flavors. What made REI’s campaign a monumental success is Coscarelli and Webster’s creative twist on these recipes, making these recipes memorable outside of the holiday season.


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A post shared by REI (@rei)

5. Butterball’s Annual Turkey-Talk Line

Another Thanksgiving marketing campaign is Butterball’s widely popular “Turkey-Talk Line” event. Originating in 1981, Butterball economists strategized on how to answer turkey-cooking questions for consumers. Butterball reported that over 50 “turkey experts” answered more than 100,000 questions from households across North America. 

Nowadays, Butterball has expanded to reach social media platforms to market their annual Turkey-Talk line. During the 2020 pandemic, Butterball promoted their campaign on Twitter while prioritizing the pandemic’s “work-from-home” culture. Butterball’s authentic approach to handling consumer concerns fostered lighthearted interactions in the line and comments section. In the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic, Butterball’s upbeat vibe livened the spirits of consumers nationwide.

Thanksgiving Marketing Campaign Ideas

Now that we’ve covered the best Thanks marketing campaigns, one question remains – how do businesses and brands create their own? While we can’t tell you what will work best for your brand, we can give you some ideas to fuel your brainstorming session. Read ahead to help generate inspiration for your campaigns!

  • Utilize user-generated content to increase brand awareness: Marketing against competitors is a hassle, but with the help of dedicated creators, user-generated content can revitalize a brand’s image and encourage authenticity for growing businesses. Start viral hashtags and encourage social media users to create content!
  • Plan sweepstakes and giveaways: One Thanksgiving marketing campaign that drove sales from sweepstakes was Old Navy’s Overnight Millionaire event. Overnight Millionaire was the catalyst to Old Navy’s biggest sale of the year and changed the lives of sweepstake winners. In addition, giveaways increase audience participation and encourage users to keep an eye out for limited-time deals.
  • Collaborate with niche influencers to maximize reach: Get inspired by Whole Foods and REI, and work alongside influencers to mesh well with your brand. Ensure that you research and compensate influencers fairly to foster future partnerships and improve your reputation with creators.
  • Create deals that prioritize affordability and sustainability: For some people, the holiday season garners more stress than joy because of inflating goods and services. Prioritize affordability and sustainability when brainstorming for your Thanksgiving marketing campaign. 

Spread Holiday Joy With Your Own Thanks Marketing Campaign!

As we conclude this blog, we hope these campaigns generated ideas for your brand. While meeting marketing goals is the focal point of your campaign, remember to spread positivity and happiness during this upcoming holiday season!

This article was written by Brianna Borik

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