Last month, we vowed to exclude Christmas content from CreativeEye. Not because we’re a big group of Scrooge’s, mind you – but because we wanted to save all of the Christmas works for this special, festive December edition.
This month features some of 2017’s best creative Christmas marketing campaigns, such as John Lewis’ highly-anticipated Moz the Monster debut and Debenhams’ new interactive campaign, as well as some festive ad magic from Apple.
So, if you need that extra push to get into the seasonal spirit, or if you’re just looking for a little festive creative inspiration, this one’s for you.
John Lewis – #MoztheMonster
Spotted by: Daisy Roberts
Kick-starting this month’s CreativeEye is John Lewis. Afterall, who else could we begin with?
The retailer has delivered yet again with an emotional Christmas ad campaign, starring their newest creation Moz the Monster.
Over the years, we’ve seen the rise of some iconic Christmas characters (we’re sure you remember Buster the Boxer from last year), and Moz is a worthy addition to the group.
Staying true to the John Lewis Christmas ad formulae, we follow a young protagonist, Joe, and his journey through bonding with the monster under his bed – Moz.
In just over two minutes, the ad captures both the youthful spirit and imagination of Christmas through various sequences before signing off with this year’s slogan: “for gifts that brighten their world”.
Another one to add to John Lewis’ list of great Christmas ads.
Debenhams – #YouShall find your fairytale Christmas
Spotted by: Tom Whitehouse
Over the last few years, storytelling has become an integral part of Christmas advertising as it captures the heart of the festive spirit.
Debenhams is no exception to this rule, only this time it’s taken this a step further with a campaign that also encourages audience interaction.
As opposed to last year, the department store has created an advert which effectively anchors emotional engagement, reinventing the Cinderella fairytale in a bid to add that extra layer of enchantment.
Debenhams released their advert in two instalments and, to further the campaign, participating stores have engaged customers with “clock strikes 12” moments. This is where they issued out free gift cards, meals and cups of coffee.
This is new to Debenhams and its marketing, which last year saw their adverts less overtly centred around emotion and magic.
Richard Cristofoli, marketing director at Debenhams, commented: “The way customers engage with brands is more fluid and dynamic it has ever been.
“We have the opportunity, particularly with everything going on in the world, to have some form of emotional engagement and that is important for the brand.”
Ingenious thinking, Debenhams. Not only have you jumped on the bandwagon with emotional advertising at Christmas, but you’ve also joined in with the increasing trend that is audience interaction.
Sainsbury’s – #everybitofChristmas
Spotted by: Andy Pavey
Sainsbury’s have gone bold this Christmas with an advert which is equal parts catchy as it is boisterous.
It’s definitely marmite. You will either love it or hate it – and we’re not ashamed to say that we’re the former. They’ve gone for an ad with national appeal, and it works.
Their campaign is aptly called “#everybitofChristmas”, and features a cast of around 200 people singing about all of the festive things Brits love to do over Christmas. It also includes special cameos from some festive favourites, such as Kermit the Frog and Ricky Tomlinson.
According to Sainsbury’s, the ad was created with the same personality and energy at the crux of its other adverts, only this time focusing on customers and what works for them.
Not only does the advert sum up all of the special things we love about Christmas, but it does so in a way that’s relevant, light, and fun.
Good work, Sainsbury’s.
Peacock’s – #XMASFACTOR
Spotted by: Kelly Scanlon
This year, Peacock’s has surely delivered the Wow Factor. Or rather, the X Factor, as it features a handful of previous X Factor contestants in a lively and vibrant ad.
While many other brands have taken to appealing to the emotions, the Peacock’s advert adds bounce to the wider marketing mix with an abundance of bubbly festive content that’s pure entertainment and, let’s face it, a bit of a guilty pleasure.
We’re treated to Jedward, Honey G, Sam Bailey, and Wagner gathering around a present-filled room in an advert that’s about rapping. Sorry – wrapping.
Way to add a little something different to the Christmas ad competitiveness, Peacock’s.
Aldi – Kevin the Carrot
Spotted by: Amy Goodwin
Aldi’s done something quite special here. They’ve decided to give Kevin the Carrot a comeback, only this time he’s on the look-out for love. Enter Katie the Carrot.
Aldi has released a series of instalments to Kevin and Katie’s narrative, concluding it with an advert that reveals their children – Jasper, Baby Carrot, and Chantenay – opening presents on Christmas day.
Kevin and Katie aren’t just the stars of the advert, they’ve also become this year’s mascots for Aldi. You can even purchase Kevin online on the Aldi website.
We’re always big fans of strange but loveable brand characters, and so we give a big enthusiastic thumbs-up to Kevin and hope that he returns next year, too.
Jigsaw – Together Through the Years
Spotted by: Kelly Scanlon
British fashion brand Jigsaw has collaborated with the National Film and Television School (NFTS) this year, creating an advert which is equally as visually compelling as it is emotional.
Quite apt, really, that a luxury fashion brand would turn to the art of stop-motion to tell an emotional story of two neighbours who rekindle a past relationship in adult life.
It’s no secret that stop-motion is a visually stunning film form, as it articulates tradition and nostalgia just as powerfully as it does warmth and emotion. Perfect for a fashion brand in the festive marketing competition.
The ad’s director, NFTS MA Student Nick Cinelli, sought to create a story which communicates the artistry of stop-motion whilst remaining aligned with Jigsaw’s clothing aesthetic. He commented: “We made the sets out of paper to keep everything looking sharp and then worked with the fabric puppets to create this really cool look that would match the clothing and colour choices.
“I really like the fabric on the faces of the puppets. It adds a lovely warmth to the whole piece that works really well with Jigsaw’s aesthetic.”
You’ve done us proud, Jigsaw. And kudos to you, NFTS, for delivering outstanding visual artistry.
Pantone – 2018 Colour of the Year
Spotted by: Simon Lister and Matt Ansell
Putting a temporary hold on Christmas works, number 7 provides for a rather wild-card of an insert.
American corporation Pantone has announced that the colour of 2018 will be ultra-violet.
The exuberant colour is said to have been chosen as a reflection of the thoughts of the year, nodding towards spirituality and space exploration.
Pantone Colour Institute executive director Leatrice Eiseman said: “We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination, […] From exploring new technologies and the greater galaxy, to artistic expression and spiritual reflection, intuitive Ultra Violet lights the way for what is yet to come.”
Pantone said that the colour is also associated with popular musical icons, such as Prince and David Bowie.
We are interested to see what this colour brings for brands in 2018, from web development to TV advertising – is this the rise of ultra violet?
Lego – Give the Gift of Imagination
Spotted by: James Davison
For the first time since 2013, Lego has made a comeback to Christmas advertising by referencing its easily recognisable rattling sound.
Lego have called their Christmas campaign: “Give the Gift of Imagination”, which looks to celebrate the imagination and creativity of children. It also appeals to the nostalgic few who used to play with Lego products when they were younger.
The ad features various children picking up a wrapped present and shaking it, revealing the familiar Lego sound.
Welcome back Lego, you’ve reclaimed your rightful place in the Christmas campaigning game.
Apple – Move someone this Christmas
Spotted by: Tom Whitehouse
This has been a great year for Apple, and what better way to boast about it than to create an advert rich in special effects and full of romance.
That’s exactly what this campaign is – an elegant demonstration of Apple technology under the guise of emotional and romantic storytelling.
As always, Apple’s advertising thrives on selling a feeling. A feeling of fantasy and of the magical.
That’s what’s being explored here: we follow a young girl as she flashes her iPhone X and pops in some Apple AirPods, leading her into a fantasy world where her dancing defies gravity and she connects with someone special. Even the filter changes help guide us into a world that supposedly only Apple holds the key to.
You never fail to disappoint, Apple. Once again you’ve provided brilliantly creative marketing.
So, there you have it. Our Christmas edition of CreativeEye, and the final one of 2017.
This has been an incredible year for creative marketing, and we’re sure that the following year is only going to be as, if not more, impressive and innovative.