Tis the season to…release a festive ad!

The question is when did the release of the retailer Christmas TV ad become a calendar event in itself? Who will release first, will it be John Lewis or Sainsbury’s to make us cry, animation vs real life, it’s the talk not only of the PR and marketing industry, but of the UK … the world even, right now, who will be the winners and losers in winning consumers’ hearts this Christmas?

I love Christmas, I’m not one of those people who puts my tree up in November, but I do love the build-up. For me, the excitement of the Christmas ‘TV ad’ competition adds to the most wonderful time of the year, so here is my round up of the small screen festivities so far.

ASDA was first out of Santa’s grotto with its #becauseitchristmas offering. The reason I believe this is a Christmas cracker of an ad is because it is the epitome of Christmas. We can all relate to most, if not all of the stories…ok, maybe not the ice-skating snowmen but dad snoring on the sofa and busting the worm on the dancefloor at the Christmas party. Real life storytelling coupled with a catchy tune from X Factor runner-up Fleur East, I have a feeling we are going to be using this hashtag and talking about this ad a lot over the coming weeks.

Waitrose has taken a similar stance looking at how different people celebrate Christmas, but not surprisingly their foodie offerings are at the centre. Lidl has not changed its narrative massively from 2014 with its Christmas school and Pay Pal…well – there is talk on social that they have ruined Christmas already.

Next up we have John Lewis, Marks and Spencer and Sainsbury’s. All three of these retailers had multi layered, hugely integrated Christmas campaigns last year, all very clever in their own right, it will be interesting to see what they will pull out of their stocking this year.

This morning it was revealed after a week of 10 second teaser ads that John Lewis is behind #Manonthemoon. Marketing speculated and Twitter went into melt down as we all tried to guess, which retailer was behind the teasers. John Lewis has traditionally broken its ad on social and again we are seeing a festive hashtag at the centre of the advert which is no real surprise from this particular retailer after it confirmed last week it would increase its social spend this Christmas. This is definitely the one that pulls at the heart strings, typical John Lewis – it’s not about blatantly selling products, but about making us laugh or cry in a bid to retain our loyalty to this iconic brand. So much so, a few of us got in to the Cirkle office early to watch the ad when it launched this morning (positioning as its ‘premier’ on the 8am slot of GMB) as well as launching it across Facebook, Twitter and You Tube, and we all cried! Last year its ad received 22million downloads and likes and this year this is what a JL spokesperson says will be the measure of success.

An old man, who lives all alone on the moon, is at the centre of the ad. A little girl on earth spots him through her telescope and tries to wave and get a message to him before Christmas. The ad’s strapline is “show someone they’re loved this Christmas”, which is the ethos of Age UK. The retailer has spent £7m on the campaign (£1m to shoot it and £6m to buy TV space) which ranges from this heartfelt TV ad, a smartphone game and merchandise including glow in the dark PJs. Like last year, there is again instore amplification with 11 stores transforming some areas to replicate the moon. Genius! All proceeds will go to Age UK – what an amazing brand partnership. And the song….oh my – a take on the Oasis classic ‘Half the World Away’, this without a doubt will cement John Lewis’s position of producing one of the most memorable ads as they use music to enhance that emotional connection.

John Lewis aims to use its profile to raise thousands of £’s for Age UK this Christmas by encouraging staff and customers to join their local branch of the charity to care for elderly people at Christmas and remember those who may well be alone at this time of year.

Whether it’s a bear, a penguin or a Christmas fairy, nothing says Christmas to me more than…yep, you guessed it, it’s that big red truck and the sound from the TV that we all know and love, “holidays are coming, holidays are coming”. The Coca-Cola truck, now in its 20th year, yet still it evokes that Christmas feeling every time. I can’t be the only one that admits that it is officially Christmas once I have seen the big red truck? I did however read this week that some MPs want to ban the Coca-Cola truck from touring because it doesn’t spread the right “health message”. One word, Scrooge #justsaying

So which one will be your no1 Christmas advert for 2015? #christmasadvert #feelingfestive #becauseitschristmas

Sam Eden
Account Manager

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