The eight articles in December’s issue of Admap examine a new era of occasion marketing against a back drop of social, cultural and technological change. Anna Hamill, senior editor for brands at WARC, explains why and how occasion marketing is evolving, from Ramadhan and Hajj to Pride and the Super Bowl.

It’s always been crucial for brands to embrace the ‘big moments’ in the calendar and make the most of consumers who are looking to engage with brands in a different ways than usual.

But occasion marketing is evolving as fast as the consumers that celebrate them. From religious holidays such as Ramadhan and Hajj, to celebrations such as Pride or even the Super Bowl, it’s more important than ever than brand prioritise authenticity, deep cultural insights, smart content planning and practical utility. And with discount-driven ‘shopping’ occasions such as Black Friday and Singles Day capturing consumer attention, brands are having to think more strategically than ever to carry momentum from these big occasions through the year.

Chris Perry, VP – Global Executive Education at Edge by Ascential - offers practical and actionable advice for ‘non-destination brands’ (think toilet paper, coffee, shampoo….) to get creative and win with smart strategy on big e-commerce shopping occasions such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Amazon Prime Day.

Lin Liu, Chief Strategy Officer at UM China in Shanghai, looks into how China’s lightning-fast social, cultural and technological evolution is impacting the country’s biggest holiday – Chinese New Year – and how brands need to adapt to stay relevant.

Asad Dhunna, Co-Founder at London agency The Unmistakables, examines the potential and pitfalls of brands getting involved in Pride, the annual celebration of the LGBT+ community, and offers helpful perspectives on how marketers can make a positive impact without ‘pinkwashing’.

Anish Daryani, President-Director at M+C Saatchi in Indonesia, provides a comprehensive guide to effective marketing during Ramadhan - the most-celebrated holiday in South East Asia - covering everything from media planning to brand utility to content strategies.

Likewise, Tahaab Rais, Head of Planning at FP7-McCann in Dubai offers a fresh perspective on Hajj – the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca – emphasizing the need for brands to provide practical utility and address core themes of humanity during this physical journey.

Samantha Deevy, Group Communications Strategy Director at Droga5 in New York City, shows how brands can make the most of one of the biggest occasions in advertising – the Super Bowl – without breaking the budget for a TV spot during the big game.

Mark Bowling, Chief Strategy Officer at PHD China, takes on the world’s biggest e-commerce occasions – Singles Day – and how luxury and premium brands can avoid the discounting spiral that often characterises this occasion to maintain focus on long-term brand building.

Finally, Kantar’s Daren Poole reveals new research into what makes UK Christmas advertising tick, and how brands can crack the code at the most important time of the year for British retailers.

WARC subscribers can access a deck summarising the expertise and insights from all our contributors.