The time has come again, and Christmas is just around the corner. As the biggest holiday of the year for modern marketers, it won’t be long until our screens are flooded with festive adverts and topical popups.
Christmas is the most important time of the year for any PR team. If you want your brand’s sales to skyrocket during the holiday season, it’s time to start crafting an impressive festive campaign.
Whether it’s the emotive storytelling to creating something festively fresh. Let’s have a closer look at some of the brand giants pioneering the Christmas ad scene in 2022, and dissect the strategies that PR professionals should add to their next campaign.
Marks & Spencers
We couldn’t write about Christmas campaigning and not talk about M&S. Known as the creme-de-la-creme of festive PR, it’s hard to find someone who hasn’t watched an M&S Christmas advert.
As one of the first Christmas campaigns to drop each year, M&S often lead the way for other brand giants. From their ability to storytelling, to creating fresh, innovative themes each year, the M&S Christmas advert is one to look out for.
(Image Source: Marks & Spencers)
This year, the popular food and clothing retailer has opted for humor in its 2022 campaign. Starring the famously funny Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, Frairy and Duckie’s festive adventures has got the PR world talking.
In the 90-second clip, a fairy (Dawn French) teaches Duckie (Jennifer Saunders) how to fly in a humorous twist on a magical tale. The beauty of this campaign is that the hyper-realistic animation makes it a great watch for a younger audience, while two comedy legends reel in older viewers.
“This Christmas, we know families want a cozy but special get-together at home,” Marketing Director, Sharry Cramond claims.
“We couldn’t resist reuniting two British icons in Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders with the British icon that is M&S. It’s a match made in heaven as they lend their voices to the glamorous Fairy and adorable Duckie, and it’s fantastic to have them on board. I predict Wylie the dog will go on to be a huge star!”
Named by Askattest as the most successful Christmas campaign creator, M&S rake in 65.5 percent more customers on the back of their ads each year, making them one to watch this festive season.
Another brand to watch this season is Disney. While they are still fairly new to the viral Christmas ad scene, their festive trilogy came to an end this year, with the final instalment of their Christmas ad campaign in partnership with Make A Wish.
Their ‘From Our Family To Yours’ campaign follows a granny and granddaughter, Lola and Nicole, as they celebrate festive traditions passed through generations. Watching Nicole grow up with her own children and now welcome a new addition into their home, this year’s instalment sees the family continue to create new traditions.
VP of marketing at Disney, Sarah Fox commented, “For the last three years, millions have watched our characters in our ‘From Our Family To Yours’ animated series, as they spend time together building connections and making memories.
Using an emotive tone, viewers have been quickly gripped by Disney’s storytelling in their 2022 campaign. Known as one of the best festive campaign tactics, creating characters that viewers care about and want to come back to is a great way to boost engagement.
(Image Source: Disney)
“We set out to create a family unit that would resonate with audiences worldwide. We are truly grateful for the support we have received for this festive campaign and hope that families and fans enjoy this fitting, heart-warming final instalment of the trilogy.”
Sports Direct went all in on its 2021 Christmas campaign, and 2022 is looking to be no different. After splashing out over £6 million on their sports star-filled ad in 2021, featuring the likes of Jack Grealish and Emma Raducanu, the sportswear brand has hired some big names once again.
(Image Source: Sports Direct)
The 2022 Christmas campaign is titled ‘Give Me Football’ and focuses on the upcoming world cup. Adding elements such as newsjacking to a campaign is a great way to boost virality. Using a topical event such as the 2022 World Cup, Sports Direct has quickly created the most timely campaign of the year.
Featuring footie legends such as Mason Mount and Eric Cantona, the advert hops to inject humor, festivity and a little bit of football onto our screens.
Better still, when teaming up with stars who hold such a large following online, Sports Direct can expect a large PR payoff. As popular opinion leaders in the sporting industry share the advert on their platforms, engagement will rise as a result.
Better still, the ad is likely to be featured on sports blogs as well as in the general press, again providing just how powerful a strong website copywriting and backlink strategy can be for brands that want to boost audience traction.
Another Christmas campaign placing a popular figure at the center, is Lego, in their festive collaboration with Katy Perry.
Belting out her classic hit, Firework, Katy Perry’s involvement has seen the campaign go viral across social media. After seeing TikTok success with Just Eat’s collaboration with the singer, Lego is quickly seeing viewing figures rise this Christmas.
The ad features children who are happily delivering gifts on a giant vehicle, giving us the same vibes as Coca-Cola’s traditional Christmas Cola Lorry advert that paved the way for Christmas campaigning many decades ago.
(Image Source: Lego)
“At the Lego Group, children are our role models—they inspire us with their creativity, curiosity and imagination, so who better to turn to for our holiday campaign?” stated Lego’s marketing officer, Julia Goldin.
With children at the center of this campaign, it’s no surprise that Lego wants to appeal to its younger audience.
“Our new campaign is a celebration of the creative power and optimism that children possess. They see endless possibilities for play and show us the difference play can make to the world as they rebuild it for the better. We want to inspire people of all ages to prioritize play over perfection and unleash a childlike joy this holiday season.”
Is Aldi one to watch?
Could Aldi be one to watch this year with their next instalment of the Kevin the Carrot series? After it was deemed 2021’s most effective Christmas campaign, we expect that 2022 will see the supermarket rival M&S for the top spot once again.
In fact, a recent Kantar study found that Aldi’s effectiveness in holding viewer attention played a key role in persuading the consumer to make a short-term contribution to the brand, in turn boosting long-term success.
Like Disney, Aldi’s use of a recurring character is the key to victory. Using Kevin’s humorous, yet innocent nature to tell stories about real-world issues creates the perfect blend of emotion and festive fun.
(Image Source: Aldi)
“Aldi’s new take on a Christmas classic is a great example of how a brand can convey serious messages about the purpose and social impact while still being great fun,” said Kantar’s creative head Lynee Deason.
“Aldi uses humor effectively, something especially important in a year when we all need an extra laugh, but it also has a deeper sentiment. The clever inclusion of ‘Marcus Radishford’ highlights a worthy cause—the campaign to provide meals to those in need—without coming across as too somber to viewers.”
The question is, just how will they top their success in 2022? Only time will tell, but it’s certain that Aldi will be one to watch moving forward.