The battle of the Christmas adverts is upon us. The likes of Sainsbury’s, Lidl, John Lewis and Partners and yes, even Twitter have brought their A-Game in order to be the nation’s favourite.
In recent years the move from advertising on TV to social media has transformed the hype of these adverts, creating more conversation and engagement than ever before. This has given brands the opportunity to combine their offline and online marketing to produce long-lasting campaigns that encourage greater audience interaction, whilst also allowing brands to express a personality and human touch that we can all relate to.
We've picked out a few ads that are making the most noise on social this Christmas...
The Christmas Ad Rundown
John Lewis and Partners
YouTube views: 12M
The famous John Lewis advert is something that many of us eagerly look forward to as the holiday season approaches. This year we were treated with yet another cracker in the form of an emotional throwback-style-story, reliving the life of musical legend Elton John. The fantastically produced video finishes with a heart-warming scene of a very young Elton receiving his first piano at Christmas.
The response to the ad on social media has been massive, provoking on-going discussions and dividing opinions on both Twitter and Facebook. In fact, the ad has had generated so much attention, that other brands have decided to smartly capitalise on it by incorporating aspects of the ad in their own campaigns!
This year's John Lewis Christmas advert has to be considered as one of their most successful yet, and their incredibly creative and unique concept has justifiably created a huge a social buzz that other brands will struggle to beat.
This Lidl advert is a great example of reactive marketing. The supermarket brand have been fairly active on social media - posting similar posts using puns and funny anecdotes to promote some of their products for Christmas, however the most popular one was the clever and witty play on the John Lewis advert.
This reaction to the heavily talked about ad stirred conversation Lidl’s way. An approach like this is a great way to express brand personality; something which is typically well received by consumers, especially on social media. Lidl are one of a number of brands that do a fantastic job of showing personality, and it's little things like this that might just sway shoppers to opt for a Lidl Christmas shop this year.
Youtube views: 5M
The Sainsbury’s Christmas advert has gained a lot of fans, potentially being the firm favourite of the year. In a smart spin on the classic school Christmas play, a group of school kids pull out all the stops and put on a spectacular, expertly choreographed show that blows all the parents away - making the video strap-line of "we give everything for the one's we love" wonderfully appropriate.
Sainsbury’s has followed up on the hype surrounding the advert by posting a series of related tweets as a way of keeping the advert fresh in people's minds. The young boy dressed as a plug has particularly received a lot of attention on social media, and Sainsbury's have embraced this fantastically by responding to comments and even doing a short video of him dancing, and even did an interview with the star himself! This is a great example of prolonging the effect of a campaign by continuing the conversation.
Youtube views: 3M
The cliff hanger advert by Aldi is a great play on the famous Christmas Coca-Cola ad we all grew up with. With a similar truck driving through snowy scenery at night it does a great job of capturing viewers’ attention in the hopes to see the all-time classic.
The sweet and humorous animation of Kevin the Carrot is a story that has us all rooting for the little orange guy. The reaction to the creatively produced ad has been superb - and has not only taken off in stores with the merchandise, but it has also sparked a conversation on Twitter. The character features in many promotional posts as well as Aldi themselves encouraging people to send in their pics with the plush Kevins. Interacting with the social community like this is a very effective way of enhancing brand awareness, trust, and loyalty.
Unexpectedly, Twitter came out with a festive ad of its own which was a play on the fact that a man, @johnlewis, mistakenly received tweets from users reaching out to the department store – their handle is actually @jlandpartners.
John Lewis is known for receiving tweets from querying customers which he did respond to, answering their questions. In a clever marketing move, Twitter produced a mock version of the much-talked about John Lewis Christmas advert featuring the man himself, John Lewis, hilariously playing the role of Elton John.
This Twitter ad is another great example of reactive marketing done well. It also goes to show that sometimes, opting for the not-so-serious, humorous approach can really pay off. After all, Christmas is all about spreading joy, and Twitter certainly managed that with this brilliant idea.
Social Media & Christmas Ads: The Future
This year’s Christmas adverts have been very impressive, with many brands jumping on the back of each other; displaying clever, tactful and reactive marketing techniques. We predict this seasonal marketing effort to keep on evolving year on year, as brands continue to harness the power of social media.
With a simple Television advert perhaps no longer being enough, we anticipate a lot of brands to utilise social media to support and supplement their TV ads in order to amplify campaigns and better connect with their audiences. Moreover, by keeping the story active, brands can get really maximise their ROI by creating additional revenue through merchandise.
The future of Christmas advertising will always be that of survival of the fittest, but the brands that will recognise the true potential of social media marketing will ultimately stand above the rest and sit pretty at the top of the tree for the festive season.
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