Tis the season to be jolly! - Fresh Nous

Tis the season to be jolly……..fa la la la……..Christmas adverts!

OK, so whilst we focus our energies on practical marketing that doesn’t cost the earth we’re still marketers and so we can’t help but allow ourselves to get a little caught up in the excitement of the Christmas advert battle.
So forgive us for the premature frivolities and join us for our shower of festive marketing.

So I’m going to start with the creators of Santa as we know him. Yes it’s from the other side of the pond, and yes it’s a idealistic view of Christmas but it’s still the benchmark Christmas advert and when we hear those bells we know Christmas is coming – Coca Cola.

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Whereas Coca-Cola, and in fact many of the big hitters, have kept product placement to a minimum the next ad is all about the product all about reality over perception. Aldi aim to show the audience that, not only are they not bargain bucket, but they are a touch of class this Christmas. Well we’d all like Jools Holland tinkering the ivories while we pull our crackers anyway!

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So back to ‘tingle factor’. Had I mentioned ‘tingle factor’? Well this is my official metric for scoring the effective of heartstring tug. Gareth Malone’s Military Wives performance scores 10, a ‘celebrity’ sobbing about having to eat obscure Australian animal parts (for which they have been paid huge sums of money) scores a 0.
We had a debate here in the office about where this next ad scored for tingle factor. We know it was aiming high and it looked hopeful but ultimately we’re scoring at a 4. See what you think.

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Moving on to another of the ‘usual suspects’. This one has an impressive accompanying social media campaign (#followthefairies) and a series of pre-launch stunts around the country where the fairies performed random acts of kindness. My six year old loves the ad and, as for me, well maybe less said the better….unless those fairies want to take on my ironing of course!

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So lets get to the ones we’re all talking about shall we. Yes people it’s penguin time. John Lewis never really fail with their ads do they. Some are awesome and some are just good but I can’t recall a dud. It’s heart warming, it’s understated and yes of course a high scorer for tingle factor. As a piece of creative I struggle to knock it. But, can I really get behind marketing that pushes us, already strapped, parents to spend £35 of a cuddly penguin? Nope sorry John Lewis!

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Stop Press! I was about to conclude this shower of sparkly festive ponderings when, on the 12th appeared one last ad that I feel is crucial to include. Now last year this brand had it for me. Their ground breaking idea of “Christmas in a day” collected clips of everyday people and families around the UK preparing for and enjoying Christmas. They pulled it all together into an hour long YouTube clip which, should you have an hour, is well worth a watch. The main ad they put out was, for me, a tingle factor max out when the military father returns home at the end.

This year they have had a bit of controversy – was it right to cash in on their chosen topic. Was it cynical exploitation of one joyful moment in 4 years of misery and suffering. Did the charity they claim to support get much from it – I do hope so.

For me the message that something good can come out of something so genuinely horrific and that Christmas is a time for hope is true to the spirit of the season. Beautifully produced and understated for me the winner this year is, again, Sainsburys.

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Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!