Tis the season… to be silly, saucy, sentimental and downright sad, judging by this year’s collection of Christmas ads.
Yes, we’ve been at the eggnog already – and our happy little K2ELVES have thoroughly enjoyed perusing the festive feast of campaigns served up by our favourite brands this year.
The biggie of course, is always John Lewis – and this year the retailer really went to town, with Sir Elton John at the helm. Not a popular choice for some, who felt it more of a promo for his forthcoming farewell tour than any actual store – but we loved watching how the perfect present (in his case a piano) can really have an impact on a person. Extra marks to the marketing department for bringing in the real John Lewis, whose Twitter account gets bombarded every Christmas. He starred in his own campaign with Twitter and John Lewis sent him a load of goodies including tickets to see Elton in concert.
For PR points, a winning contribution comes from Iceland and their Anti Palm Oil campaign. By using Greenpeace’s existing ad about a ‘Rang Tang’s reduced rainforests, they (knowingly) failed to pass the Clearcast test by being classed as ‘political’ – so they targeted social media instead, generating column inches by the bucketload. The ad has had well over 5m views on YouTube and has sparked fierce debate on a global scale, all the while raising awareness for the fact that Iceland has banned Palm Oil in all its products. Christmassy, no – but clever? Absolutely.
In other offerings, Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot is back, his fame gaining momentum as there are genuine scrums in Aldi stores while people fight to get their hands on the soft toy carrots sold this year. The adverts themselves now providing the source of this year’s must have stocking fillers! Which brings us onto TK Maxx who seem to have taken inspiration from Dr Seuss with its never-ending Christmas Stocking – actually a competition to win goodies all year (budget shopping is for life, not just for Christmas, kids).
The omnipresent Holly Willoughby stars in Marks and Spencer’s stylish (but rather safe) contribution and Argos has a Christmas fool trying to spoil the season (and failing, thanks to Argos being able to supply all your last-minute needs).
Visa seem to be shining a light on the mega budget superstore hysteria however, with a rather lovely ad asking us all to support our local high streets and indies, starring real store workers.
But our award for the most moving ad of all goes to an unknown (or he was!) filmmaker called Phil Beastall, who re-released his 2015 ad in response to all the fanfare around John Lewis. His stunning film, made for only £50, has gone viral in a major way, and seen him feature across all mainstream media.
It aims to remind us all that our loved ones are what really count, by showing a young man counting down the days in December, until he opens the last Christmas message cassette his mum made for him, before she passed away.
The ad is not promoting presents, or prizes, or parcels of any kind – it simply states that “love is a gift.”
Amen to that.
Merry Christmas, everyone.