Christmas: Magical Holiday or Marketing Scheme?

Is the Christmas we all know and love just another way for megacorporations to make money?


We’re all adults here, so let’s face facts: Christmas is often more of a marketing ploy than holiday, and consumers are eating it up. Sure it’s a holiday, but it’s a holiday for marketing professionals and overpriced stocking stuffers. 


Think about it!


Sorry kids, the Santa Claus you know and love is just a clever scheme by Coca-Cola to get you to drink bubbly cans of sugar! 


Continuing this “bah humbug” thread, here are some ways your brand can make the most of the holiday season.


  • Decorate your brand for Christmas

Color builds anticipation for great deals and makes consumers want to spend more money than they usually do. By buying into the festive season and lighting up your brand a bit, you’re showing your customers that you can be festive, fun and (dare we say it?) merry! Decorate your website with the greens and reds of the season. A little goes a long way.


  • ‘Tis the season for holiday email campaigns!

People are more willing to open their promotional emails if they’re feeling festive (and hoping for deals), so now’s the time to show them you’ve got Christmas spirit coming out of your ears! Write fun, eye-catching mailers that really sell the holidays. Incorporate important calendar dates, and maybe even a “12 Days of Savings” campaign that keeps them coming back for each new reveal. This is the time of year when people are most willing to have fun with their pocketbooks, so indulge them with some of the fun stuff you’ve been holding back all year!


  • Deck the social media halls 

Play around with your social media platforms and the ads therein. Just like emails, folks are more inspired to click on enticing ads if they’re eye-catching, cheerful, geared toward their browsing history, and filled with savings! Which platform are most of your customers hanging out on? Now is the time of year when they’re more likely to click on an ad that interests them, or might interest a loved one for whom they want to get a gift.


  • The 31 Days of Christmas

Time is limited for Christmas shopping, and you can capitalize on that with a countdown clock.  Letting your customers know that their time to buy is short can boost sales. And, while a discount code is great, a discount code with a timer slowly winding down is even better. 


  • Time for giving

There’s no better way to celebrate this time for generosity than to run a Christmas giveaway on your website. It encourages traffic, and lets people know you care about your clientele. If your customers know that you aren’t just another Scrooge, they’ll be more willing to buy your products and drop their names into your hat.


  • Christmas miracles

Consider donating a portion of your holiday income to a group that helps those in need. We’ve all likely experienced want, and far too many in this world are destitute, despairing or in war-torn regions. Christmas is the time of year to consider the needs of others and uplift our fellow humans. 




All that being said, let’s take a moment to remember that the Grinch doesn’t stay grinchy….


Christmas may be a heavily monetized holiday. It’s definitely the biggest holiday of the year for many businesses around the world. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that it means much more than that to millions of people. 


People do celebrate Christmas by making many purchases, but they do it to express their love for friends and family. They do it because they feel generous, and that desire to give often comes from a place more heartfelt than money. In spite of corporate culture’s desire to make Christmas all about them, people see through the facade and use it to their advantage. 


Giving and getting is a momentary thrill, but the love behind it is eternal and passes from person to person, and generation to generation. Each year, Christmas reminds us that together we are stronger. The family we have and the friendships we share are what unite us as a people. 


The love we share is what gives us purpose.


If, one day, we should wake up to discover that the only true meaning of life is to love one another then, at least once a year, that’s enough. 


Merry Christmas from our La Mesa family to yours.


Memories Unwrapped: Crafting Christmas Ads that Resonate Through the Years

The arrival of each holiday season conjures emotions of warmth, joy and a spirit of jovial generosity. Celebrations with friends and family, and reminiscences of a year almost gone, bring with them feelings of sentimentality, as well as a desire to see those emotions brought to life. 


And these organically-grown emotions are further heightened by businesses who capitalize on them through advertising and branding. By catering to, and heightening, people’s Christmas spirit, some organizations have even managed to create advertising so well-remembered that it becomes a part of the global Christmas tradition – anticipated and loved for generations. These timeless ads have become as much a part of people’s holidays as their mulled wine, fruitcake and Frosty the Snowman. 


It probably doesn’t require much recollection for you to remember a Christmas advert that has spoken to you through the years. Maybe you saw it during your childhood, when Christmas was a time of excitement and anticipation. Maybe you first saw the ad at a time when you were receptive to its emotional content. What we’re saying is we’ve all got our favorites. 

As an example: This Campbell’s Soup commercial has been warming hearts and tummies since 1993. For this blog writer, there’s simply no replacement for its comic, loving, cozy storytelling. It just works, and it has for thirty years!


But what inspires a timeless Christmas advertising campaign? It can’t just be a blatant attempt to cash in on the sense of familial goodwill that comes with the time of year. Nor can it simply be our need for all things green, red and schmaltzy. 


So, let’s explore the essential properties necessary in creating a timeless holiday advertising campaign. 


  • Emotional Resonance

Timeless holiday ads often tap into universal emotions that transcend generations. Emotional resonance creates a connection between the audience and the brand, making the message unforgettable. Take Sainsbury’s 2014 historically rich Christmas ad, “1914,” which beautifully captures the powerful sentiment of togetherness and the joy that comes with feeling as one with your fellow man, even during times of unprecedented hardship.


  • Storytelling

A compelling, relatable narrative can turn a simple ad into an image that people want to revisit year after year.

This British Airways image relays the universal desire for togetherness, especially for those who are far away. When paired with a simple, brilliant illustration, the meaning is communicated instantaneously. It’s a simple story that all of us have experienced, and it portrays the emotional pull for those who are on their way (and those who won’t be coming this year.)


  • Characters

This M&M’s commercial has been in constant Christmas rotation for more than 25 years, and that’s largely due to its strength of characterization. The characters, particularly the lovable Red and Yellow, have been part of the brand’s holiday campaigns forever. Their humorous and relatable personas resonate with viewers, making them a staple in holiday advertising.

  • Nostalgia and Tradition

Variations on the Hershey Kisses Bells of Christmas commercial have been a constant since 1989, with only slight variations and updates for high definition. Why? Because the simplicity, and festive nature of those ringing chocolate bells, has become a Christmas tradition. Due to its simplicity and yearly appearance, this ad, and many other fondly remembered ones don’t overstay their welcome. Activating the power of memory will ensure your ad becomes a seasonal touchstone. 

  • Sentimentality

As cynical and wry as modern advertising has become, the same can’t be said for holiday marketing, especially when aiming for something timeless. 

In many ways, our present feelings about Christmas were manufactured by 19th Century companies like printmaker Currier & Ives, and author Charles Dickens. The desire for a bygone era, chestnuts roasting by an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose, etc., are all variations of wishing for a time and place no longer directly remembered, but also not to be ignored. We all desire togetherness, and the warm embrace of loved ones. We all dream of curling up by the light of a warm fire and making memories with family and friends. Embracing sentimentality within holiday-themed advertising is simply giving the people what they want at this time of year. 

Crafting timeless holiday advertising is more than selling products; its goal is to capture the essence of the season and create memories. We gather together every season to remember times past, and create new memories. The true gift of holiday advertising lies in the ability to connect with audiences, spread joy year after year and, in their own unique ways, become an authentically essential part of people’s Christmas season.


Sustainable Solutions: A Guide for Your Brand’s Environmental Advocacy

It’s a topic that inspires feelings of helplessness and guilt. Frankly, we sometimes understand why so many people choose to live in denial concerning its potentially world-ending magnitude. The task of confronting it, and the role we’ve been tasked with, is almost too dire to command our full attention.


But climate change is a real, potentially fatal, problem that we must not shy away from. As our climate’s activity grows more extreme, the need to transition to a low-carbon economy becomes clear. 


As world governments are coming together in Dubai for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, and pledging to significantly reduce their emissions, we thought now would be a great time to talk about the global problem of our time. As Dubai has promised to reduce its emissions to net zero by 2050, we feel it’s important to analyze what your brand can do to assist with such lofty goals. And, as the Middle East uneasily approaches an existence without the fossil fuel industry, so should all of us confront the sacrifices and changes we must make to ensure that our world remains livable and vibrant for future generations.


As a responsible brand, this summit provides a unique opportunity to showcase your commitment to environmental sustainability, and spread awareness about the urgent need for collective action. Believe it or not, climate change affects you too. As global markets shift based on changing climate and market need, your business will be faced with a landscape you didn’t start out with. 


Doing your part, no matter how small, for the betterment of life on our planet is simply the right thing to do… which just so happens to be one of the most resonant reasons businesses are adopting more environmentally friendly practices.


But what can your small business be expected to do to help combat climate change? You’re not a megacorporation or government, after all. Let’s take our cue from the Climate Change Conference, and explore ways your business can make a difference. 


Here are some great strategies your brand can employ to make a positive impact and enter into the global conversation of caring for our world.

  • Talking Sustainable Practices 

If you’ve implemented sustainable practices within your enterprise, why not brag a bit? Not only because you’re proud of the changes you’ve made with a better future in mind, but also because other businesses may be looking for their own ways to bring sustainability to their business. If you’ve added electric vehicle charging ports, implemented a recycling program, or organized a cleanup event in your neighborhood, then talk about it! Your bragging rights just might be the push someone else needs to make a change. 

  • Social Media

For all its nonsense and fluff, anyone who’s spent any time on social media knows that social media is also where most people begin to get their news and information, before delving deeper into their areas of interest. Social media controls online people’s worldview, so why not utilize your social media platforms to spark conversations related to climate action? Create branded hashtags, host live sessions with environmental experts, and encourage your followers to share their own sustainable practices. Social media is a powerful tool for raising awareness and inspiring meaningful action.

  • Discuss the Conference

Due to its proximity and freshness in the minds of the people, the COP28 is the climate action conversation starter, especially if your brand is based in the UAE. Share your brand’s perspective, express support for positive initiatives, and contribute to the broader conversation about the role businesses play in addressing climate change. You certainly don’t have to agree with every corporate initiative you hear, but the fact that you’re inspiring meaningful interactions among your people and customers can go a long way toward action and an active push for positive change. 

  • Be Accountable

Your honesty and accountability regarding your brand’s measured goals and sustainability initiatives sets an example. Taking transparent responsibility regarding your progress, failings and ambitions fosters trust and encourages consumers to support environmentally responsible brands. It’s also good business, as more and more consumers are choosing environmentally conscious goods and service providers. Once again, you’re leading by example. 

  • Know What You Need To Do

At this point, choosing to neglect sustainable practices and climate change initiatives has become detrimental. People are more than willing to single out people and organizations they deem to be “on the wrong side of history” and, when it comes to our warming world, doing something is far better than doing nothing. Additionally, owning sustainability is one of the most unique changes businesses are making in recent years. It’s up there with the shift to digital, and it’s just as revolutionary. It’s also, potentially, very difficult. New regulations are seemingly popping up every day and, for once, their hearts are in the right place. Remaining ahead of the climate change curve will greatly benefit your organization in the long run.  


Plotting a climate conscious roadmap is different for every industry. If you’re online-only, like us, then we’ve got some thoughts for you. Whatever course of action you choose to take, know that you’ll be contributing to a greater good. A sustainable future is the only livable future for our species (and also your business). 


The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference is a momentous occasion for your brand to lead by example and contribute to the global movement for a sustainable future.


Because, when it comes to the issue of climate change, we’re all investors and a better future is our reward. 

Designing Dreams in the City of Innovation: Why Dubai is the Perfect Canvas for La Mesa

Amidst the futuristic skylines and a cultural trapestery that seamlessly blends tradition with innovation, Dubai is something wholly unique among global cities. A place teeming with diversity, people come from across the globe, bringing their unique cultural influences and disciplines to the table, and, somehow, it all just works! A centralized hub of seemingly limitless possibilities. Sky’s the limit! From avant-garde architecture to a thriving cosmopolitan landscape, this place has everything.


Even better, Dubai loves startups and entrepreneurs. 


And it just won’t stop growing! 


Here are a few reasons why La Mesa loves Dubai.  

  • Architectural Dreamworld

Dubai’s skyline is a testament to architectural marvels that push the boundaries of design. From the world renowned Burj Khalifa to the stunning accomplishment that is Palm Jumeirah, the city is an insanely entertaining playground where our design firm can contribute to the ever-evolving narrative of futurist architecture. 

  • City of Innovation

Dubai’s commitment to innovation and living on the cutting-edge of technology aligns seamlessly with our philosophy. Our passion for getting things done in the best way possible means constantly knowing the limits, and then pushing them. Dubai serves as the perfect backdrop for a design firm driven by a passion for pushing creative boundaries. 

  • Connectivity

Dubai’s strategic location as a global transportation hub enables seamless collaboration and project management. Our design firm can effortlessly connect with clients and collaborators from around the world, and magnify our global reach. And, as one of the most online regions in the world by percentage, there’s no telling how high your business will rise. Dubai is your ticket to the world. 

  • Expo Legacy

Expo 2020 positioned Dubai as a hub for innovation and collaboration, and that’s not easy to forget. As a design firm that thrives on never being satisfied with the status quo, being part of this legacy allows us to contribute to the city’s ongoing narrative of progress, and even grow with it.

  • UAE Vision

At the heart of Dubai’s success story is the visionary leadership of the United Arab Emirates. Dubai’s growth is not just a testament to architectural wonders of imagination but also to the machinations that have transformed it into a global design and branding destination. Being part of this narrative allows La Mesa to contribute to the legacy of a nation that believes in pushing boundaries and creating a future where design plays a pivotal role. 


Not just a playland for the rich and famous, Dubai is expat-friendly and rapidly becoming the global destination for entrepreneurs and investors alike. The name alone carries a lot of weight, but so do the unlimited possibilities available to those who know how to nurture them and use the right channels for growth and opportunity. 


And, while this sounded a helluva lot like a commercial for our city, we truly believe we’re in the right place at the right time, and we’re ready to rock and roll.