December is upon us and so are all things Christmas, much to the excitement of those who love this season of cheer and magic. From seasonal sweets, drinks, Christmas movies on TV, carols on radio stations and cities covered in fairy lights, everywhere you look the Universe conspires to get that Christmas spirit running through you. I cannot say I do not enjoy all these things, being a lover of this season too, but there are a few more things I enjoy through the month of December and those are the Christmas adverts.
You only have to ask people excited for Christmas and they’ll tell you how the jolly season starts when the Coca-Cola Christmas advert starts running on TV. For many years (at least in Romania) they had that advert with Santa and the iconic Coca-Cola truck with the song “Holidays are coming”, but I personally enjoy the new one from the US a bit more. I like how they used popular beliefs and sayings, turned them around and made them work for the brand and for the whole “Share a Coke” idea stating things like:
· “Nothing in life is for free.”
· “Don’t believe everything you’re told.”
· “Nothing lasts forever.”
They apply them to specific situations and proving them wrong. I thought it was on point and very relatable.
Another lovely advert comes from the UK and one of their supermarket chains (second largest chain in the UK) called Sainsbury’s, which this year brought to life a very much loved children’s book character, a cat named Mog. So cuddly and yet so prone to trouble as you will see below. In a behind the scenes video it is talked about how challenging it was to deliver feeling and emotion only through the cat’s look and facial expressions as the character can’t speak. I think they absolutely nailed it.
The next one, that I want to tell you about, is the most emotional one. It comes from John Lewis, a department store, a brand that each year manages to get the advert’s song stuck in my head for months. Yes, I’ve been following their adverts every year since 2012 and I enjoyed each and every one. The one from this year also raises awareness regarding elderly people, making a strong point in reminding us to value everyone in our lives: “Show someone they’re loved this Christmas.”
Curry’s PC World
Now I’ll jump to an advert that is on the funny side, just to lighten up the mood set by the John Lewis one. It’s actually a series of adverts all under the slogan: ‘Spare the act.” It’s a campaign by Curry’s PC World that focuses on the receiving of gifts and on the interactions between people during Christmas. Did you ever receive a gift you did not like and had a hard time putting a smile on your face as to not hurt the person that gave it to you? Do you have trouble pretending that certain food, one of your relatives or your friends made, is good when it actually isn’t, but you want to avoid unwanted chats at the Christmas table? Well, no worries then: Jeff Goldblum is here to save the day and teach you how to act to keep things running smoothly through the holiday season.
The last one I chose is a rather daring one, but equally as funny as it reaches to the very well-known nativity scene where the three wise man come to baby Jesus with gifts and wonder at the miracle. What brings people together now in celebration, in a bit of an exaggerated manner as one guy in the advert says himself, is a bag. A Mulberry bag that is. The thing is, it is not just a bag and anyone who has a hard time accepting this will attract unwanted looks. I think this advert is the one that stands mostly out of the crowd between all the other Christmas ads. It’s a Mulberry miracle.
I enjoy adverts
I am one of those people who doesn’t really mind watching adverts and gets excited when stumbles over a good one, one that I actually enjoy and feels very “spot on”. One might say “Why get so excited for an advert? It’s just there to get you to buy that specific product and on top of that constantly interrupts your favourite programme or movie.” Yes, that is true. I do not enjoy having a movie being interrupted in the middle of an interesting scene either. But if I see an ad I actually like, I can’t help but think about the brainstorming process, the debates that the team in charge had to have to that point of deciding how the ad will be. Or when did that “AHA!” moment happen for the person that came up with the main idea and how. That is pretty fascinating to me. And if the ad also has a good song then I’m hooked, because it will keep playing in my head and maybe go onto my iPod playlist.
During the Christmas season many brands get into the competition for customers and customers’ attention. Not all manage to put together an ad with a thoughtful or catchy idea that might be cliché, but is represented in such a way that it feels new all over again. That’s why I chose the above ads: they either stuck with me from the first viewing, either nailed the cliché Christmas related slogan, either had a great song or managed to stand out of the crowd in the right way.
Ads like these are ads that might actually make me not push the “skip” button on websites, unless I’ve watched them on YouTube way too many times and has become unhealthy. Also, ads like these get beyond just being regular ads and are also great video content as many have a lot of money invested in things like animation as the one from Sainsbury’s has with the lovely cat Mog (here’s a behind the scenes video). Or the one from John Lewis with the man on the moon and all those space shots, that also stands as a raising awareness campaign for "Age UK" which goes to show that it is not just about selling, but also about helping people that might specifically have a hard time during the holidays. I am a bit curious how many people actually act on it after seeing ads like these that also promote some sort of charity because they can be pretty high in emotion and can make an impact.