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Christmas adverts 2017, the Fox review

Posted by: Rosie Cordingley on 28 November 2017

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… or at least I’m hoping it will by the time I finish this post(!).

As B2B marketers, we don’t tend to go ‘all out’ with festive campaigns. But we do like to look at the creativity and strategy behind them. So, without further ado, here’s my review of this year’s Christmas adverts.

John Lewis – Moz the Monster

It’s lovely, a classic tear-jerker from John Lewis. But I have to admit, when I’d got over the cuteness, I did have to ask myself – what was that all about?!

Really?!

So the boy can’t sleep, and there’s a lovely friendly monster under his bed. It’s not a scary one, let’s be honest (which is pretty handy for John Lewis if they’re going to be selling Moz the Monster merchandise for charity). And then Moz gives the boy a nightlight so that he’s not scared of the dark anymore. In terms of storytelling, I feel like I’m missing a few key parts of the story. But it did succeed in making me want to buy that starry nightlight!

There are a few features of the integrated campaign that I like, for example their GIF keyboard is fantastic, and the fact that Google Home will read you the Moz the Monster book. And apparently there’s a Facebook VR filter too…

Aldi – Kevin the carrot (again)

I love this ad, I really do. It’s nice to have a continuation of the story. The storytelling is great, but the comedy line that he ‘peed’ himself ruined it for me.

I like the fact that they’ve introduced Katie the carrot as Kevin’s love interest, and it’s great that they’re going to be selling soft toy Kevins and Katies for charity. There are so many variations of the advert, showcasing all that Aldi has to offer… which I love… BUT I feel like they could do a bit better in terms of going digital with the campaign – as far as I can tell, all they are doing is having Kevin and Katie answering customer tweets.

We need more than that, Aldi. And you know it.

Debenhams – #YouShall

I didn’t want to like this one. I think it was because it started off with a great storytelling voiceover that suddenly jumped into social media madness. But it IS a great representation of a modern day fairytale. A few points must be deducted as I went to search for their campaign on Twitter with #findmyshoe rather than #YouShall (which is the official Twitter hashtag for the campaign).

According to Campaign, “175 Debenhams stores across the country have been given a ‘You Shall’ makeover, with more than 326,500 metres of glitter ribbon, 242,500 baubles, 12,500 twinkle tree lights and 100,000 stars transforming them into glittering Cinderella-themed ballrooms and window displays.” So, you’d have to agree that Debenhams are putting the effort in to make this campaign fully integrated and work across screen and retail.

They are even including interactive shop windows (with selfie stations), offering ‘pay-it-forward’ gifts as the clock strikes twelve, and teaming up with panto people to put on in-store performances.

What’s not to like?!

Sainsbury’s – Every bit of Christmas

This is Nelson’s favourite. It’s very heart-warming and it feels inclusive. And it’s very consistent with their ad campaigns from throughout the year. You know it’s Sainsbury’s and it just works.

After I watched the ad, I got a promoted Facebook post asking me if I wanted to join the karaoke version. It’s a good ad Sainsbury’s, but do I really want to sit at home and sing along? Sorry, no. Despite this, it IS nice to see a conscious effort to integrate the campaign across multiple mediums and to incorporate native advertising.

The flexibility of their campaign also means that they can adapt it as the weeks progress, using more clips by the people that prove most popular. That’s pretty clever.

M&S – Paddington meets ‘Santa’

M&S have gone for it this year. They’ve drafted in Paddington Bear to help get people in the Christmas spirit. It’s an action-packed thriller, and I think it’s fantastic. The obvious criticism is that the ‘burglar’ appears to swear at Paddington instead of thank him at the end… but you’d probably be a bit cheesed off if the little bear had ruined your robbery too.

In terms of an overall marketing campaign, it seems to be a pretty easy way to sell more things. Everyone loves Paddington and this campaign just happens to coincide with the release of Paddington 2 in cinemas.

Paddington on a bauble? Yes please.

Paddington slippers? Yep.

Paddington rucksack? Yes, I’d love one.

It’s a failsafe way to increase sales, so it’s good to know that proceeds will be going to the NSPCC. But not too many points for imagination I’m afraid.

Allegro – English for beginners

You probably don’t know what Allegro do. But they have absolutely smashed it with this ad. DISCLAIMER: It’s actually from 2016.

Give it a watch and try not to cry.

Go on, I dare you.

When it comes to Integrated Campaigns, think Fox Agency.

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