Much has been discussed and debated recently about the round of 2015 Christmas retail TV commercials. They’ve become symbolic of the state of the nation at Christmas and make for entertaining discussion, even if not always a change of loyalty.
The annual unveiling is happening earlier and where it used to be via television, it’s now frequently via social media channels – great for us marketers as it allows for even more inane commentary with figures to back it up!
But what’s interesting is that, over the last couple of years, creative agencies have been nudging clients towards a social message in these seasonal adverts – very much the case last year, with Monty the penguin looking for real love and Sainsbury’s showing a First World War truce. But, is this a good thing or not…?
As consumers, we are in buying mode at this time of year. So are these adverts for our entertainment, or to sell product? Surely marketers need to question why they’re paying the highest media rates in the year for screening the Christmas commercial.
Here’s my take…
Lidl established itself as a bigger player last year, adding to their position this year with its light reminder on how to prepare for Christmas, with the Lidl School of Christmas – and it reminds you where to buy your shopping.
Tesco proffered cosy, familiar faces preparing for Christmas in store, entertaining and encouraging with familiarity and sight of their products. Argos focused on delivery and convenience this year, Morrisons on what they hand make, encouraging us to “make it a magical Christmas” but only Aldi, Boots and M&S chose to present us with some products we might want to adorn our Christmas tables with.
Those that have risked their position are Sainsbury’s, with a comical approach and a safety message delivered by Mog; John Lewis reminds us that Christmas is for sharing and remembering – although it has come under fire for being inappropriate… Waitrose asked what makes our Christmas, encouraging us to think and reflect and Asda entertained with its #becauseitschristmas campaign – a series of 5 second commercials followed by a range of typical Christmas scenes, made to entertain and get people ready for Christmas.
New entrants include high-end brand Mulberry, delivering comedy with a tease on the nativity scene and Harvey Nichols which amusingly challenged the ‘gift-face’ we use in awkward moments… So, social message or one-upmanship? What works for you?