Like mince pies and letters to Santa, Christmas advertising campaigns have become well established and much-loved features of the season’s festivities. For many, the moment the first big TV spot appears marks the unofficial start of the Christmas season and with the Christmas shopping market, both online sales and in physical stores, worth more than £75 billion, it’s easy to see how critical an effective marketing campaign is to a retailer. Here are some of our favourites:
The benchmark in recent years has been set by the campaigns from John Lewis, and their offering this year features Edgar the Dragon, an over-excitable baby dragon whose fire breathing antics seem likely to ruin Christmas until a young girl finds him a vital festive job. This folksy fairy-tale is an ode to friendship and inclusivity because, of course, even dragons have a part to play at Christmas! It’s also effective marketing, trading upon the quintessential feel-good factor that has become the retailer’s Christmas hallmark.
Selfridges has taken an extremely stylish approach to its marketing this year with a short film Future Fantasy: A Christmas for Modern Times starring actress Noomi Rapace. Rapace travels through a fantasy re-visioning of the flagship store, positioning it as a cool and creative winter wonderland. Presenting a future-facing rather than traditional take on the Christmas message it will hit the right spot with Selfridges’ young, aspirational and upmarket demographic.
With Boots 2019 Christmas campaign, the ad itself is less interesting than the marketing strategy it showcases, namely their Christmas “Bootiques”, a series of curated edits. An integrated marketing ploy that attempts to take the stress out of gifting for those hard to buy for family members or friends it features such bespoke shopping edits as the “Vegan Bootique” and the “Tween Bootique”. It’s clever and intriguing marketing; Boots have identified a problem and presented a solution.
Dogs trust “a dog is for life not just for Christmas”, featuring Corky the cute champagne cork puppet dog, destined to be thrown out with all the rest of the festive rubbish on Boxing Day. Key to its success as a campaign is the characterful and engaging Corky. Highly social-media friendly, with each re-tweet or re-post of Corky’s story, the charity’s Christmas message spreads.
Tesco, with “Delivering Christmas for 100 years”, places the retailer’s branding at the heart of the campaign. A Tesco delivery driver is taken on a time-travelling trip through the UK with the message being that Tesco has been an integral part of the nation’s Christmas experience for the past century. Tying in with the rest of the grocer’s centenary celebrations the Christmas spot is part of an effective and highly integrated marketing campaign, which also features a Facebook arcade game, allowing customers to take the wheel of the Tesco delivery van themselves.