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  • Writer's pictureKaizen Ad

This Holiday Season Prepare the Right App Creative Strategy

Not only is this year’s holiday season right around the corner, but this year will be very different from past years and advertisers must pay attention to the changes in consumer sentiment now.

During the 2020 holiday season, many of us were sheltering in place and exploring online app options for everything from shopping to fitness, and from games to healthcare. Holiday season 2021 is set to be a time of transition, triumph, and most of all reconnection as people venture back out and the world moves onto a new normal.

For digital advertisers this translates to a continuation of traditional ad efforts as with any holiday season, but also a fusion of new cultural components, such as sensitivity, inclusion, and the unknown. Navigating these new parameters can be confusing, but advertisers who adapt their product, app, or service messaging to be mindful of these real-life concerns will successfully stand out from the crowd.

Our Kaizen Ad experts have a few more suggestions on how to drive the most impact for your app this season. We believe video is the single most engaging ad format for advertisers, enabling you to reach more customers than any other ad format. Video ads are not only immersive, they’re triggering and can spark emotional connections for your brand, game, product, or services.

Put video ads at the core of your app campaigns this upcoming holiday season with these essential tips:

Kaizen’s App Creative Strategy To-Do’s:

  1. Organize your traditional winter art assets and produce new ones that are fresh, fun bright, and visually pleasing.

  2. Don’t feel like you have to break your budget - take your best performing creative and update it with new holiday art assets. Repurposing your videos can help you get the most life out of the best-performing assets, now with a holiday twist.

  3. Run app promotions with special offers or give out discount codes. Everyone likes a deal during the holidays and this is a great way to increase downloads, sign-ups, and of course purchases.

  4. Connect with your audience and deliver ad content that is light-hearted and delightful to consume—and don’t be afraid to step out of your apps’ usual comfort zone.

  5. Promote multiple holiday days throughout the season. Of course, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are the main ones, but app advertisers can leverage Black Friday and Cyber Monday with in-app deals, too.

  6. Don’t play on people’s fears to draw attention. The past few months have been stressful enough, and audiences will shun fear-mongering ad tones. Make sure your ad is uplifting and focuses on a single message.

  7. Run your video ads throughout the holiday season. This means planning for weeks in advance and running before, during, and after the holidays to be top of mind.

  8. Finally, a one-size-fits-all video ad message can resonate with a broad audience, but consider addressing multiple subgroups. If there is a particular demographic you’d like to engage, create tailored ads with a specific relatable concept.


Depending on the category of your app, there are different opportunities to consider this holiday season.

Here are some additional pointers based on category:

Gaming Apps

Depending on what kind of game you have and which genre it fits, consider offering special in-game rewards, lives, coins, and so on, and delight your players. For example, if you have a casual puzzle game, your target demographic is women aged 16 to 45+, so show them something that will improve their mood and promotes escapism.

Retail Apps

Definitely ramp up your video ads before Black Friday/Cyber Monday and then again a few weeks before Christmas. The holidays season is getting longer each year, so make sure your creatives have enough time in between. Also, consider shipping time and supply chain delays that may be due to COVID-related labor shortages. Offering a discount will definitely grab the audience’s attention and drive sales during these tough economic times.

Fitness App

Your usual go-to ad timeline is January to target people with New Year resolutions. However, health has been on everyone’s mind more than ever and now is a bigger priority. Consider how people’s workout regimens have changed during the pandemic with an uptick in working out at home, and speak to specific audience groups that may have altered their fitness routines and their resolution timelines.

Travel App

Travel is looking a lot different these days, but people are still itching to get out and visit that ideal vacation spot. Make sure your creative is tied to messaging that acknowledges the effect of COVID on safety and flexibility without being too blunt. Do your research and don’t promote a specific destination if the country happens to be shut down to foreign visitors. Call out desirable features such as “Free Cancelation” and rescheduling flexibility, knowing that this type of messaging is top of mind for most audiences as situations can change rapidly from one moment to the next.

Finance Apps

Banking has gone digital—a few taps, swipes, and transfers are all it takes for people to manage their finances digitally. The pandemic has seen the stock market rollercoaster, and with the rise of crypto, the emergence and importance of finance apps has grown exponentially. This holiday season is a great time to target people who want to manage, grow, and plan their finances for the future.


In conclusion, apps are still the number one way to engage with audiences on mobile. Consumers will use their phones to conduct research, plan travel, track their fitness, shop for holiday gifts, manage finances, and be entertained.

This holiday season, show you understand your audience by advertising with engaging video ads for your app. Additionally, plan ahead with a clear ad strategy that considers audience segments, not just a one-size-fits-all approach to multiple demographics.

Need creative production help?

Kaizen Ad is an official preferred creative agency partner for most major platforms, including Google, Facebook, and Amazon. If you need any help with creative concepting or generating fresh video creatives quickly for your holiday app campaign, please reach out to or Request a Demo.

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