Promotional Spotlight: The Sun Holiday Gift Guide

Promotional Spotlight: The Sun Holiday Gift Guide

‘Holiday Gift Guide’ inspires
consumer, advertiser delight

The Sun has historically created a holiday gift-giving guide, featured as a special insert in the weekly paper from the week prior to Thanksgiving through the last issue of Christmas week. While the seasonal insert is nothing new for The Sun, each year the staff, advertisers and readers are faced with new ideas, concepts, successes and challenges that can create interesting and valuable new insights and achievements. Rosemarie “Ro” Zdrojewski, advertising account executive at The Sun, said 2020 offered an entirely new and eye-opening approach to advertising for the holiday guide. “This past year, with the struggles of COVID that everyone was facing, we really tried to extend empathy for the local businesses,” Zdrojewski said. “We figured everyone could use a little holiday magic.”

Zdrojewski said that she and her colleagues at The Sun decided to come up with some special pricing for their display ads that would appeal to many local businesses that had experienced a trying year.” Offering step-up-size ads for the price point of the size down. “We offered several sizes at these special rates to include a 1/4-page ad at the price of a 1/8-page.” Zdrojewski explained that beyond the pricing, the sales approach for the gift guide was largely one of adveisement. She said that she and her sales colleagues discussed with the local businesses, the key goal with the gift guide was to not only drive an influx of revenue during the holiday season, but to help the businesses promote and support additional sales in the coming months through gift cards and other campaigns. “We always sell that way,” Zdrojewski said. “We are their business partners and their advisers.”

Starting in September, Zdrojewski and her sales colleagues took to what they call the “Sun Country” community to sell ad space for the 2020 Holiday Gift Guide insert. The advertisers “were mostly retail, but we also had a few restaurants. The Hershey Italian Lodge advertised in the guide this year because they are celebrating their history – 100 Years — and offering a cookbook for sale,” Zdrojewski said. “And a new Italian Specialty Market in the area, Penne From Heaven in Harrisburg, opted in for the guide.” Zdrojewski explained that while some local businesses were not technically in the Sun Country market, they still found a strong ROI from advertising with The Sun and particularly in the “Holiday Gift Guide”. Zdrojewski said that she and her ad team were also open to developing custom advertising packages for the guide as well, so long as the integrity of the price per space remained intact for the publication.

As always, the guide was met with enthusiasm from The Sun readers and advertisers alike. The special insert was featured from the week of Nov. 28 to the week of Dec. 24 in full color, with an e-edition available for download with each weekly print issue. Zdrojewski said advertisers reported experiencing contacts and leads within hours of the first insert release. With eight new advertisers and a 5% increase in revenue for the project in 2020, there is no argument that the guide was a success. What’s more, The Sun is offering a similar program for the upcoming annual “Home and Garden Guide”; March 18 and 25. “We’re hoping this will create a win-win situation for all,” Zdrojewski said.

For additional information, please contact Rosemarie Zdrojewski at (717) 421-2703 or