The Christmas ad wars in the UK have officially begun. Some are trying to get the nation teary-eyed, some are attempting to be funny, and some are downright annoying, in my opinion! There are a few clear runners this year – namely John Lewis and Sainsbury’s. Whether you love them or hate them, you can’t deny their creativity – and the fact they’ve got millions of hits on YouTube and generated far-reaching discussions shows the marketing genius behind the campaigns.
Here are a few of the most talked-about…
Mog’s Christmas Calamity – Sainsbury’s
Remember the Sainsbury’s ad last year – the one that sparked controversy with its re-enactment of the German vs. English soldiers Christmas Day football match? This year, they’ve opted for a much more innocuous subject – an ad based on Mog the cat, the much-loved children’s book character.
That doesn’t mean it’s bland, though; the animation is simply stunning, and the ad runs for an impressive three minutes. Check out some behind the scenes footage here to show how Mog came to life.
#ManOnTheMoon – John Lewis
John Lewis – aka King of Christmas ads – has, once again, produced a tear-jerking, sentimental, two-minute story about a girl who befriends an old man on the moon. Touching story? Check. Modern cover of a classic song? Check. High production? Check. It also serves as a reminder to look after the elderly this Christmas, with links to Age UK. If you’re not one of the 14 million (and counting) who’s looked at it on YouTube yet, grab your tissues and take a peek here.
Handmade Right Here – Morrisons
Bring back Ant and Dec! Morrisons has ditched the duo for this year’s Christmas ad to focus on the ‘handmade’ quality of the stores (Handmade? Really?). Anyway, it doesn’t really work – it’s pretty lacklustre and not very memorable. Have a look here and see if you agree.
Your Christmas Your Rules – House of Fraser
Now this one has really challenged the norm – rather than going down the sentimental route, it’s all about the notion that every family has their own little Christmas traditions, and that these should be embraced. Stylish, original and full of impressive dance moves by some alternatively fashionable characters (choreographed by the same person who worked with Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez and Justin Bieber) – it certainly took me by surprise. See the making of it here.
Others include Tesco’s series of Christmas ads, involving a family where the ‘son’ looks about ten years younger than his parents; Currys’ pretty funny ads featuring Jelf Goldblum who offers acting lessons on how to act delighted when you receive an unwanted gift; and Argos’ #JustCantWait, which sees a load of its products tumble down a ski slope.
For me, Sainsury’s is the front-runner; charming, timeless and incredibly cute. In part, it could be due to my love of cats, but I think it’s just so beautifully done, and the story-telling behind it is clear for all ages to understand. There’s a lot of different directions this year from various big players. What are your thoughts?