Holiday Activations: ‘Tis the Season for Engaging Holiday Digital Signage

December 7, 2021
Posted By: Big Digital

Holiday campaigns are critical for retailers, and it’s the perfect time of the year to take those campaigns out of the home and reach consumers who are already out and shopping. Holiday activations engage audiences at a critical time: when they’re out with gift-buying and holiday shopping in mind.

Holiday activations can take many shapes. From window and storefront activations to festive pop-ups in public places, brands have plenty of options when they want to take that next step in reaching consumers.

Window and Storefront Activations

With so much more foot traffic on streets and malls this time of year, it’s easy to get swept up in the crowds. Shoppers are rushing from one place to another, and it’s going to take something more than the usual to get them to stop and pay attention.

That’s where window and storefront activations come in. They enliven your storefront and make it more dynamic. Human eyes are attracted to unexpected movement. Digital signage stands out and creates something more meaningful than a static window display. It can add to your brand’s narrative and connect in an out-of-home environment.

Repurposing existing online video or TV ads at the storefront extends the reach of your campaigns into the moment. Shoppers familiar with your campaign will connect instantly. Window and storefront activations give you a chance to:

  • Remind them about your holiday sale.
  • Create an emotional response centered around the holidays.
  • Connect your brand with a certain lifestyle.

Retailers interested in attracting more attention can find the type of digital billboard, signage, or installation that will work best for their storefronts, campaigns, and brand activations.

SickKids projection mapping on Archeo chimney

Projection Mapping

As the holidays get closer and winter sets in, the days get shorter, and in many places, the sun sets before the workday is even over. Projection mapping can bring some light and festive cheer to those early evenings.

Projection mapping is where you project video onto surfaces such as the exterior of a building to create the impression of 3D art. It allows you to create images on a scale well beyond signage or billboards. Even as the technique becomes more common at music festivals and product launches, it still has the power to amaze.

The images above are from our recent project mapping installation at Toronto’s Distillery District. Starting at 5 p.m., every night, now and until December 31st, visitors to the village can enjoy the immersive digital magic at the village and be amazed by the various brand activations featured on four historical buildings.

You can also see The SickKids Brave List campaign showcasing a light projection on the Archeo chimney which lists children’s names who have survived major illnesses this year. Visitors to the village can purchase holiday gifts for these children at

Festive Pop-Ups

Retailers need brand activation ideas that help them become the top attraction in a busy shopping season. One way to make your mark is with a holiday-themed pop-up that reflects your brand. Transform a public place into a winter wonderland, hand out hot chocolate or festive treats, and bring a moment of wonder and relaxation to someone’s holiday shopping.

This is a great way for food and beverage companies to launch a new product for the season, but also something any brand can capitalize on by creating a worthwhile experience.

Brands not in a position to create their own pop-up can also look into sponsoring local events like Christmas Markets, fundraising events, outdoor skating rinks, etc. Digital signage can bring your brand to events like these, and by using interactive digital displays, you can make sure that people are paying attention. They give you an opportunity to add to the experience. It could be as simple as a photo kiosk where festive families can capture the moment, or it could involve gamification or Augmented Reality experiences that will keep attendees engaged.

Interactive digital displays also employ data analytics so that sponsors can evaluate their performance and make sure they’re seeing the kind of ROI they need from activations like these.

Holiday events and the festive atmosphere get people out of their homes despite the deteriorating weather and the early evenings. Now is your chance to make connections before consumers shift into hibernation after the New Year.

Salvation Army campaign digital signage

Above is an image of The Salvation Army Ontario Division’s iconic Christmas Kettle campaign, also running in the Distillery District, with the World’s Largest Christmas Kettle.

In an effort to help attract the attention of visitors and inform audiences about the Salvation Army’s mission, the team at BIG Digital is honoured to provide and activate our ROLO unit, a 9 foot high – outdoor certified, portable digital double-sided billboard.

Wayfinding Solutions for Commercial Properties

Retailers aren’t the only ones preparing for bigger crowds and a reinvigorated holiday rush after a very different 2020. Commercial property managers running shopping malls, plazas, and power centers are dealing with bigger pedestrian crowds, high demand for parking, and seasonal events like photos with Santa.

Holiday shopping can be a stressful experience, but interactive wayfinding signage can go a long way toward alleviating that stress. Shoppers want to find the most expedient path to their destination during high-volume periods. Interactive wayfinding is the easiest way for them to locate their destinations and navigate their path.

Digital wayfinding and kiosks can also alleviate pressure in parking garages and lots. Digital signage can help drivers navigate busy garages and prevent accidents while also directing them to open parking spots.

Donation Kiosks

The holidays aren’t just a time for shopping; they’re also a time for giving. The fall, starting in September and ramping up into December, is when non-profit organizations receive a significant part of their donations.

Among industries benefitting from portable digital signage, non-profits and charities can use donation kiosks to maximize donor participation and increase donation frequency. Portable donation kiosks allow non-profits to make the most of their own spaces (i.e., institutions with public buildings, such as hospitals, museums, or places of worship), while they can also extend organizations’ reach into busy retail and public environments.

One area where donation kiosks can make a huge difference is complex causes. Non-profits that focus on harder-to-explain causes are often left out of the holiday rush to donate. An interactive kiosk provides more time and opportunity to walk donors through the cause at their own pace.

The holidays are the season for engaging with consumers, donors, and new audiences. Take advantage of busier streets and shopping centers while they last with interactive displays, festive pop-ups, projection mapping, and storefront digital signage. It’s the perfect time to take your marketing campaign out-of-home and into the public.