12 Days of PR: Christmas films, uOPRA’s top picks.

Written by: Shanice Atkins-Broome

Edited by: Shannon Murphy and Pina Capuano

Do you still feel the spark when Christmas season nears? Are you one to pop in your favourite Christmas films as soon as the holiday season begins?

It’s that time of year again when children and adults alike rush into the living room in hopes of catching their favorite classics on TV (does this 1960s claymation special ring any bells?)

Our list below looks at three of the best Christmas movies that help us get into the holiday spirit. This winter-inspired list also gives some insight into the public relations strategies and tactics each film used when it first came onto the scene to capture the hearts of movie-goers and become holiday classics.



The Film
Dr.Seuss’ time-honoured tale about a pessimistic Grinch (Jim Carrey) who steals Christmas presents from the residents of Whoville. until the postmaster’s daughter,Cindy Lou (Taylor Momsen) works to transcend the

Grinch’s intent of stealing presents into celebrating the Christmas season.

PR Strategies

  • The promotional campaign kicked off in November 2000. It included Hershey’s, and Wendy’s as some of its biggest partners to increase the film’s visibility and appeal to families.
  • Visa USA also partnered with Dr.Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas for its fourth quarter, *the film was supported.


The Film
The experiences of a young boy on Christmas traveling to the North Pole on a powerful, magical train in hopes of discovering the true existence of Santa . Embarking on this journey reveals the magic of Christmas never really dies and establishes a deep emotional attachment between the animated characters and audience.


PR Strategies 

  • USA Today insert, celebrity readings, and participation in educational groups helped this film become a beloved holiday classic.
  • Major trailer and poster exposure, including radio, media, and online further assisted in the success of this film.
  • Exclusive Polar Express campaigns included partnerships with Warner Bros. Partners, Pepsi/Frito, and Hallmark.


3. MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1994)miracle-on-34th-street-remake-movie-poster

 The Film
From the 1994 classic holiday remake, Susan Walker (Natalie Wood) is convinced that the department store Santa: Kris Kringle, is the real Santa Claus. Now that she knows  the secret of who Santa really is, Kris Kringle attempts to turn Susan’s realization into the power of faith and hope.

PR Strategies 

  • The motion picture partnered with Macy’s department store to continue participating in the annual Macy’s Parade, which appears in the film. This alliance creates a stronger bond between the audience and film by incorporating the real-world tradition of the Macy’s Parade into the film and later being involved in the real parade itself, year after year.
  • To take things a step further, a deal was made with Macy’s Herald Square, to have Miracle on 34th Street as the theme of their iconic Christmas window displays. Again, the film has become incorporated into real-world traditions and holiday activities creating an unbreakable bond between the plot, characters, and audience.

The holiday season brings families together to celebrate the spirit of Christmas. Whether it’s opening presents, eating traditional dishes, or even sitting together watching classical Christmas films, the holiday and it’s wide array of films creates something for everyone. These films however, are more than just finding the real Santa Claus or building the festive spirit. They create moments which encourage  us to come together and take pleasure in the simple things such as watching a movie. But above all, they create traditions and unique moments for us to spread love and the spirit of Christmas.

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