It’s that time of year – the Christmas lights are shining on Oxford Street and the nights are drawing in.
As we all know, it isn’t just Christmas TV programmes and films which help build seasonal hype. Big name brands and retail chains across the nation are obviously very well aware of the fact that ‘‘tis the season to eat, drink and be merry’ and, as such, go to town on their Christmas campaigns; each one trying to produce a little more sparkle and pizazz than the year before in order to capture the nation’s (and the media’s) hearts and minds.
A recent phenomenon has seen consumers becoming increasingly excited about the latest seasonal advertisements from big British names, encouraging brands to go to the extent of producing teaser adverts for their Christmas campaigns and granting networks premiere showings of their festive offerings.
There are of course certain rules which brands should adhere to when producing the most important creative peak of their calendar year. In order for the advert to convey the right message and achieve the desired reaction, it is essential to ensure it is in keeping with the company’s brand equity and that you know who your main audience is, and what they will find memorable.
The big question remains, however – what elevates your advert from being a good Christmas ad to a great Christmas ad?
There are obviously a large number of ways to respond to this question and, often, luck and good timing play a huge part in securing your festive success, neither of which you can control. There are however a few golden rules to follow if you wish to stand out from the Christmas-jumpered crowd.
Take this year’s talk of the town; the new John Lewis ‘love-struck snowmen’ advert, which follows on from the success of last year’s ad. The clever thing about John Lewis’ ads is that, whilst they are all original, they all have recognisable features which the viewer can instantly identify with the franchise. They each have great covers of famous songs which become instant hits, similar colour themes, a short silent film style and an epic feel – with minimal mentions of the brand itself.
And what about Coca-Cola’s worldwide festive advert – so popular and recognisable it almost transcends the brand. The advert stays almost exactly the same every year, with the main change this year being the integration of social media. The bright lights and that jingle are synonymous with the festive season, marking the start of the holiday season on a global scale and guaranteeing Coca-Cola success year after year.
Another point worth noting is that your seasonal advert needs to have global appeal – with Christmas being a Christian holiday it is important that your ad is relevant to the cornucopia of other religions and cultures ensuring that you don’t limit your target audience. There isn’t a single reference to Christmas in either of the aforementioned adverts so that, no matter where your advert is broadcast, everybody is able to enjoy the ad and feel the festive cheer.
Every brand wants a slice of the Christmas advertising cake each year and each approaches their campaign differently. We can, however, draw the conclusion that the success of the festive advert depends on the brand really knowing what their consumers want and giving them just that – plus a little something extra.
The holidays are coming…