This blog post is part of Forrester’s Holiday 2019 retail series.

As we know, holiday shoppers are made well before the holiday season. Right now, John Lewis* is casting its holiday ad . . . for 2025 (“If we don’t sign the lad from Mary Poppins now, I’m tellin’ ye, the blokes at Sainsbury’s ‘ll get ‘im!”). (*Macy’s but talks like Jude Law)

“Twas The Month Before Christmas Last-Minute Media Plan”


  • 1 dozen microinfluencers

If the word “influencers” makes you gag a little, I get it. Call them “consumer creatives” or “partners” instead. As creatives go, they can work quickly, they can work to a very specific brief (based on a location, product, etc.), and they’ve probably actually got a bit of time on their hands (long-run campaigns were done weeks/months back).

Microinfluencers are actually quite effective at driving very specific consumer action (such as footfall in stores or basket adds) if they’re given a very tight and commercial brief. And, contrary to popular opinion, giving them a very tight brief can actually be just the right approach; it’s a creative constraint, giving their imagination a hard steer and only a few, very specific outlets.

  • 1 heaping tablespoon holiday consumer micro-moments

These are those highly specific mini-moments in consumers’ lives when key day-to-day decisions are made. Imagine those but with an aftertaste of peppermint, like “Just got email from mother-in-law who invited self to holiday meal and need to upscale food plan 5,000% in 18 hours” — yes, those.

Work your holiday empathy game and map out some micro-moments and mini-journeys like that. A “Christmas-Tree-Purchase-Procrastination” mini-journey. A “morning-after-holiday-meal should-exercise-don’t-want-to-exercise” micro-moment. An “inevitable-crushed-mall-parking” mini-journey.

These mini-journeys and micro-moments provide a core part of your brief to the influencers. They’re to solve for the challenges of the journey with a focus on products and ideas that solve for it.

  • 1 dash alternative holiday narrative

Cut through the typical barrage of holiday schmaltz. (Think holly, gingerbread, snowmen, snowy beards, snow in general, and old St. Nick . . . ) Instead, updated narratives that are more likely to stand out include: “Bad Santa,” John McClane/”Die Hard,” “Home Alone,” peppermint-spiced stuff that should never be peppermint-spiced (turkey, pet cologne, whatever), corny Instagram filters, etc.


Combine the microinfluencers, mini-journeys, and alternative holiday narrative thus:

“Assembled microinfluencers, John McClane has announced at the last minute that he’ll be visiting you Christmas morning. Document your panicked shopping spree for the “Die Hard” hero at our store in [place ideally not too far from influencer and his/her audience].”

Once these mini holiday vignettes are out, track which ones drive greatest engagement among your target audience, or measure the footfall these have influenced to visit your store and place highly targeted media budgets behind them.