A Happy PR & Content Manager
he 2018 Christmas ads have finally hit our tellies! It’s not enough anymore to create a standard advert at this time of year. Competition to be the best is intense and retailers’ adverts now need to be more memorable, glitzy and certainly emotive to make sure that they captivate their audiences.
The Happies have been eagerly discussing this season’s and it’s caused a stir here at Happy HQ.
The frozen supermarket giant campaigned for an ‘Orangutan-friendly’ Christmas, but Watchdog Clearcast claimed that it didn’t comply with advertising practices. Whichever way you look at it, it triggered a conversation about ‘Palm Oil’ amongst the Happies and it certainly brought the ad into the national spotlight. Iceland benefited from some exclusive national coverage as well as striking uniform support amongst social media audiences. A well thought-out campaign we think.
John Lewis released its long-awaited ad, this year featuring musical legend Elton John (Happy Jenny’s musical hero). The ad takes you on a journey of some of Elton’s most iconic moments - tenderly named ‘The Boy and The Piano’. Fans were raving about the tear-jerker until Waitrose threw their hilarious inception advert into the mix blowing the John Lewis ad out of the water! Fans commented on its savage nature, however, it’s worthwhile to mention that John Lewis and Waitrose are now sister companies and that the campaign was planned all along – such a genius collaboration by the ad agency that’s for sure. It almost made us forget that just months ago, John Lewis were hitting tabloid news over fears it would go into administration – this goes to show the power of a good marketing campaign.
#Reindeerready has also been hailed as a huge success, McDonalds fans praised the food-chain for their feel-good ad, that they say beats John Lewis ‘handsdown’ this year. The ad shows Father Christmas enjoying tucking into the mince pies that have been left out for him by families - a Christmas tradition handed down by generations. However, this year Rudolph and his pals are saddened to find no carrots were put out for them. Santa becomes aware of this and spies a McDonalds down the street where he stocks up on bags of carrots for the Reindeer. The Reindeers rejoice and Christmas is inevitably saved. Tugging on the heart strings of its viewers this advert specifically promotes the fast food chain as offering healthy alternatives in a bid to revamp its unhealthy image.
It's interesting to see that the use of hashtags # has made a comeback this year, with many of this year’s festive adverts using the social trend as a way of recording engagement. Playing a prominent role in today’s social culture the # is a great way to categorise content, making it easily accessible and allowing a business to connect with their followers across multiple social accounts, Twitter and Instagram are by far the most popular for # content.
A Happy HQ favourite is ‘Kevin the Carrot’ – who returns to our screens for another year! The incredibly cute and loveable Kevin appears in a Coca Cola spoof. In the first part of the budget chains festive campaign, Kevin is left helpless when his beloved carrots are left dangling over a cliff edge using the #SaveKevin.
The second part of the series returns with Kevin battling the evil parsnip ‘Pascal’ - stay tuned for the 3rd instalment which will see Kevin battle to save his family of carrots. Viewers took to social media to share their thoughts commenting on the shocking revelation that Kevin had indeed stolen the Coca Cola Truck, others utterly applauding Aldi for their unique creativity. It’s certainly got everyone talking at Happy HQ and has hit the national headlines.
What The Happies love about the Aldi adverts is that they are so emotive, you almost want to tune into the other ads straight away to find out what happens to Kevin and his family. It’s charming and quirky and something that’s really different. This advert will inevitably help Aldi increase its brand awareness among its consumers and has the potential to instil a lasting legacy as consumers will remember #SaveKevin for many years to come.
Directed by Michael Gracey, better known for being the director of ‘The Greatest Showman’, the ad follows the story of a young girl who is nervous about performing at her Christmas activity, supported by a cast of weird and wonderful characters depicting the many things that make us British at Christmas – The Happies were LOL at the moment the plug character jumps into the socket!
Sainsbury’s has done an amazing job of encompassing that feeling of pride and admiration that all parents will have when they watch their young child perform at their Christmas Nativity, albeit in a slightly odd performance. The ad is heart-warming and joyous drawing on the typical brand values that Sainsbury’s holds dear. Another great piece of brand awareness for the supermarket chain.
Though we’ve only chosen to mention a few of this year’s Christmas adverts – there are already too many to mention. This year seems to have hit a whole new level of festive cheer as we’ve seen already the competition to be the nation’s favourite is incredibly fierce. The ads have become a yearly tradition with companies investing millions of pounds into their creations. What’s clear is how astoundingly powerful these ads are in creating that emotional connection with consumers and that it’s not necessarily about pushing sales, but making that lasting impression.
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