Twas The Night Before Christmas… Well, two nights, but it’s almost here…

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. Okay, so it’s two nights before Christmas, but here at OTB we already have our stockings hung by the chimney and we’re watching out for Dasher and Dancer on our front lawn. With such little time to wait, we couldn’t resist one last look at the year’s best Christmas marketing campaigns. Back in November we promised to keep our eyes peeled for the latest instalment of the Christmas marketing saga, so here’s our final three of the year to get you in the festive spirit.

Supermarket Sweep

No, we’re not talking Dale and his 90s TV show, but the fact that this week industry publication Marketing Week has crowned Marks and Spencer (M&S) and Aldi as the winners of this year’s Christmas supermarket advertising battle.

M&S has been on many a marketing observers’ radar for some years, with the overhaul of their marketing strategy and rebrand on a phenomenal scale transforming the company from outdated and lack lustre to one of the sexiest, luxury brands on the high street, with head turning campaigns such as their ‘Adventures in Imagination’ and ‘Leading Ladies’ from back in 2014.

According to a study by Seattle-based PR firm Waggener Edstrom (WE) assessing the social media impact of each retailer’s Christmas advertising, ‘Marks & Spencer hit the top of the charts for the seven days ending 17 December’. ‘By tracking dialogue from when the ads first went out and […] subsequent engagements across Facebook, Twitter’ and a wide range of social media sites, the study was able to not only trace the brand perception among UK audiences but to see how these campaigns have been maintained since their release.

Social media centric campaigns such as ‘Pass the Parcel’ have, according to Marketing Week, put ‘a focus on promoting products to help their customers ‘be the perfect host’ [and] has played right into the consumer mindset and as a result drove some of the highest engagement.’

Likewise Aldi put in a strong performance according to Marketing Week’s article, arguing that their ‘long-haul approach based around gradually opening up competitions and storytelling is the winning Christmas strategy over big one-off campaigns’. By placing the product at the heart of its competitions and wider marketing strategy, it is argue that Aldi has successfully driven product awareness, recognition and recall among its consumers and reaped benefits this Christmas season.

Turkey anyone?

In a quirky addition to this year’s Christmas campaigns, insurance company Direct Line has offered “free turkey protection” to anyone needing a replacement turkey on the big day. Dubbed as a Turkey-mergency, the insurance policy covers this Christmas staple in the event of burnt, dropped, dry or undercooked status, and has been offered to Londoners signing up via directlineturkeyfix.com. Consumers are able to utilise Twitter in order to request a replacement, ready to eat bird in the event of a turkey emergency in exchange for registering details with the broker. Although perhaps a somewhat unconventional approach to seasonal marketing (and also suffering from a fairly limited geographical reach according to Marketing Magazine), this Saatchi and Saatchi campaign has to be hailed as one of the most creative approached to date capture seen this Christmas, and also wins good-cheer points for its promotion of local businesses and their produce at this busy time of year.

Season’s Greetings from the agency world

For one last Christmas round up for another year, The Drum published an interesting look behind the scenes at the world of inter-agency Christmas marketing. The minds behind some of the biggest and boldest campaigns of the season, it is often easy to forget that as agencies we also take this opportunity to market ourselves.

From a pretty extensive list offered by The Drum, perhaps some of our favourites included Amsterdam agency K\R’s Christmas clip which asked its viewers to imagine a world where trees are humans and humans are trees. The creatives which boast many a well-known client including Vodaphone, Smart and Beats by Dr Dre developed this unusual campaign whereby a human is left somewhat confused when decked in fairy lights and turned into a decoration. According to the Drum ‘the consultancy said it wasn’t its intention to make the strangest festive film of 2015, but that it’s “very happy” it has.’ See what you think to their ‘Khristmas Merry’ advert here.

While here at OTB we think we might stick to a Christmas card, here’s to wishing everyone a very merry marketing Christmas and a happy holidays, however you choose to celebrate. Come back next week for our last blog of the year as we turn our heads to 2016…

Twas The Night Before Christmas… Well, two nights, but it’s almost here…