December is just round the corner, and brands are making sure to make their festive mark loud and clear with a range of marketing campaigns to send us all into a Christmas frenzy. But which marketing masterpieces got us talking?
Big brands compete for Christmas supremacy
With 1 in 6 people reportedly changing their plans to make sure they get a first glimpse at the festive John Lewis ad, it’s fair to say expectation was high. The #UnderTheBed campaign saw Moz the Monster divide viewers, with many claiming the advert was more lukewarm than heartwarming.
The campaign isn’t just limited to a TV ad – the retail giant has released merchandise, a Facebook filter, personalisable Moz the Monster story and even a Moz The Monster simulation at its flagship store on Oxford Street. Top points for a 360 marketing campaign, John Lewis.
Taking a totally different direction, Lidl’s ‘Every Lidl thing for Christmas’ campaign puts products at the heart, where other big brands chose storytelling as a way to show key messages. A great example of this is Debenhams’ ‘You shall find your fairytale Christmas’, which shows a man launching a social media campaign to help reunite a woman he met on the train with her designer shoe. With careful product placement and a key message that customers can find their fairytale Christmas at Debenhams, the brand managed to use an emotive story to get their products centre-stage.
Both Aldi and Marks and Spencer have chosen recognizable characters to feature in their campaigns. This instantly gives customers a sentimental, fuzzy feeling – the first box ticked for a successful Christmas campaign.
Paddington Bear features in Marks and Spencer’s campaign, a sweet story in which Paddington helps a burglar get into the festive spirit and realise the error of his stealing ways. Eagle-eyed social media viewers were quick to point out that the burglar’s gratitude could be mistaken for the f-bomb, creating somewhat of a Twitter snow storm.
Aldi’s loveable carrot Kevin returned, this year with a love interest. Interestingly, Aldi is planning to release several videos throughout the festive period, as Kevin and Katie explore the supermarket’s festive food range. Not wanting to miss out on the chance to sell some merch, fan will be able to purchase soft toys and books, with proceeds going to charity.
Top points for Toys R Us, too, for showing Geoffrey the giraffe as a part-time reinder. If you don’t absolutely love the classically old Toys R Us jingle, then there really is no room for Christmas spirit.
Putting customers first
Both Sainsbury’s and Tesco have developed Christmas campaigns with real customers at the heart of their adverts.
Tesco’s ‘everyone’s welcome at Tesco’ slogan saw arguably this year’s most diverse Christmas ad. With progressive advertising delivering 25% better branded impact, the issue of diversity has been a hot topic in the industry and Tesco seems to have well and truly jumped upon the bandwagon with its latest ad featuring a wide variety of families.
TalkTalk’s campaign follows a genuine family at Christmas, capturing all the little moments that make Christmas special, therefore developing an authentic, real advert customers can relate to.
Sainsbury’s #EverybitofChristmas ad also put real customers and employees in the spotlight with its sing-along ad. Peacocks also chose to go down the route of an original song, though featuring X Factor stars rather than real consumers. It’s interesting to compare the two ads and how each one will connect with consumers – will people relate more to an advert featuring real customers, or will the shiny appeal of celebrity triumph? Furthermore, what does each approach say about the brand in question? Peacocks is clearly trying to represent itself as a fun, quirky brand whereas Sainsbury’s campaign has a wholesome, family friendly feel.
Corporate vs cause
Have brands taken a backseat when it comes to cause-related campaigns this year? We’ve seen previous campaigns tackle isolation (John Lewis’ Man On The Moon) and have strong ties with selected charities, yet this year most brands seem to be steering clear to avoid potential backlash. When a campaign appears to genuinely highlight an issue, it can be incredibly successful. However, more often than not, it can come across as ‘using’ an issue to put the brand’s name forward. This year, the focus from most campaigns seem to be enjoying the festive season, and appreciating it as a magical time of year.