Well everyone, Autumn is in full swing: Kids are back to school, leaves are falling, shops are dusting off the old Halloween decorations. Yet, behind the scenes, we know brands are already well ahead of the game, getting themselves ready to launch this year’s Christmas ads. After long nights discussing what they’re going to push and how, we can rest assured that the yearly tidal wave of brand ads will be hitting our screens before long.
But what kinds of ads will your favourite brands be going for and, more importantly, why? We put our heads together and came up with a little list of the types of Christmas TV ads you’re likely to see this year, and why brands go for them.
We all know these TV spots. They’re the wonderful holiday stories that bring us into the world of our childhood: Santa, a White Christmas, Snowmen come to life. In 2021, Supervalu told the gorgeous story of an injured reindeer that learns to fly again. These ads do a great job in eliciting nostalgia and wonder in audiences. If a brand is great at making Christmas magic, then this is their gig.
Similar to the Magical Christmas ads, Heartwarmers go right for the feelings. However, they do this by taking a sober look at the more touching yuletide moments. A child showing emotional maturity, or a family remembering who is absent this year. They remind us that the Holidays are most importantly about the friends and family in our lives. We told a great version of this last year with Gala’s The Recipe; a moving story of a daughter trying to remember her late mothers Christmas pudding recipe.
Whatever story these end up becoming, they’re perfect for brands looking to say they bring us together during stirring holiday moments.
This one’s for the shoppers, the bread and butter of festive advertising. Stick on some fairy lights, a catchy tune, and then get as many of your products in there as you can. This is the throw mud at the wall tactic for any brand with so much to offer and only so much time to grab people’s attention. Argos had a good example of this in 2021 with its Baubles to last year as they showed everybody’s pent up festive shopping energy after the pandemic lockdowns.
These ads lean into the funside of Christmas: eating, singing, parties, presents, messing in the snow, switching on the fairy lights. It is about capturing the joyous side of the festivities. There are a wealth of ways that brands bring about Christmas euphoria, so each year it’s exciting to see what crop we’ll get. Sports Direct did it fantastically last year with their Go All Out snowball fight, starring popular sports personalities. And of course, we can never forget the trucks that light up the town in Coca Cola’s classic Holidays Are Coming.
Sometimes a brand might be heading into the Christmas season not necessarily looking to make a sales pitch. If that’s the case then expect them to just build goodwill and keep themselves in the conversation with an exciting PR stunt. For example, WestJet’s Christmas Miracle campaign to have people’s holiday presents waiting for them when they arrived on the other side of their flight spread like wildfire. Or even grocery retailer Iceland’s collaboration with Greenpeace, Say hello to Rang-Tan, which turned heads in 2018 for being banned on television due to its stance on palm oil production.
This last one may not be the traditional medium for video ads, but influencer marketing has proven itself to be a powerhouse in terms of audience attention. They ensure audiences get messages from trusted sources and are thus more receptive. More young people trust what a creator says about a brand over what a brand says about themselves. So as each year goes by, expect more interesting ways that brands use these creators to promote their Christmas offerings.
And there you have it folks, our breakdown of the Christmas ads likely to hit your screens this year. We never know when the wave will come, but we couldn’t be more excited to sit down to them all with a steaming coffee and start picking out our favourites. With that, best of luck to everyone in the industry as they release their next award winning Crimbo campaign.
Wishing you all your first Happy Holidays of the year,
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