In the world of marketing, the Christmas season starts a lot earlier than December 1st, with campaign brainstorms and strategy planning starting earlier and earlier every year.

Along with home-made mince pies and beautifully wrapped pressies under the tree, one sure-fire way to know Christmas is around the corner is the dawning of the Christmas ads.

Whether you’re as eager as Edgar or a bit of a scrooge, there’s no escaping the festive cheer of Christmas campaigns from the world’s biggest brands, especially now they’re moving online too…

The Rise of Online

With the rising costs of TV advertising and a 16% decline in TV viewership between 2010 and 2017, it’s easy to see why brands are focusing on online marketing in recent years, resulting in online spend leaving TV behind.

But brands are getting creative with their online tactics this winter. Instead of posting show-stopper ads on YouTube like previous years, they’ve been using push ads and organic posting to further boost reach.

Brands now base their entire online strategy around the 2-minute ad, filling social feeds with festive teasers and promos.

A fitting example is Aldi. Building on their Kevin the Carrot campaign from last year, Kevin’s latest antics were drip-fed to consumers on Aldi’s online channels with a playful narrative to engage.

A cheeky jibe at John Lewis from the Aldi marketing team.

Emotional Connection

The magic of a Christmas advert comes from the way in which they connect with audiences using a clever balance of humour and emotion, creating a memorable film that makes viewers want to click “share”.

The boffins at Harvard say that emotions are the drivers of decision making, influencing judgements and choices. So, if marketers can tap into that powerful source, not only will brands leave a lasting impression, it will also coerce audiences into choosing the brand in the future.

Adverts with a mix of humour and emotion are sure-fire winners.

Broadening Their Offer

Even Christmas advert kings, John Lewis & Partners, launched its Excitable Edgar campaign online, hours before it reached the TV screen.

Bringing together a heart-warming tale and a funny twist, John Lewis has hit the mark this year, as always.

Between media attention, push ads and a dedicated Twitter hashtag (complete with a custom Edgar emoji, of course), most people had already watched the advert online before its television debut during ITV’s Celebrity X-Factor.

John Lewis launched its highly anticipated Christmas advert on social media before it hit the TV screens.

PM Favourites

We caught up with our very own film guru, John Starkie, to hear what he had to say about this year’s batch of Christmas ads:

“I’ve been really impressed with the quality of the Christmas ads this year. Not only do they tug on the heartstrings, but they use a great range of storytelling techniques to communicate their message to the viewer.

My personal favourite has to be McDonald’s Reindeer Ready advert!”

PM Account Director, Jamie Bourn is surprised that brands haven’t thought of the online-first strategy before now.

“It’s clear to see that online marketing is the way forward and this is only solidified by the shift in Christmas adverts making their debuts online.

While there’s always something a little special about seeing the first ad of the season whilst sat on the sofa, the rise of digital is something brands simply can’t ignore. With the potential for businesses to narrow down reach to just their target audience, all businesses can benefit from marketing online.”

Excitable Edgar is a firm fan favourite.

Want an Engaging Campaign of Your Own?

Whether you’d like to try your hand at your very own Christmas advert or need assistance curating a brand story that inspires, PM can help.

Our content copywriters can craft a campaign narrative worthy of your business, while our expert team of videographers can create a piece of stunning video that’ll capture your audience and win you sales.

To top it all off, our marketing experts are here to help get your campaign in front of the right people.

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Posted by Rebecca Ellis