Thanksgiving Business Promotion Ideas On A Small Business Budget

Thanksgiving Business Promotion Ideas On A Small Business Budget

Posted on 04. Nov, 2010 by + in Business Publicity

Holy cow… is it really time to start talking about Thanksgiving? Now that Halloween has passed, businesses are already planning for the end-of-year holidays (didn’t the kids just go back to school?) No matter how much we are in denial or how far away it may “seem” (I’m guilty of both), Thanksgiving is just 21 days away!

Thanksgiving seems to be a holiday that doesn’t get a lot of fanfare in terms of business promotions — but it’s got all of the makings for building some fun and effective business promotions:

  • It’s a social event
  • It’s a holiday centered around gluttonous enjoyment
  • It’s the last semblance of relaxation most of us will feel until after the new year

How can your business work in the concept of Thanksgiving into your upcoming business promotions?

Here are a few companies who are doing or have done just that:

The Thanksgiving Contest

Tis the season for giving — and contests are a great way to give while also getting some publicity! A cleverly designed contest can promote social interaction within your online and real-life social communities.  Take a look at these fun ideas for business Thanksgiving contests:

Springhill Suites “Save My Holiday” Video Contest

This contest is so clever – I love it! Springhill Suites Marriott is keenly aware of how visiting friends and family can put a damper on a holiday season. In their “Save My Holiday” video promotion, the public is asked to send in their video explaining why they need their own space during the Thanksgiving holiday. The person whose video receives the most votes wins a free stay at Springhill Suites. The video submissions are so fun — and what a great way for Springhill Suites to get to know it’s customers!’s Thanksgiving Table Decorating Facebook Photo Contest

With the ability to create and publish media so easily today, there boundless ways to organize creative interactive contests.’s Thanksgiving Table Decorating Facebook Photo Contest is one great example. To enter the contest, readers first “Like” the Facebook page, then upload a photo of their decorated holiday table. Fans then vote on the photo with their “Likes” and comments.

The Pre-Thanksgiving Sale or Promotion


BookWhirl, a company that provides book marketing services to authors, is also helping it’s customers prepare for the upcoming challenges it’s clients will face during the holiday shopping season with it’s “Early Bird Thanksgiving Promo.” (Early Bird – Clever!) The company is offering discounts on its services throughout November — and the earliest bird will get the juiciest worms. Those who act on the promotion early get the biggest discounts ($100 off), with discount amounts tapering off each week until Thanksgiving.

New York Full Cleaning Service

The end of year holidays mean lots of gatherings with family, friends, and co-workers. Ah… the joys. In houses throughout America, visiting mothers-in-law will be finding all of those little nooks and crannies that you don’t have time to clean. Employees will gather round the water cooler after the office Christmas party at the bosses house, sizing up the pad. For a cleaning service, this is likely a busy time of year. New York Full Cleaning service tied these very real needs into a “pre holiday promotion” where they are offering a 20% off through Thanksgiving. Even though the promotion doesn’t play on the Thanksgiving ‘theme’ per se, the promotion is designed to address the very real needs people are facing as the holidays arise.

  • What particular problems and needs to your clients face during the holidays?
  • How can you lend a hand to your target audience during the stressful holiday season?

More Fun Thanksgiving Business Promotion Ideas

  • Host a food drive — those who donate get a coupon for your products and services
  • Start a recipe contest or a ‘community cookbook’ where your social groups can contribute their favorite Thanksgiving recipes
  • Grant a wish to someone deserving using a spin in on the coveted turkey wishbone
  • Host a virtual or real-life scavenger hunt — instead of hunting wild turkey send adventure seekers hunting for clues to win a prize
  • Host a “What Are Your Thankful For?” Video or Photo contest

Tie any of these ideas to your specific industry niche for a fun and engaging promotion. Then, publicize your promotion by posting about it on your blog, on Facebook, on Twitter, through press releases, by sending word out through to your mailing list subscribers, posting about it on contest sites, and through any other creative channels you think of!

Your Turn!

What are some creative examples of Thanksgiving promotions have you seen? Is your business doing a Thanksgiving promotion? Tell us about it! Are you stumped about ideas for promotional ideas for your business? Let’s brainstorm! Leave a comment with your URL and your challenges and we’ll put the minds of the community together to come up with some creative ideas. :D

16 Responses to “Thanksgiving Business Promotion Ideas On A Small Business Budget”

  1. Mary

    04. Nov, 2010

    I must say the Springhill Suites “Save My Holiday” Video Contest is not only clever but hysterical – I think almost everyone can relate to this promotion. It beats the typical ‘win a free turkey’ Thanksgiving Day Promotion. I deem this time for true thankfulness and blessings – I really love when companies combine their promotions with some type of charity or donation drive. Boston Market did this really cool promotion where they would donate a portion of their proceeds or a percentage of each customer’s purchase to end childhood hunger. These kind of promotions really remind me of what this time of year is all about! :)

  2. Christine OKelly


    04. Nov, 2010

    I just love that Springhill Suites contest — I’ve watched every video – lol! I think my favorite is ‘The Bickersons’

    What a great promotion for Boston Market. You are so right — it’s wonderful when companies combine charity with promotion. A little giving goes a long way toward doing good in the world — and toward making a good name for yourself ~

  3. Katie Dixon

    04. Nov, 2010

    I just read something about a cleaning service – they offered a 2 for 1 special. For one price, customers could get a cleaning before Thanksgiving and then one after Christmas after all the holiday decorations are taken down. I thought it was brilliant!

  4. Mihai

    05. Nov, 2010

    Thanks for the mention. Our Thanks Giving contest wasn’t to successful last year unfortunately. :)

  5. Amber K

    05. Nov, 2010

    I LOVE the Springhill promotion! With a new baby, this is the FIRST year ever family has decided to come visit me and my husband for the holidays, and yep, they’re staying in our house!! I might have to enter the contest myself!

    Aside from the turkey, another big aspect of Thanksgiving is Black Friday. I’ve noticed a lot of stores are doing it early this year. For retail businesses online ‘Cyber Monday’ promotions have already started as well. For a lot of consumers, the earlier they can get their shopping out of the way, the better! I think it’s really smart for retailers to offer great promotions now for the savvy and organized shopper!

  6. Christine OKelly


    10. Nov, 2010

    Thanks for stopping by Mihai! Whatever the result was of that particular promotion, you are doing a fantastic job of engagement on Facebook! 350+ images submitted by fans — wow!

  7. Jo Green

    22. Dec, 2010

    I really like the idea of hosting a food drive. What a great way to get the word out about your business and help the community at the same time. Very smart.

  8. Christine OKelly


    22. Dec, 2010

    So glad Jo! My favorite part about the holidays is definitely the spirit of goodwill. Not only is it important and rewarding to give back to the community (global or local), it makes a great story.

    Here are some examples of two different storage companies that did a PR about their Toys for Tots drive — might give you some ideas for a food drive!

    Announcing the toy drive:

    Announcing the results of the toy drive:

  9. Jennifer@"quiz software"

    30. Aug, 2011

    Like the idea of “Start a recipe contest” or a “community cookbook” I can relate very much…LOL!!!

  10. Charlie

    11. Oct, 2011

    It’s nearly that time again, have you any great topics for 2011
    Charlie recently posted..Chicken Coop Designs & Plans

  11. Christine OKelly


    12. Oct, 2011

    It seems unreal that it’s that time of year again Charlie!! I did some looking around and found some interesting promos that people did last year:

    I love this one –> Since Thanksgiving is about coming together with family, it would be great to run some kind of promo that brings people together like this company did: I think this is why the Mariott promotion mentioned in the post was such a hit! It really “hits home” with the theme of the holiday.

    In terms of a general marketing/promotion idea, this one gives me some ideas — though I would handle it differently –> During major holidays or events, people tend to like “tip lists” from experts to share, rework, and republish. Instead of putting the entire tip list in a press release, I would suggest giving a few ideas and then driving people back to your site to download a nicely formatted PDF of the full tip list. In order to get the tip list, they would need to need to opt into your mailing list. Looks like you’re an expert on chicken coops — wow! If a chicken coop is anything like a turkey coop, maybe you could give expert tips on how to raise your own Thanksgiving turkey!

    Thanksgiving is also the day before one of the best days for retailers of the year — BLACK FRIDAY! Even if your business isn’t the “typical” retail store, you can still have a Black Friday sale (we’ll be having one!)

    Hope this sparks some ideas — It was fun to put my thinking cap on for holiday promos again!

  12. Delphia Odmark

    15. May, 2012

    Hola! I’ve been reading your weblog for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Austin Tx! Just wanted to mention keep up the good job!

  13. Tara Geissinger

    Tara Geissinger

    15. May, 2012

    Thanks Delphia. :) We’re glad you’ve enjoyed reading our blog!


    05. May, 2014

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    I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my
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