ThinkOTB Agency

‘Tis the season for Christmas ads!

December 14, 2022

The run up to Christmas is always typified by consumers eagerly awaiting Christmas ads. Particularly the John Lewis ads. This much-loved brand and their marketing agency not only reflect the public mood, but maximise consumer spend during the festive period.

With brands allocating a large part of their marketing budget to Christmas and World Cup  campaigns, knowing that their advertising will be much more successful over the period, Kantar estimates that over £8 billion will be spent on ads this winter. Marketers will be aiming to get the sentiment just right and create compelling Christmas ads that resonate with our target audience, by using a range of tactics from emotional pulls to charity tie-ins.

So it’s no wonder that Christmas advertising campaigns continue to grow in both popularity and profitability. Brands capitalise on digital advertising in order to maximise the ROI and generate significant increases in social engagement.

Great Christmas ads

But what actually makes a great ad? It isn’t just a beautifully shot film and some tear-jerking music. Christmas ads must encompass several key ingredients:

  • It needs to be emotionally intelligent and connect with the audience either nostalgically or by tapping into a social truth.
  • They also need to be authentic and consistent with the brand itself.
  • The brand needs to be at the heart of the advert by telling a clear story that the brand can own

So, here are the Christmas ads that we think have hit the mark in 2022 and why:

1. Best for an integrated campaign: Aldi

Aldi’s Christmas Kevin the Carrot campaign has run over the last few years as we follow the exploits of Kevin and his family and shows no sign of grating on us yet (excuse the pun!). Aldi’s campaign focuses on humour and the merchandise has been a massive success. When the collection of toys was released at 8am on November 17 it was reported that 73,000 had joined the virtual queue on the Aldi website.

2. Best for humour: Lidl

Lidl’s new Christmas advert features the cute Lidl Bear and it’s been appearing all over the country on TV, in newspapers, and on social media. Lidl have made a point of not selling the Lidl Bear, to emphasise the pressure families are under to provide unrealistic expectations. The campaign will instead encourage donations to Lidl Bear’s Toy Bank which delivers toys to children across the UK.

3. Best for effectiveness: Cadbury

And the great Christmas ads haven’t been solely on TV, Cadbury’s ‘Secret Santa’ campaign celebrates generosity and kindness during the Christmas period. Using billboards with a QR code, consumers mail Dairy Milk bars anonymously to friends and family. This clever concept taps into the meaning of Christmas whilst giving a nod to the cost-of-living crisis that’s in-keeping with the brand.

4. Best for sentiment: John Lewis

John Lewis have smashed it again, getting the sentiment of the story spot on – managing to pull on our heartstrings and highlight an important social issue at the same time. Emotional but uplifting.

When it comes to spending marketing budget, it’s proof that allocating enough budget to the concepting stage to get the tone right and zig when others zag, really pays off.

5. Best for giving back: Co-Op

The Co-op has confirmed it won’t be releasing a Christmas advert this year. Instead, it will fund a cost of living project with its partner, Your Local Pantry. The funding will triple the network of Your Local Pantry stores to 225 across the UK and give members access to discounted food. The initiative was supported by an Instagram cook-along at a Your Local Pantry with chef and rapper Big Zuu and author of One Pound Meals, Miguel Barclay, to share tips on making groceries last longer.

Which Christmas ads have stolen the show for you in 2022? Do you agree with our festive shortlist? Get in touch with us.


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