The festive period is fast approaching! The beloved Christmas marketing campaign has been propelled to new heights over the last few years; consumers are bombarded with an excess advertisements during this period so more now than ever before, it has become so important for marketers to cut through the noise with a campaign that is not only noticed but remembered.
We asked Team P13 to cast their minds back and tell us their favourite festive marketing campaigns and here is what they had to say:
Irn Bru The Snowman
An absolute classic to kick us off. Launching in 2006, Irn Bru’s ‘The Snowman’ advert features a parodied version of the 1982 short film The Snowman, including a reworked version of the song, ‘Walking in the Air’. The young ginger protagonist opens a can of Irn Bru in his snowy garden where all of a sudden his snowman comes to life. The two then take off flying around various notable Scottish landmarks such as the Kelpies, Glenfinnan Viaduct, George Square and Edinburgh Castle, all whilst enjoying a can of Irn Bru. What makes this ad so special is its longevity; reimagined once in 2017, the advert has been a staple in Scottish culture for 16 years now. Simply iconic and voted the nations favourite in 2021, without a doubt this advert is a quintessentially Scottish sign that Christmas is very much on the horizon!
McDonald's Imaginary Iggy
Friendship is something that we all have in common. McDonald’s used this notion as the centre of their Imaginary Iggy advertisement about a young girl and her imaginary friend Iggy who become best friends throughout her childhood but drift apart as she grows into a teenager. When the now teenage girl sees a child in McDonalds appearing to share food with their imaginary friend – a memory she shares with Iggy – she returns to Iggy where he has been patiently waiting for her. This advert struck-a-chord with parents relating to their children growing up and leaving childhood behind but still being connected to their adolescent self. McDonalds’s is not a brand that we generally associate with emotional advertising which makes this campaign all the more touching.
Did you know Santa used to be associated with the colour green? That big, jolly man in a red suit with a white beard did not used to look the way he does now. He was actually depicted as a tall, gaunt elf like creature dawning green Nordic robes – a far cry from the Santa Claus we know today. In 1931, Coca-Cola debuted their version of Father Christmas with his fluffy white beard, large round stomach and Coke Red suit. Ever since then, the notions of Christmas and Coca-Cola have been cemented together. We know Christmas is on its way when we see the bright, lights of the Coca-Cola trucks appearing on our televisions.
On the centenary of the outbreak of WWI in 2014, Sainsbury’s launched their 1914 advert. This moving advert retells one of the most famous true stories from WWI, depicting a truce between British and German soldiers on Christmas Day 1914. Young men are seen exchanging stories, songs and engaging in a game of football before the distant sounds of gunfire remind both the men and the audience of the reality of war. This advert is totally different the typical commercialised Christmas campaign; it is not trying to sell anything but rather trying to make the audience think and remember. Sainsbury’s partnered with the Royal British Legion to “remember the fallen, whilst helping to raise funds to support the future living”. This campaign gave rise to a different meaning of Christmas spirit reminding people to cherish the sentiment of the festive season.
Home Alone Google Assistant
KEVIN! The Home Alone franchise has been at the heart of Christmas cinema for over 30 years now with the 1990 original making the top 10 of almost every ‘Best Movie List’. In 2018, Google reimagined some of the most recognisable scenes with their up-to-date Google Home technology. The original cast of Macaulay Culkin and Joe Pesci reprise their roles with Macaulay’s Kevin outsmarting Joe’s Harry with the help of his Google Assistant. Similar to many campaigns on our list, this advert play of the nostalgia aspect of Christmas revisiting these much-loved characters in a modern effective way.
ASDA Have your Elf a Merry Christmas
From Home Alone to one of the famous iconic Christmas films of the 21st century. Comedian Will Ferrell is Buddy the Elf leaving the safety of the north pole to venture to New York City. The much-loved festive film has been adopted by supermarket giant ASDA for their 2022, ‘Have your Elf a Merry Christmas’. The original film footage is weaved seamlessly throughout scenes of ASDA workers preparing the store for Christmas with Buddy reminding the staff that “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear”. This ad is so effective because it uses a very well-known Christmas figure in Buddy allowing ASDA to connect their brand to this established festive icon.
Vodafone ‘The Gift of Communication’
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the huge scale of digital exclusion of the most vulnerable in our society. As part of Christmas 2021, Vodafone launched their campaign ‘everyone.connected’ committing to lift one million British people living in digital poverty by the end of 2022. This was a fully integrated multimedia campaign across TV, radio, newspaper and social media channels. What makes this campaign so effective is the relation between Vodafone and their cause; Vodafone used their platform as a leading telecommunications to highlight this serious issue of digital poverty facing a large portion of the population.
So, there we have P13’s favourite marketing campaigns. We cannot wait to see what this year’s additions to the festive archives!
If you would like to discuss your future festive marketing, or any communications for that matter, get in touch!