As the nation gears up for Christmas, the annual string of marketing campaigns that infiltrate the festive period, are fast approaching.
Retail masses the most attention this time of year, as it’s known for top brands like John Lewis, Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, to put out their festive marketing campaigns, where the aim is to be the most talked about advert of the year.
They have become the staple of the season, and companies willing to put in the expense, have seen the rewards.
Many of these adverts are built on the importance of family, sometimes more-so than their own products. It may be a ploy to get their products dispersed to as many people as possible. Their appeal is the ability to pull at the heartstrings of their customers with recurring themes of gifts for loved ones and or enjoying festive food and drink with friends and family.
Christmas is synonymous to family, because along with carols, presents and mince pies, the custom of families getting together to celebrate the day is an integral part in the build up of the festive season.
Generations the world over have grown up traditionally anticipating the festive period. In the US “Christmas shopping season” starts as early as October, and in Canada, advertising starts from before Halloween.
The festive season of shopping in the UK starts from early November, when retail TV commercials appear.
The Christmas ad has become a major event, and where some of us may try to avoid the early reminders of the most expensive time of year, it is noted as one of the most influential times in marketing.
It’s well known that retailers prepare for the peak period months and sometimes a year, in advance with big and small players all competing in the market with the common purpose -to attract the indecisive impulsive shopper.
It could even be suggested that the presence of these smart marketing campaigns is what gives the holiday its ‘Christmassy-feel’ which retailers believe will drive shoppers to their stores or get online and start shopping.
Many remember the popularity surrounding last years £7mn TV campaign for John Lewis, the Disney inspired ‘The Bear and the Hare’, by Adam and Eve DDB. It featured Lilly Allen’s vocals, and a cover of Keane’s single ‘Somewhere Only We Know’.
It proved to be a record breaking success with 4.7mn views on YouTube before December, and a staggering 86,300 mentions on Twitter in its debut weekend.
Off the back of this, their 2014 Christmas campaign was well hyped year, the company have gone for the sentimental story of a boy and his pet penguin known as Monty
The 2012 TV campaign, the ’90 Second Tale of a Snowman’ had racked an over all year-on year sales increase of 44.3% in the five weeks leading to Christmas and the 2011 TV Ad ‘The Long Wait’ also topped polls with a huge 5.2 million views on YouTube.
“Christmas is an emotional time, and good Christmas advertising is about being very emotionally engaging,” says Chris Arnold, an ad industry veteran who runs the Creative Orchestra, an integrated advertising and brand marketing agency. “John Lewis is proving very effective at this. The true test of its success is that it is a lot better than a lot of the television programmes themselves”
Off the back of this, for their current 2014 Christmas campaign; the company have gone for the sentimental story of a boy and his pet penguin known as Monty.
The advert got 2.5mn views in less than 12 hours, and 100,000 shares for the story featuring the John Lennon track Real Love sung by Tom Odell.
Older adverts, their 2012 campaign titled, the ’90 Second Tale of a Snowman’ had racked an over all year-on year sales increase of 44.3% in the five weeks leading to Christmas and the 2011 TV Ad ‘The Long Wait’ also topped polls with a huge 5.2 million views on YouTube.
In light of these campaigns, evidence shows that knowing and engaging with your customers pays dividends. The shopper feels engaged with the brand after developing a sense of familiarity from watching the uplifting ad campaigns, and the brand has reached its target.
Christmas commercials are a reminder for many that Christmas is just around the corner and it seems, the UK love them. Since the John Lewis Monty the Penguin launched a week ago, the store reported a sales increase of 5% on last year, rising to £96mn. Their online sales trade increased by 17% with the evidence showing, Brits love a good Christmas ad!
Christmas advertising is not a quick fix solution to poor performance or slow growth in the months before; that said, effective Christmas campaigns that precede the oncoming season are visibly important, when done correctly.