It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

21 Dec 2015

December is in full-swing: the tree’s up, jaunty festive hats are an option (although generally as a form of torture) and the Christmas ad-campaigns are in full-swing!

Great brand-equity building is all about ‘storytelling’ –  and Christmas ads are a great reminder of what separates good storytelling from great storytelling …

A well-told and compelling story can build incredibly powerful emotional connections between consumers and brands by simply connecting to our everyday lives; whether it’s as simple as putting on a brave face, singing in the shower, or as classic as the joy of a small child’s belief in Santa.

In celebration of the festive season and our love of a good story, we have rounded up some of our favourite ads from this year (although if you’d like to binge on them all, The Telegraph have a stonking list…)

The Heartstring-Puller:

John Lewis is the undisputed king of the Christmas ad, annually reducing us to snotty sobs with its heartfelt message and acoustic soundtrack (remember The Snowman?). This year’s #ManOnTheMoon, in partnership with Age UK, seems to tick all the necessary boxes, with almost 23 million views to date, 100K ‘likes’ and several miles of column inches to its name (although not always entirely favourable).

However, we’re backing another entry for the heartstring crown – German supermarket Edeka has gone to new levels with its Christmas offering, whipping the competition on Youtube and reducing entire nations to tears (look out for it on your own Facebook feed if you don’t believe us). Whilst we’re not sure we approve of fake-killing a Grandpa at Christmas, this advert displays a mastery of the delicate balance required for a true tear-jerker Christmas ad.

The Parody:

Any brand who can pull together a parody advert in under two weeks truly deserves a medal and Lidl, whilst in slightly warm water over their representation of the cost comparison between the featured products, has done just that with its cheeky take on the Man on the Moon. After all, it isn’t Christmas without a parody of the John Lewis offering.

Interestingly, a Realeyes study, which used webcams to measure the emotions of participants watching Christmas adverts, found that this spoof was actually more engaging for viewers than the original advert. Perhaps the heavyweight emotion of John Lewis’ offerings still have room for optimisation after all?

The Posh One:

One of our favourite trends this year has been the increasing use of humour within the Christmas adverts and this tool is particularly noticeable in the high-end fashion brand ads. Gone are the days of slightly po-faced displays of glittering ‘you-could-never-afford-me-in-a-million-years’ exhibitionism and in its place is the pure unrivalled joy of bouncing on the bed in Burberry’s Billy Elliot-inspired piece, the tongue-in-cheek humour of the #MulberryMiracle, and Harvey Nics’ brilliant guide to avoiding #GiftFace. Although, of course Harvey Nichols has funny Christmas ad form – remember Sorry, I Spent It On Myself?

The Surprisingly Feel Good One:

The Body Shop is not a brand you would usually rank with the Christmas ad giants, however this year’s wonderfully tuneless offering made us smile and neatly reminded us that Great Aunt Frida is a fan of their bubble bath, therefore earning a place on the list. The ad’s story is enormously relatable – who hasn’t tried their own X-factor-style rendition in the shower when they thought no one could hear? Really? Liar!

The Santa Set-Up:

This incredibly sweet ad makes our cynical hearts grow three sizes – a clever, but modest bit of work from Kwik-Fit to prove that the magic of Christmas is alive and well, whilst reminding consumers of the brand’s core offering. This is an example of a great story that really hits the emotional target – if you ever wonder if kids still truly believe in Christmas then watch the bit where the little boy yells ‘you got me all I ever wanted!’. Nice one Kwik-Fit.

Home Alone telly watching 2

And with that we wish you a very happy Christmas and a brilliant New Year!



Written by  David Goudge