Ah, the festive season is upon us. How do we know? Is it because the high street’s lights are twinkling? Or that Terry’s chocolate oranges are back on sale? Perhaps… a certain frost in the air? No, it’s because the retailers have released their annual Christmas adverts, of course.
The release of Christmas adverts has become one of the most exciting happenings on our calendars, symbolically marking the beginning of the festive period. Each year we wait in high anticipation, hoping to be the first to catch a glimpse of them. Will they make us laugh? Will they make us cry? Either way, it’s a highlight in the 24 fingers annual calendar.
It was in 1995 when Coca-Cola first made an iconic advert, and the infamous Christmas truck has been appearing on our screens this time of year ever since.
— Coca-Cola GB (@CocaCola_GB) November 19, 2016
In more recent years, however, the UK’s retail supermarkets have been in a race with each other to see who can release the best Christmas advert. And as competition grows fierce (and TV becomes less important) they have each turned focus to social media in order to promote their adverts. No wonder really, as reports show that UK retailers see enormous sales conversions through social media – last year 62% of those were recorded through Facebook alone.
This year, each launched their adverts on Facebook and Twitter. They adopted unique hashtags to accompany their adverts, encouraging people to talk about them online. They’ve firmly pinned these to the top of all their Twitter feeds, too. Just take a look…
For 2016, we were first introduced to #BustertheBoxer from John Lewis. Having been out only a fortnight, the advert has already racked up over 19 million views on YouTube, and was shared more times in the first 24 hours of release than any of its predecessors.
Marks & Spencer’s warmed our hearts with a gift signed #LoveMrsClaus, and has been viewed over 6 million times on YouTube already:
— M&S (@marksandspencer) November 11, 2016
Sainsbury’s highlighted the importance of spending Christmas with loved ones with the fun and family-oriented advert, #ChristmasIsForSharing. The ad almost clocked up 10 million views within a week:
— Sainsbury's (@sainsburys) November 13, 2016
Aldi catered to the kids with #KevinTheCarrot. Dubbed as ‘the humble carrot’, it’s been viewed a comparatively humble one-million times so far:
— Aldi Stores UK (@AldiUK) November 7, 2016
and Waitrose brought it home with a lovely tale of a Robin coming #HomeForChristmas, viewed two million times:
— Waitrose & Partners (@waitrose) November 13, 2016
John Lewis – who are never to be outdone – went one step further this year and were the first to snap-up a Snapchat to help launch their advert. We’ve seen many other successful campaigns do the same this year, so this comes as no real surprise.
Using multiple platforms to spread their Christmas message is a very strategic move, and a good one at that. Multi-channel marketing creates the greatest amount of engagement and dramatically increases audience reach. It’s certainly the way forward and according to Forrester Research, by 2020, 53% of retail sales across Europe will be influenced by a brand’s online presence. That gets 24 thumbs up from us.