The most classic story of all time, a tale of Father Christmas, that has been told for years and resonates with millions of children across the globe. Heart-warming Christmas adverts are now synonymous with the festive season as we watch big brands battle it out to win the hearts and minds of their audiences. But what can we learn from Christmas adverts and how can we apply this success to your event campaign? We take a look at our key learnings from this year’s festive adverts…
1. John Lewis & Partners: The Boy & The Piano
Almost as greatly anticipated as Christmas Day itself, the annual John Lewis festive advert launched last week and surprisingly has received mixed reviews. Sticking to what they do best, John Lewis tell the heartfelt tale of Elton John, a young boy who played his first notes on a second-hand piano turned national treasure and global superstar. This emotional story telling narrative is no different to any of their previous campaigns and has undoubtedly tugged on the heartstrings of many. However, it is missing that traditional Christmassy feeling that previous campaigns such as Monty The Penguin, The Bear & The Hare and Buster The Boxer all delivered on. In modernising the approach to their Christmas adverts they have been criticised for the campaign being more about Elton John and the efforts to promote his retirement tour than getting in the festive spirit. For eventprofs, it's important to ensure you are being authentic when using celebrities in your marketing efforts, and not to always rely on famous faces to boost your ads appeal.
2. Sainsbury’s: The Big Night
Sainsbury’s have quietly been leading the way when it comes to Christmas adverts; did you know that 2015 Mog’s Christmas Calamity is the most viewed advert on YouTube? Back with a bang, this year’s campaign was directed by The Greatest Showman's, Michael Gracey, featuring a school nativity play where students dress up as everything from a bauble to a show stopping plug. School nativity’s are an iconic part of Christmas and Sainsbury’s have captured the joy that these can bring. The advert is simple, emotional and fantastically funny reminding us what the festive season is all about. With parents of the actors sat in the audience, Sainsbury’s have truly captured that ‘feel good’ feeling Christmas campaigns should bring. This highlights the importance of creating a message that truly resonates with your auidence, makes them feel good and a part of the brand.
3. Iceland: 'Say hello to Rang-tan'
Unconventionally, Iceland has demonstrated that not all Christmas ads need to emote a warm fuzzy feeling to be successful. This year Iceland have re-purposed a Greenpeace advert sharing the story of rainforest destruction and it’s devastating impact on Orangutans, as they campaign to raise awareness about the use of palm oil. While this advert has been banned from appearing on TV for being too political, this campaign has quickly become a viral sensation on social media. With over 5 million views on YouTube and 16 million views on Facebook, there is no question that their advert has dominated in terms of media coverage when compared to retail giants such as John Lewis and Sainsbury’s. Although the ad has been deemed by some as opportunistic, it has received praise by many and sparked a much needed discussion regarding the sustainability of the palm oil industry and the effects it is having on our planet. In addition to this, it has aided support of the brand in the long-term rather than just over the festive period. For eventprofs, utilising powerful emotion into your event campaigns, while supporting a worthy cause, will give your show credibility as well as a platform to build strong brand loyalty.
4. Coca-Cola: Holidays Are Coming
Christmas doesn’t start until we’ve seen the iconic red truck on our TVs. The ‘Holidays Are Coming’ advert has been the frontline festive campaign for Coca-Cola for the last 23 years, but this marketing success story begins back in the 1930s when Coke launched their first Christmas campaign, depicting a jolly Santa Claus in a red coat. Little did they know that this iconic design would go down in history, shaping childhood memories of Christmas for years to come. In recent years the super brand has taken the advert off screen and brought it to life as part of an experiential marketing campaign. Red trucks now tour the country each year (see when here) providing real life engagement opportunities and insta-worthy moments for consumers. This highlights the importance of experiential events and how we can reach new audiences through immersive multi-platform campaigns.