It is the most wonderful time of the year - so the song goes - and we are all used to being inundated with holiday-themed advertisements, movies and clothing, and so we rarely stop to think about the work behind them.
Whenever a brand chooses to launch its holiday campaign there is a level of anticipation from its consumers who are ready and waiting to transition into holiday mode. All they need is that double thumbs up from their favourite brand, or to hear the familiar jingle from a well-loved advertisement to let them know it’s full steam ahead.
Old and new, several brands have gotten their Christmas campaigning down to a T. They know how to pull on the heartstrings of their customers and infuse a sense of warmth, the spirit of giving, the want of togetherness, and the reminder for compassion over these short-lived weeks.
Here are some of the brands whose campaigns get it right every Christmas. Will your favourite make the list?
It’s hard to believe that the eagerly anticipated and highly speculated about John Lewis Christmas Advert only began in 2007. Since its launch, these adverts have, for most, been the starting gun to signal the race towards Christmas.
Their first Christmas campaign after a three hiatus, saw a six million pound spend - the highest amount on a holiday campaign at the time. It set the tone for the annual event which is currently in its thirteen-year.
The notoriety of these adverts which changed pace to feature the voice talents of British artists such as Lily Allen, Keane, and Elton John reprising well-loved songs, has sparked something of a healthy rivalry amongst other retailers.
This isn’t just any ad campaign, it’s an M&S ad campaign, and the retail brand known for their food as well as their clothing excels every holiday season by telling their customers that they aren’t the best - they are the best of the best.
Treating us to slow-motion shots of cuts of puckered pink salmon, macro lensed pans of appetisers and various triple named bites of food that have you drooling at your screen - Marks & Spencer amps up the competition when it comes to food. It’s the same rhetoric we hear year-round from the brand, but Christmas means guests to impress, and they play on that need to shine brighter than the rest that spikes during the festive season.
With so many places to get your Christmas food, the brand shows that they never drop on quality and so if you want to emulate luxury at your Christmas table, well, you’ve guessed it, they don’t just sell Christmas food, they sell M&S Christmas food.
Not all campaigns take place online and Selfridges’ Christmas window display, a tradition more than one hundred years old is a prime example of the continued want and need for a less digitised form of advertising.
Selfridges window display has always been a thing of marvel and wonder, going as far as to bring foot traffic along Oxford Street to a standstill. It invites luxury artists, designers and visual merchandisers to create inspiring displays, that the brand has cited to be responsible for bringing in 20% of its customers.
It’s no wonder Selfridges go twice as big around the holidays. In 2019 they were the first retailer to begin the festivities by unveiling their Window Display in October more than sixty sleeps before Christmas Day.
The Christmas window keeps the tradition alive with a sense of familiarity, spurring people who have travelled from across the world to spend the holidays in London, to add Selfridges as a necessary stop. The Selfridges Christmas window entices visitors to come inside and see what else is literally in-store.
You didn’t think this list would be complete without the Coca-Cola Christmas Truck, did you? The bright red truck adorned with lights and that familiar chorus is a longstanding signal to most that ‘Holidays Are Coming’.
It’s an easy advertisement that Coca-Cola hasn’t done much to change in the twenty-plus years since its original release. Interestingly, consumers don’t view it as dated or repetitive, instead, viewing it as traditional. However, the brand brought its advert to life with the Coca-Cola Christmas Truck Tour. The tour allowed consumers around the world, to experience the magic of seeing the famous truck come around the corner of their home town, first hand.
This year, however, along with the traditional ‘Holidays Are Coming’ advertisement, Coca-Cola has released an ad made by director Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit, Thor: Ragnarok). It’s truly a tear-jerker but it highlights the possibility of keeping a tradition alive, whilst simultaneously surprising your audience with something new.
Finally, with a lot of people essentially marketing themselves as a brand, we can’t overlook one of the most adopted campaign strategies amongst content creators and influencers today; Vlogmas.
Vlogmas is a daily vlogging exercise that takes place on the lead up to December 25th, where YouTubers post one video a day. Started in 2011 by YouTuber Ingrid Nilson it’s like a content advent calendar, whose popularity has superseded expectations. Vlogmas posts can be expected across Lifestyle channels, BookTubers pages, and the Beauty Community.
It has become a favourite amongst viewers who often question their favourite YouTubers whether or not they’ll be taking part each year. This accidental phenomenon reinforces themes of coming together to gear up for the holiday’s and pushes YouTubers to create inspiring content - much like mainstream brands.
When it comes to getting it right for the holiday season, the majority of us all want the same thing; heartwarming, festive-themed content that touches on that true meaning of Christmas.
Whether you go all out year after year, dust off that same tried and true campaign or accidentally stumble onto an idea that takes on a life of its own - when campaigning for Christmas, in a way you can’t go wrong.
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