Move over Santa Claus because Christmas is now being judged by what adverts we’re watching on the TV. For 11 months of the year, adverts are mercilessly whizzed through thanks to the invention of sky+ and tivo but between November and December they become more important than the tv shows they cushion.
And that’s because they talk to us as a human. They tell stories, they tap in to what an emotional time Christmas can be for a lot of people. Not to mention that they give us an insight to the perfect Christmas where there are no rows, no mess, family and friends are all united, essentially a Christmas we all crave and very few of us achieve. But let’s not pretend that the big brands who produce these adverts do so because they are interested in the lives and loves of the viewers. Christmas sales make up the lion share of the yearly profits. If people aren’t spending in your store at Christmas then you’ve no hope for the rest of the year. So the effort they put in to making sure that they produce an ad to remember and more importantly, an ad that will get people talking makes all the difference.
So let’s take a look at the ads we love the most…
Christmas isn’t Christmas without a good John Lewis ad to pull at our heart strings. This year is all about a boy and his best friend; Monty the penguin. Using the sound track Real Love by John Lennon (covered by Tom Odell) the ad explores the relationship between a boy and his penguin friend before he realises his penguin is looking for love. The 1 million advert which has the tagline ‘Give someone the Christmas they’ve been dreaming of’ hasn’t just put joy in the hearts of viewers but it’s also put pounds in the till. Sales for the John Lewis penguin Monty and other merchandise have gone crazy.
Tesco has had a rough year so their Christmas advert really needed to be special. They took the lead from a disgruntled customer (ironic) who last year tweeted that they were disappointed their local store didn’t have a Christmas hat above the O. So “Make Christmas” was born, they went to the Wigan store that missed out last year and made an event out of the erection of the Christmas hat.
Morrisons are getting the most out of their brand ambassadors Ant and Dec by having them feature in an ad that’s set to everyone’s favourite festive tune “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”. The ad is a picture book of all those individual elements that make the perfect Christmas. From eating your first mince pie to switching on the Christmas lights for the first time.
Boots have toned it down a bit this year. Gone are the party girls and instead they are focusing on the nurses, doctors and other service workers who are spending time looking after people rather than spending time with their family and friends.
Marks and Spencer
Marks and Spencer have gone for a whimsical theme and the ad is very focussed on merchandise rather than the magic of Christmas. #Followthefairies does keep the Christmas spirit alive however with the fairies doling out random acts of kindness to strangers.
Waitrose is working on its social media presence with its ad suggesting that people bake something and give it to a friend or someone who could do with a pick me up. Using the hashtag #bakeitforward, viewers are incentivised to get involved with the promise of winning christmas hampers and bottles of champagne.
Aldi doesn’t need to worry about their advert this year, it’s already won the darling of the supermarkets but they rolled out Jools Holland to play a tune on the piano and showed a variety of families enjoying the ideal Christmas.
The Sainsbury ad has brought about a huge divide. It tells the story of the famous Christmas day truce between British and German soldiers during the first world war. Whilst some have claimed the advert is offensive and unrealistic, there are others who found that the advert warming and a respectful tribute. Sainsbury have also included the British Legion in the ad and will be donating 50p from every £1 from a chocolate bar that appears in the ad, the chocolate bar is said to be selling around 5,000 every hour.