Author: Eti Akter
It’s that time of year again. Though it feels like people have only just taken their pumpkins down, naturally, the Christmas adverts are here.
Since the release of John Lewis’s famous Christmas advert ‘The Long Wait’ back in 2011, Christmas adverts have become the official start of the festive season. There is a frenzy of anticipation each year, and the adverts are now a crucial touchpoint for brands to connect with an audience of Christmas fans who are ready to shop.
The Impact of Social Media
Social media has become a vital part of an advert’s success with millions of views and thousands of mentions spanning across all platforms.
Newsfeeds become cluttered with Christmas related posts and brands know exactly how to tap into these conversations. Before adverts are released, brands have started to release teasers on social media.
This creates a huge buzz and generates instant engagement as people eagerly await the launch of the advert. Before this year’s John Lewis advert was released, a five-second trailer accompanied by the hashtag #UnderTheBed started to circulate on Twitter. Brands have also started to create specific hashtags for their adverts, such as Sainsbury’s #everybitofchristmas. By doing so, they can easily monitor the success of their adverts across social media and gain feedback on what people think. Leading Christmas advert brands are trying new social media tactics this year.
Facebook launched a filter a year ago where you can turn yourself into Moz. Last year John Lewis teamed up with Snapchat allowing users to turn themselves into ‘Buster the Boxer’. This allowed the brand to reach a whole new audience, contributing to the overall success of the advert.
Recognize Your Christmas Audience
Where did you first see the 2018 Christmas advert?
Was it on TV during the Gogglebox ad break on 10 November along with 3 million other UK viewers?
Was it on YouTube or facebook? Did you stumble across it by accident? Or did you Google it, having been sucked into the Christmas advert hype?
The way that people consume Christmas adverts is changing, and we wonder how this affects the creative process that goes into them. With brands spending millions of pounds and many months on their Christmas ad campaigns, are they missing a trick by still thinking of them as “TV” adverts?
Does the customer’s mindset change when they go from a passive armchair viewer to an active consumer of the advert, searching for a particular brand’s Christmas content? Can brands capitalise on this?
And if so, how?
To date, over 26 million people have viewed last year’s John Lewis advert on YouTube and according to Social Bakers; this represents only 40% of online views. Their 2016 social media analytics revealed that 90% of all interactions and 60% of all online views of Christmas TV adverts were via Facebook. These are huge viewing numbers from a more pre-engaged audience than passive TV viewers. Surely brands would be mad not to use this to their advantage.
Top 5 Christmas adverts for 2018
The star of Argos’ ad is an annoying little creature which the brand is calling a ‘fool’, which looks a bit like a smaller Dobby, the house elf from Harry Potter. However, unlike Dobby, the fool is rather unpleasant as it embarks upon a mission to ruin Christmas preparations for families however it can. But, never fear; the fool is rounded up with a load of other captured fools by an Argos Fast Track delivery driver who saves the day, would you believe it? It’s funny at times, but the ‘fool’ gives us the heebie-jeebies.
Similarly to last year, Lidl has returned with three short festive ads, each with the same theme of ‘Upgrade your Christmas’. The message is clear: these holiday revellers should have just updated their Christmas a ‘Lidl bit’ – via the supermarket’s new gin and party food rather than a giant Christmas tree, 16-piece orchestra or imported snow from the Arctic. We like the theme and some of it’s a laugh, but would one longer ad have been better?
The feelings evoked in the brand’s 2018 advert will resonate with mothers and daughters all over as we see a teenage girl and her Mum struggle to just get each other: From Mum disapproving of her daughter’s make-up to the girl sneakily using Mum’s perfume ensuring it actually runs out, it’s all very relatable. Their changeable relationship continues until the daughter is shook to see her mum singing Christmas carols in a choir and that’s where she finally understands her Mum a little more as she realises performing is her passion. We were surprised to see the song take inspiration from Robbie Williams ‘She’s the One’, but it’s kind of cute!
Differing to last year’s tale of a girl and her granddad who stumble upon a Christmas factory, it’s a much noisier 2018 offering. Christmas well and truly kicks off with a bang in the ad, when Santa launches a flaming Christmas pudding into the air out of cannon. Next up, there are Santa Clauses on motorbikes, driving yetis, a giant polar bear and plenty of Asda George-wearing Christmas revellers. It’s a fun advert and gets bonus points for using one of the best, and most underrated, festive songs ‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)’ by Darlene Love.
The supermarket’s first Christmas ad offering centres around family, similar to last year, and more specifically around the classic festive debates: Traditional turkey or goose? Go out for a Christmas Day walk or not moving from the sofa all day? Sprouts or nah? Set to an orchestral version of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Go Your Own Way’, we enjoy the family references we’re all too familiar with – and the music and all that food is making us hungry.
Any ideas on planning an engaging 2019 digital ad for your brand or business?
Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org as we look forward to helping you achieve creative success and results in seasonal execution.
Festive greetings everyone!