Good Stuff.

Reflecting on the ultimate festive marketing campaigns

Festive Websites in 2015

Here at team Rawww, we’re missing Christmas already so we thought we’d have a little fun and reflect on our ultimate festive marketing campaigns.

Join us on our festive journey, where we look back on what made our favourites so effective and memorable.

Coca Cola – ‘Holidays are Coming’

Christmas isn’t Christmas without the familiar festive jingle of a seasonal Coca Cola advert. This iconic brand is synonymous with Christmas… from their festive red trucks to their ‘holidays are coming’ tagline. Yet, it is interesting to note that their connection with Christmas didn’t begin until 1931 (several decades after their 1886 beginnings) where the use of Father Christmas as their iconic figure has been so strong they’re forever associated with each other. Many people even believe that the Coke brand created Santa!

Whilst Coke didn’t create Santa, they did change the way we view him, giving us a rosy cheeked, round bellied and fluffy bearded smiler decked in the brand’s distinctive colours. And, they’ve been very careful to keep a similar theme of nostalgia, escapism, humour and emotion in all their ads – not just at Christmas. As Alison, our chief Head of Projects notes:

‘Coca Cola is a true representation of a brand that holds so much value it doesn’t need to evolve its Christmas advertising as it is so loved and recognised as a tradition each year. If it did change, the audience wouldn’t like it!’

Their tried and tested formula works all year round, and especially at Christmas. So much so that it often ranks in the top Christmas ads of any season and in 2020 their advert entitled ‘The Letter’ was ranked the most powerful seasonal advert by data firm Kantar alongside Coke’s overall ‘The Holidays are Coming’ campaign. National newspaper The Sun explains:

‘It scored top marks in four categories – the most powerful advert, most enjoyable, the trailer with the strongest branding and the one which generated the most love.’

Take a look at their latest 2020 advert here.

John Lewis – In Anticipation

Maria, our Sales and Marketing Director is spot on with her thoughts on the John Lewis Christmas ads:

‘The John Lewis advert is always the most eagerly anticipated Christmas Campaign – and that’s what makes it so good.’

John Lewis’ Christmas adverts offer a touch of brilliance with their perfectly crafted and emotive stories (who could forget classics such as The Man on the Moon or their Snowman ad?) but what makes them truly successful is the clever use of anticipation that begins to build a few weeks before their release. As Alison, Head of Projects at Rawww observes:

‘There’s an ‘anticipation’ approach to their ads that really works; everyone waits for it to arrive each year to see what it will bring, and each advert has a wonderfully emotive meaning that makes people pause and watch.’

Revisit their latest Christmas advert here.

 Aldi – Kevin the Carrot

Aldi’s Christmas adverts have risen in popularity in recent years thanks to the use of Kevin the Carrot, which shows that bringing back a familiar and well-loved character year on year is something that customers love. Megan, our new intern adds:

‘I look forward to the Aldi campaign every year as Kevin the Carrot always makes it playful and his growing popularity shows no sign of slowing down.’

This year, the adverts went one step further by increasing sales of Kevin the Carrot merchandise on an even larger scale with the huge ‘Kevin’ soft toys which sold out almost immediately up and down the country.

Enjoy their 2020 Christmas advert here.

Sainsbury’s Christmas Advert 2014

Who can forget Sainsbury’s 2014 Christmas advert portraying the near-mythical Christmas truce between the trenches of 1914? Poignant and sentimental, this beautiful ad captured the nation when it was aired and even the most cynical of people couldn’t help but be moved when British and German soldiers tentatively emerged from their trenches to play football and exchange gifts.

Yet, at the time the advert aired, it was hailed as disrespectful because it is an advert that is using the horror of war and ‘downplaying’ it to sell Christmas. But is this really the case? As Alison, Head of Projects explains:

‘There were some comments that this advert was dangerous and disrespectful, but I disagree… It’s an ad that is inspired by true events 100 years ago to the year and it really brings home the reality of war, as well as bringing people back down to earth about the true meaning of Christmas. Especially as people can get so wrapped up in the materialistic things surrounding Christmas.’

Thankfully, most viewers disagreed with the ‘it’s disrespectful’ comments and took it for what it was – a powerful message of hope.

 Marks and Spencer – ‘This is not just…’

Marks and Spencer’s Christmas take on adverts featuring their ‘this is not just…’ catchphrase (which was itself revived in 2019 after a 12 year absence) featured Olivia Coleman’s dulcet tones for the festive 2020 season. Purring over tasteful delights such as ‘fancy pants’ mini-beef and porcini Yorkshires, ‘glistening’ smoked salmon and triple chocolate pantone, Olivia follows in the footsteps of other famous celebs who have lent their voices to these adverts including Gillian Anderson, Jeremy Irons and Julie Walters. As Jenny, our Head Copywriter observes:

‘The M&S Christmas ad is always my favourite because it focuses on the products slowly… which really makes you concentrate on what they are showing. The strapline: ‘this is not just…’ is really clever too, adding to that overall tantalising focus on flavour and quality.’

Each ad also features the logos of the charity chosen by the voiceover actor that M&S will then donate ad profits to.

Experience their 2020 Christmas advert here.

 Tesco – Christmas 2020

‘No naughty list this year… not even for loo roll hoarders’ was the festive message from Tesco; a heartfelt attempt to offer a wry – and very British approach to an unsettling 2020.

Set to Britney Spears’ ‘Oops… I did it again’ soundtrack and voiced by comedian Asim Chaudhry, Maria, our Sales and Marketing Director, thinks that Tesco got it just right with their fun and uplifting festive offering:

‘The Tesco ad is definitely my favourite this year as the message is great and what we all needed to hear after such a tough year.’

We’re all in agreement with this one. It’s brilliant! Raise a smile by taking a look at the advert here

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