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10 Holi Marketing Strategies: Drive Sales with Inspiring Campaigns

sahil bajaj

Sahil Bajaj

Senior Specialist - Marketing @ Shiprocket

March 11, 2024

13 min read

All the hues that exist come together to light during Holi. It is one of the biggest and most loved festivals celebrated in India. Holi also opens up the opportunity for marketers to sell products that carry the essence of the festival. To make use of this chance to draw in maximum customers and derive profit,  eCommerce businesses should plan to create unique and arresting marketing campaigns advertising their Holi products. 

Ever wondered why Holi is such a great opportunity for you to promote your brand? The answer is quite simple, the festival time is also a huge shopping season. People buy new dresses, accessories, household items and gifts for relatives and friends.  This creates a huge surge in sales during Holi.  

Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), a trade association, reported that Holi sales across the nation increased by 30% in 2022 compared to the previous year. Around INR 20,000 crore worth of business was conducted across the nation last year. Considering the Holi market in India, you can unleash potential business strategies to leverage the festival season and boost sales. 

This article details different ways to attract customers through Holi-themed marketing campaigns. It also presents some brilliant examples of memorable Holi advertisements in recent years to give you something to relate to.

Holi Marketing Ideas

10 Holi Marketing Campaign Programmes to Attract Customers

Irrespective of when you started your business, you need to gain more customers each year to raise your profit and carry forward your business. Marketing at the right time using the right campaigns and tools is key to attracting consumers and building an organic and loyal customer base. It also helps you establish your business and create brand awareness that generates profits for you.  

Here are ten different ways for you to market your products better and boost your sales:

Leveraging the power and popularity of social media platforms: 

The popularity of social media has rapidly increased and most brands attract their buyers from these platforms. Many users rely on social media platforms to find leads for their shopping needs. Thus, for businesses, social media is a perfect place to attract their target audience. These platforms can be used in multiple manners to engage with people. You can remain active by reposting user-generated content, employing influencer marketing strategies, introducing referral programmes, and more. 

Holi brings you the chance to deploy your creativity and create different attractive social media campaigns that spread the essence and joy of the festival. You can encourage your customers to share their Holi experiences and tag your brand to improve awareness. You can also introduce Holi-based filters and gimmicks to create an engaging presence. All you need to do is be authentic and responsive to spread awareness of your brand. 

Collaboration initiatives with other brands and artists: 

Collaboration initiatives are also known as partnering marketing. It involves working together with other brands and artists to increase your brand’s visibility in the market. It strengthens your presence and enhances your market expansion processes. 

Almost 71% of customers will enjoy your co-branding partnerships. It gives businesses more opportunities to market their products together. 

Holi being the season of colour, dance, and music gives you a plethora of opportunities to collaborate with different artists like painters, musicians, dancers, and more. It creates an arresting presence that generates curiosity and buzz for your brand amongst your viewers. It also showcases the culture and richness behind the idea. You can also choose to collaborate with NGOs and showcase the goodness of your brand in contributing to community development. 

Expand your network: 

The power of contacts is something that you must never underestimate. A campaign is only successful when you expand your reach and presence. There are many different ways you can expand your network including email marketing, trade shows, exhibitions, hosting events, and engaging on social media. The time of Holi presents you with different opportunities to increase your contacts. There will certainly be many fairs, flea markets, and trade exhibitions that allow you to meet people, introduce your products and make them aware of your brand. You can leverage these opportunities to enhance your horizons.

Campaigns through user-generated content: 

Holi signifies families and friends coming together for this joyous occasion. Businesses can use this aspect to influence the sentiments of their clients by creating marketing campaigns with user-generated content (UGC). Brands can ask their loyal followers to share their Holi celebrations, memories, pictures, and videos as part of their marketing campaign. It promotes engagement and makes your brand more relatable. It also adds the effect of personalisation and recognition of the buyers. 

UGC results in 29% higher conversion rates as compared to other marketing strategies. Even 70% of brands agree that UGC helps them establish better connections with their customers on social media.

Giving rewards, offers, and discounts: 

Giving rewards and offers are all about engaging with your target audience. It’s not new that people love freebies. It brings them a sense of excitement and joy after making a purchase. It brings goodwill to your brand and helps you generate more revenues with a simple giveaway. You can choose to conduct contests and giveaways to actively engage with your customers. The prizes can be things that represent your brand or even something that strengthens your presence amongst your audiences. Festival discounts, offers, and free trials are also things that generate more engagement and revenue.

Email marketing campaigns: 

Email marketing is an affordable method for creating bonds and engaging with customers. It is a more passive and conventional approach but it yields great opportunities for brands to showcase themselves and the essence of Holi.  Newsletters featuring the products, offers, and discounts can be dubbed into emails and sent to your target. Through GIFs, graphics, and animations, you can make these emails more engaging and appealing. Only a few marketing channels can compare with email marketing campaigns in terms of revenue generation. In 2023, email marketing revenue was estimated at more than USD 10 billion.

Focus on visual marketing strategies: 

Grabbing the attention of your viewers is key. When social media users scroll through their feeds, your content must grab their attention. What can be a better opportunity than the festival of colours to catch the attention of your viewers? The right choice of colours, visuals, and design in your content can help you improve your viewership and buyers substantially. 

Guerilla marketing scheme: 

This is a simple advertising and marketing technique that enables brands to promote their brand through unconventional and unique methods. They do not need a huge budget, they can just leverage intellect and creativity in marketing. The crux is to immediately attract the attention of your audience. It involves invoking a reaction from your audience. This reaction will be responsible for generating greater revenue for your brand. Guerrilla marketing is known to bring down the cost of marketing to almost 90% when implemented correctly. Almost 57% of customers agree that the guerilla marketing strategy is an effective tactic. Around 42% of millennials agree to be influenced by this marketing method.

Product launches: 

You can relate your new products to the theme of Holi and create a product launch during the festive season. It generates a buzz for your new products. You can also bundle up some of your other products with your new launches to create a wholesome shopping experience. 

Running a referral campaign: 

These are largely popular amongst new businesses as they aim for exponential growth. As many as 86% of B2B buyers agree that word-of-mouth is the most influential factor in making purchase decisions. Referral campaigns enable you to build strong relationships with your existing customers and allow them to promote your brand and expand your market through word-of-mouth marketing techniques. With Holi around the corner, you will be able to gain greater traction and expand your reach. Almost 92% of customers trust referrals from their family and friends as compared to other forms of advertising.

Get Inspiration For Your Holi Marketing Strategy: 10 Memorable Holi Advertisements From the Past

Holi is a big opportunity for small and big businesses alike to increase their sales and generate more profits. In 2023, holi is expected to generate sales of around INR 25,000 crore for Indian businesses. This is almost a 25% increase from last year’s sales. Delhi alone is expected to generate INR 1,500 crore worth of business during Holi.

However, sales during Holi don’t come easy. Brands have to compete with each other to catch their audiences’ attention and entice them enough to make a purchase.

Here are some attractive past Holi marketing campaigns by some popular brands:

  1. ‘Rang Achhe Hain’ Holi Campaign by Surf Excel

This is one of the iconic Holi campaigns by Surf Excel. The Rang Achhe Hain Holi campaign has become a timeless example for brands planning on leveraging Holi marketing strategies effectively. What makes this Holi campaign so effective is how it brings hearts closer, bridging the gap in emotional distances. 

Watch the advertisement here:

  1. ‘The Colours of Life’ Campaign by Nykaa

Nykaa is an online marketplace for beauty products. It launched a Holi marketing campaign with the hashtag #thecoloursoflife. They offered a 40% discount as part of their Holi campaign. They promoted pre and post-skin and hair care products to shield the skin from the side effects of colour. Additionally, it advertises makeup that is waterproof and won’t run off during Holi. Nykaa also rebranded its website in different colours to promote the essence of Holi. 

  1. ‘Bura Na Mano Discount Hai’ Campaign by Brand Factory

As part of its Holi marketing campaign, Brand Factory launched a huge discount offer. Under its ‘Bura Na Mano Discount Hai’ Holi campaign, it offered up to 70% discounts to attract more customers and generate more sales.

  1. Holi Ke Mazelo by Parle

Parle also launched an interesting Holi marketing campaign to drive sales during the festival. However, their marketing campaign focused more on the need for water conservation, instead of the business aspect. Their ad showed how people can still enjoy Holi even without the extensive use of water. What makes this marketing campaign stand out? Well, it brought together two segments of audiences; people who play Holi and those who are eco-conscious. Their Holi ad closes with a memorable tagline: ‘Iss Holi Paani Nahi, Khushiyon Ke Mazelo.’ This translates to ‘celebrate this Holi with happiness and not water.’

  1. Holi Hair Don’t Care Campaign by Dove

Dove is most popularly known for its extensive range of shampoos. With its ‘Holi Hair Don’t Care’ campaign, it encourages people to play Holi without worrying about their hair getting damaged because of colour. Not only did Dove effortlessly market their products with this campaign, it also leveraged user-generated content (UGC). Dove asked its customers to share their Holi pictures with the hashtag, #holihairdontcare across different social media platforms. 

  1. Bura Na Mano Holi Campaign by Bajaj Allianz

Bajaj Allianz released a heartwarming Holi campaign. They even brought in their brand ambassador, Ayushmann Khurrana, to drive better results. The one-minute-long ad celebrates the diversity around us. It shows that just like the diverse colours of Holi, humans are also different and we should celebrate ourselves the same way we celebrate the colours of Holi. 

Watch it here:

  1. ‘More Together’ Holi Campaign by Facebook

As the name of this Holi campaign by Facebook suggests, this ad emphasises how people can do more by coming together, whether online or in real life. Facebook smartly used this opportunity to market its different advanced features that help people leverage the power of networking. Eventually, it encouraged people to celebrate the festival of colours in their own unique way.

Watch the Facebook Holi Advert:

  1. Bina Paani Holi Manani Campaign by Livpure

This Holi marketing campaign by Livpure is another one of those marketing campaigns where brands target multiple audience segments. Livpure is known for supporting the cause of water conservation. Once again, the brand stayed true to its values and came up with a Holi marketing campaign that’s not only effective but also resonates deeply with its audience. The Livpure Holi ad shows children speaking up about the alarming issue of water conservation. Children are seen hoarding water balloons to prevent their sales and preserve water.

The Livpure Ad:

  1. ‘No Bahana Holi’ Campaign by Fanta

Fanta is another popular brand that brought in its brand ambassador for its Holi campaign. Fanta’s ‘No Bahana Holi’ campaign features Sara Ali Khan. She encourages children and teenagers to completely enjoy their journey of growing up. Fanta, once again, establishes itself as a true companion in fun and playful times. This ad reminds people to ‘fully enjoy the moment’ and celebrate Holi. The campaign name means to drop all your excuses and play Holi.

Watch the advertisement here:

  1. Distance Wali Holi’ Campaign by Pepsi

Pepsi launched this ‘Distance Wali Holi’ campaign during the pandemic when restrictions were imposed on travel. It featured Salman Khan, who is shown enjoying a Pepsi amidst the colours and delivering the message of celebrating Holi while maintaining social distancing following the government rules.

Watch the Distance Wali Holi Ad here:

Conclusion

It is quite a challenge to keep your customers engaged. It is also a bigger challenge to expand your customer network and market. Choosing the right strategy and deploying unique marketing campaigns will assist your business make the kind of growth you’ve always yearned for. You can find an extensive selection of campaign ideas and marketing strategies businesses can use to engage with their intended demographic during Holi season. There are endless possibilities for brands to develop distinctive and captivating campaigns that can capture the essence of Holi and the attention of target audience. These range from social media campaigns and user-generated content campaigns to influencer marketing campaigns and charitable efforts. Brands can build distinctive, engaging, and real advertisements that resonate with their customers.

Can I use WhatsApp to increase sales during Holi?

Yes, you can use WhatsApp for marketing your products during Holi. You’ll need to create Holi-themed campaigns, personalised messages, offer special discounts, offer product bundles and combos, send timely notifications, give loyalty rewards,send event invitations, and more.

What are some of the best ways to maximise profits during Holi?

There are several ways to maximise profits during Holi. Develop a Holi-themed marketing campaign that creates a sense of urgency or FOMO, leverage SMS marketing, add a splash of colours to your overall branding, bring in influencers depending on your budget, and offer special limited edition Holi products and services.

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