Christmas at Neo PR: Our favourite campaigns
It’s that time again – we’re talking about Christmas campaigns! Whether’s it’s a PR, marketing, social media or advertising campaign, we love seeing what the big brands will bring out each year.
This year, we’ve taken a look at Christmas campaigns past and present, to see which brand will come out on top. Here we go…
Jo: Battersea Dogs Home, 2019
The best campaign I’ve come across is for Battersea Dogs Home, who are doing a ‘paw draw’ to raise money to care for dogs who get given as Christmas gifts and are then abandoned. As our own Sam is a rescue, I think he would be in ‘wag-reement’!
Kellie: Very, 2019
My favourite Christmas advert is from Very, which is titled “Get more out of giving.” From touching on the elderly being alone during the holiday period to showing how the community gets together to make his Christmas, the advert showcases the true sentimental purpose of the festivities and draws upon the watcher’s heartstrings. It’s a great way of showing how you can add an array of subliminal messages into a campaign, which will not only get your audience thinking and raise awareness of such causes, but also allow viewers to remember your brand for making an impact.
Louise: Argos, 2019
Argos’s Book of Dreams brings a dusting of nostalgia at Christmas time – who can ask for more? The retailer has gone back to its roots and has based its 2019 Christmas campaign on something it’s loved for… its catalogue. First launched in 1973, picking up the catalogue and circling gift ideas has been a tradition in the run up to Christmas for many families up and down the UK. It goes to show that sticking to what your customers know you for does work.
The advert and social media campaign are focused around family, living your dreams and the Simple Mind’s song ‘Don’t you forget about me’ (perfection) and Argos has bought back digital versions of previous catalogues via their website – the ‘Then and Now’ series. A great trip down memory lane – I wonder how many conversations it’s sparked between family members? Well done Argos!
Francesca: M&S, 2019
Marks and Spencer’s ‘Go Jumpers’ Christmas ad gets right into the party spirit this year. The advert showcases 50 different jumpers from its range, worn by a large cast of characters apparently jolted into action by their jumpers to dance along to House of Pain’s ‘Jump Around’ – a real ‘90s throwback! The campaign has proved to be an unexpected hit, racking up over 40 million impressions and reaching more than 10 million people across social media. This has been aided by the 20 style influencers that M&S is working with for this campaign, posting jumper-themed content across their channels, with a combined following of 2.5 million people.
The success of this campaign prompted M&S to create a follow-up advert; ‘Go Pyjamas’ is a Christmas celebration of sleepwear – family fun at Christmas with everyone dressed in their favourite festive PJs (still dancing to ‘Jump Around’ – of course). The aim of the campaign is to make sure customers ‘go jumpers’ for the brand’s knitwear, ‘go pyjamas’ for its sleepwear range and crucially ‘go shopping’ at M&S. With the festive feel, dance appeal and epic soundtrack – albeit not the most festive of musical accompaniments – I think this is a great campaign to get everyone in the Christmas spirit!
Rhea: Visa, 2019
I absolutely love the second instalment of Visa’s #WhereYouShopMatters campaign. For the second year in a row, Visa is supporting the UK’s independent retailers with a campaign that seeks to encourage people to switch their focus from what they are buying to where they are buying. I love the user-generated aspect of this campaign, with Visa asking retailers to send in their own videos as part of a competition and sharing the success on social media.
And the winner is… John Lewis!
Catherine: John Lewis – 2011 and 2019
I’m always inquisitive to find out what the next John Lewis Christmas advert will entail and this year had no exception. The clear message of the building of friendship with Edgar, the unfortunate dragon, and Ava, the young girl, became apparent. Ava began to trust #ExcitableEdgar who unintentionally sparks chaos as he strives to be accepted by his village.
This Christmas ad starring the excitable young dragon demonstrates how, in some scenarios it’s best to leave some tasks to the experts to avoid disappointment. We can all play a vital role in the lead up to Christmas and like the old saying goes – we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and in this case poor Edgar. Maybe the villagers have now forgotten about the disastrous events which occurred in the lead up to their Christmas banquet (who knows?) after Edgar put into practice what he was good at, lighting up the village’s festive Christmas pudding in his own special way. This gave viewers a bit of humour and relief, and definitely hungry stomachs afterwards!
However, my all-time favourite advert from John Lewis was back in 2011, The Long Wait, about an excited young boy excited about the thought of giving his mum and dad their present rather than opening his.
Once again it’s got us all talking, so hat’s off to you John Lewis!
Krista: John Lewis, 2013
Mine is going back a while, but in 2013 John Lewis made me cry all the tears with The Bear and the Hare. It showed the story of a bear who had never seen Christmas because he hibernates for winter. His friend, the hare, gives him a gift of an alarm clock to make sure he wakes for Christmas Day to see the splendour of it all. At the time, my (now eldest) son was seven months old and about to experience his first ever Christmas, stare wide-eyed at the lights, take in all the smells and enjoy the magic and loveliness of having family close. It was a magical year and I always recall this advert for those reasons.
Jade: John Lewis, 2019
The John Lewis Christmas advert does it once again for me this year, yes, I know, *eye roll*… it’s the obvious one, but each year I look forward to it, and after the disappointment of last year’s advert, which seemed to be more of a PR stunt for Elton John to plug his film; Rocketman, I’m pleased to say that this year, John Lewis has regained my vote.
It’s not just another Christmas ad, it means that Christmas has officially arrived. It has a symbolic meaning – a bit like the Coca-Cola social media meme that fills your feeds; ‘you know it’s Christmas when you see the Coca-Cola ad.’ Well I know it’s Christmas when I see the John Lewis ad!
I’m a sucker for anything that pulls on the heartstrings and you can usually rely on the John Lewis Christmas to be a tear-jerker. Great PR requires consistency and sincerity and this year’s Excitable Edgar slots in perfectly with their usual Christmas messaging (with the exception of last year’s ad).
In case you haven’t seen it yet, Excitable Edgar is an over-enthusiastic dragon that continuously ruins the fun when he can’t control the flames from his mouth, resulting in no less than burning down the village Christmas tree. With most of the villagers becoming annoyed, Edgar locks himself away until his persistent friend Ava manages to find him a gift where he can show his usefulness to the villagers to be included in their Christmas day (I won’t spoil the surprise if you haven’t watched it yet).
It’s about social inclusion, giving, forgiving and hope – isn’t that what Christmas is really about? I wonder how many Excitable Edgars will be under the tree this year….
So there we have it, our favourite Christmas campaigns! Which one was your favourite this year? Tweet us @NeoPRLtd.