Brand Strategy

Thanksgiving throwback: how different are things really?

This year, we take a look at Thanksgivings past and a little ad nostalgia. After all, how different could things really be?

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Thanksgiving is shaping up to be a little different this year.

It feels as though a lot of our conversations are starting off with this same sentiment. Occasions, are just different. Smaller, maybe a little less extravagant or special, virtual, altered, and really just different.

For the past six months we have been working with our clients to adapt along with it. Changing tact and messaging to be more relevant and reflective of true consumer behaviour and as the holidays approach, it feels even more pronounced. Predictions, sentiment tracking, trend analysis, proactive management, it’s all in an effort to anticipate, optimize and innovate for what’s to come.

But, it had us wondering; how much has messaging changed over time? Have we really started a new narrative or are we simply doing what we’ve always done, finding ways to be more useful, relevant and timely when it comes to brand communications and consumer engagement? Yes, how we eat, live, socialize, engage and what we expect from brands is significantly different, but at the core it comes down to needs and solutions.

This year, we decided to pause our thoughts on what’s next and where we’ll go from here. Instead, we’re looking back (with a little humour) to Thanksgivings past and a little ad nostalgia. After all, how different could things really be? (Wink, wink). So, we’ve gone to the archives and dug up some Thanksgiving gems to see how some tried and true content strategies have stood the test of time (maybe not the taste, nutrition or regulatory appeal of today, but who are we to judge!).

Strategy #1:
Introduce new formats that shake up the traditional meal to appeal to younger households. Bonus: reinforce the power of the branded choice.

Strategy #2:
Recipe inspiration, help consumers integrate your product beyond the basic. Find new ways to elevate your product or ingredient for special occasions, demonstrating versatility beyond the predictable.

Strategy #3:
Leverage the power of testimonials to build consideration and objective recommendation for your brand or product.

Strategy #4:
Find surprisingly relevant new uses for your product or brand, that create more consumption occasions.

Strategy #5:
Claim your place within the traditional meal by suggesting new twists on mainstay dishes that provide delicious results and irresistible new ideas without a lot of extra effort.

Strategy #6:
Provide useful ideas that offer practical solutions to common challenges and build an indispensable place in the pantry. Leftovers, solved!

Strategy #7:
Thanksgiving isn’t just about the food. Finding relevant solutions (and claims!) to introduce your brand or product in ways that improve the holiday experience is equally memorable and timely. (Just be sure you have a grasp on regional health regulations).

Happy holidays to all and if you feel a little stuck on where to start with your brand communications this year, give us a shout. We’re thankful to help.

Harbinger is a Toronto-based North American marketing agency with expertise in product launches. We help brands get noticed and purchased.


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