Christmas is a great time to drive home the connection between consumers and the brand. But not everyone can pull it off. You likely need to have an established love for your brand already or it would come across as lacking authenticity. Brands here like Coke, Kellogg’s, Budweiser, Tim Horton’s, Canadian Tire and even Target have strong emotional connectivity that they can use at this time of year. But the boss of Christmas season has to be John Lewis who every year comes out with something huge. Some get too wrapped up in making sure they sell product at the same time. That’s a complete turn-off.
The best Christmas ads I’ve ever seen are from John Lewis, the department store in the UK. They use beautiful music, a movie-like storyline that demonstrates the beauty of gift giving, stretched out over 90 seconds. No words are needed to tell the story. They are not loaded with so much branding that they would turn you off before inviting you in. They tug at the heart and bring a reminder of what the season is all about: the gift of Giving.
I think this is the best one in the John Lewis (2011) series so far, with a nice twist at the end.
This is also a great one from 2010
And finally, you can see the one from 2009, which really shows that over the 3 years, they’ve been able to create this ownable idea for themselves.
But then, this year’s John Lewis Christmas ad is a bit different. As people have started to watch for the next great John Lewis Christmas ad (myself included), I guess they have to push the creativity, but this isn’t quite what I was hoping for. A bit too dark for me, a bit disconnected from the John Lewis brand or the series of ads over the past 5 years. While a nice story, I think it’s a miss. But the next one is only 11 months away.
I may be wrong, so if you love the new John Lewis ad, tell me you love it.
Coca Cola, the brand who came up with the look of how we see Santa Claus, makes a special ad every Christmas, to recreate the magic of Christmas. Here’s a few great ones over the years:
From Argentina, here’s a brilliant take on spreading the joy of the season. It’s a powerful message from a brand that has always owned Christmas.
A very wholesome TV ad by Coke where life takes place in a snow globe.
And here’s a cute one…
The Budweiser Clydesdales were first introduced to the public in 1933, to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition. August A. Busch Jr. presented the hitch as a gift to his father. And that hitch proceeded to carry the first case of post-Prohibition beer. Every Christmas you’ll see a team of Clydesdales pulling a case, a great icon of the American beer brand.
Not technically a Christmas ad because it air during the Super Bowl, but Clydesdales always make you think of Christmas. This ad was aired just a few months and will give you goose bumps even a decade later.
This is your classic sentimental Christmas ad, talking about family. It’s done very well by retailer Canadian Tire. They told a nice story, about the modern family.
This ad will make you cry just a little bit. A nice touch of reality about being a parent from the old school to the new school.
A pretty darn whole ad, but pretty darn cute. We do need a bit of wholesome serotonin at this time of year.
The Target lady makes me laugh every time. While everyone else is using kids in a tear-jerking sentimental way, Target uses humor and makes the art of getting the deal the idea. Perfect fit for their value based positioning. This Target Lady in red is adorable, representing the cheesiest of shoppers in all of us.
What’s the best Christmas ad you’ve seen?
If you are in the mood to see other great advertising, here’s a few other stories:
- 5 Ads that Will Make You Burst Out Laughing
- 5 Ads that will give you Goosebumps
- New TV ad from Samsung: Is it “smart” to Take on Apple?
- Nike’s “Find Your Greatness” Campaign is stealing the Olympics
- Confession: I killed two doctors in 2006
- 5 Best Sports Ads of 2012
- 5 Ads Based on a Consumer Insight 5 Best Sports Ads of 2012
To see a training presentation on getting better Advertising: