The Best Christmas Marketing Campaigns of All Time
Whilst at its very core Christmas is a religious holiday, over the years it has grown and manifested into a huge commercial smorgasbord. As soon as the clock strikes midnight on November 1st, the first of the Christmas adverts start to trickle on to our screens and Mariah Carey’s bank account starts preparing for its annual influx.
Tis’ the season of giving; tis’ the season of kindness; but more than anything, tis’ the season of marketing. Christmas has become a rat race between brands, big and small, marketing their businesses in the most creative and memorable ways in order to attract swarms of Christmas shoppers to their doors and websites. As a digital marketing agency, we can’t help but admire some of the best marketing campaigns of recent years, and in this blog, we’d like to share with you some of our favourites (and most successful).
Christmas as we know it would not be the same without our yearly fix of Coca Cola’s Christmas marketing campaigns. Coca Cola were the original Christmas marketeers, in 1931 marketing the traditional green Santa Claus suit as red in order to be in line with their branding. To this day, our image of Christmas is coloured with Coca Cola’s brand – you can’t get more pervasive than that.
We mustn’t forget Coca Cola’s other marketing triumph, the fleet of twinkling Coca Cola trucks winding through a Christmassy landscape. Since this iconic advert first aired on our television screens in 1995, Coca Cola have re-run the same ad in varying forms every single year. As soon as we see that familiar landscape and hear that ‘holidays are coming’ jingle, we know that Christmas, and Coca Cola, are coming. In recent years, running parallel with the television advert, Coca-Cola have also sent out its famous, festive trucks around the country with free samples and other festive treats, thus solidifying their position as the quintessentially Christmas brand. The trick with this particular campaign is their consistency. Christmas is all about tradition, and in running with the same campaign each Christmas, they have managed to make their brand a household tradition.
Aldi’s most iconic Christmas marketing campaign comes in the form of Kevin the Carrot. In 2016, Aldi went down the storytelling route for its Christmas marketing campaign, following the character of Kevin the Carrot as he navigated the Christmas dinner table. The little guy and his adventures were an instant success, and he, along with some pretty comical story lines and narration, won the hearts of the nation. Not only this, they are able to market his character outside of the television screens, using him in other promotional materials – the Kevin the Carrot stuffed toy is a personal favourite. He now returns every year with a new tale to tell. Again, the consistency of this campaign has made Aldi an anticipated part of the Christmas run-up for kids (and let’s be honest, most adults) across the country. With Kevin the Carrot, Aldi have managed to create a brand within a brand (their own red Santa, one could say) that promotes their store with every manifestation and perpetuation.
Last, but by no means least, is the John Lewis Christmas advert. One of the most anticipated television advertisements of the year, the John Lewis advert has become a self-fulfilling prophecy – no matter what they put out, buzz is created about their advert and about their brand. Since 2011, the retailer has had us laughing, crying and even a bit bemused (yep, we’re talking about you, Moon Man) with their annual Christmas advert campaigns. From the star crossed snowmen in 2012 and the adorable penguins in 2014 to Elton John’s cameo appearance in 2018, John Lewis have mastered the art of using emotive and compelling video to pinpoint the spirit of Christmas and marketing it back at us as a product of their brand. You see love, you see families, you see sharing, you see John Lewis; you know where to go to buy Christmas. Genius.
Adding a Bit of Sparkle to Your Christmas Marketing Campaign
So there it is, a rundown of our favourite Christmas marketing campaigns of recent years. There were so so many contenders for the list but these are by far the most memorable.
Even if you’re not a multinational brand with mammoth marketing budgets, there are plenty of things you can do which will make you a festive competitor this Christmas. From stylised social media campaigns, to tastefully designed Christmas themed ads and photographs, marketing your brand in the festive period can be easy, and a lot of fun.
From all of us here at Christian Michaels, we hope you have a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!