Is it beginning to feel a lot like Christmas? It’s that peculiar time in November where we’re not quite sure how far we can take any mention of festivities without someone slapping us in the face. Is it too early to start our Christmas shopping? Where the heck did we put the Christmas decorations from last year? Can we wear our Christmas jumpers yet? But amidst all this confusion, there comes a moment which once and for all heralds the official arrival to the festive season: the airing of the Coca-Cola advert. This event came during the most tactical time of all: Saturday’s X-Factor. Since then, the social buzz around Christmas ads has been incessant. But has it been a good haul this year? Discover which brands have been naughty and which have been nice in this festive post.
Whether your excitement levels went through the roof at the first glimpse of the cherished ad, or you suddenly had the urge to facepalm yourself, households nationwide unanimously came to accept that the jolly season had begun. The iconic advert ran the same as in previous years, with just one telling difference; ending with #holidaysarecoming,. Not to mention the Christmas Truck has its very own account, aptly named @ChristmasTruck. Twitter has been exploding ever since, with the holiday chatter becoming louder by the second.
Coco-Cola has also extended the ‘Share a Coke’ summer, so you can now share a coke with Santa this Christmas. People will be able to digitally customise a specially designed bottle to send to friends and family via the Facebook page.
In a triple whammy Christmas bid, the Coca-Cola Christmas truck will tour the country for Coke fans to snap themselves with the vehicle and bag free cans, then share the experience across social platforms. Feeling Christmassy yet?
What have the nation’s favourite got to say? Nope, it’s not just another: ‘This is not just a Christmas pudding’ sort of M&S Christmas ad. The brand popped some Santa hats on and came up with something which has a little bit of Sparkle. Well, that’s the name of the ad’s Scottie dog anyway, as chosen by M&S Facebook followers. Users were asked to vote on whether the dog should be called ‘Magic’ or ‘Sparkle’. In a further move, the brand released the first version of the two-minute ad on its Facebook page 48 hours before the television launch. The winning name was revealed in the second version, which aired during ITV’s Downton Abbey.
The ‘Believe in Magic and Sparkle’ theme runs through the ad, with Alice in Wonderland, Aladdin and The Wizard of Oz all adding a fantastical element for a rich and extravagant spectacle, featuring Rosie Huntington-Whitely and Helena Bonham Carter (cast had to be exclusively thrice-named). Regardless of whether you’re enchanted or not, there’s no denying a plentiful sprinkle of magic and sparkle from M&S.
Everyone remembers John Lewis’ touching epic snowman journey from last year, so the pressure for the brand to deliver is bigger than ever. In terms of engagement, this year’s bid for the crown has so far prompted the biggest response on Twitter, leaving opinions divided, and well over 90,000 mentions over its ‘The Bear and the Hare’animated ad.
Interpretations from audiences ran wild from its airing, analysis ranging from ‘It’s a Watership Down remake’; to ‘The bear hates the hare’. In reality? More than likely just a vigorously planned ad tailored to pull at heartstrings, not forgetting to throw in as many bears, hairs and other fur covered creatures as possible. Oh, and a cover of ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ by Lilly Allen. So perhaps listen to it on mute.
Next, a timely Twitter blunder saw the brand promoting the wrong Twitter accounts. The Twitter biography unhelpfully pointed users towards two wrong Twitter accounts, instead of the real @JohnLewisBear and @JohnLewisHare accounts set up for each character from the ad. What will you find when you do get to the right accounts? Unfortunately, two streams of mostly drivel and pointless tweets which, well, aren’t really saying much about anything at all.
It’s not the first Twitter mishap which the brand has suffered. Dear old @JohnLewis from Virginia saw a bump in his Twitter activity when the brand misdirected viewers to his personal account. Ironically, the most heart-warming moment of all was a product of this mishap, as the nice chap has been duly forwarding on any misdirected activity on his account to @JohnLewisretail. In a leap of Christmas goodwill, John Lewis tweeted their thanks to Mr Lewis and insisted that they send him a gift for all of his help. What’s that, you think it’s all planned? Now where’s the Christmas spirit in that, you sceptical Scrooge?
Sainsbury’s was fashionably late to join the Christmas party, but it doesn’t mean that their #ChristmasInADay campaign has been given any less attention. In fact, it looks set to rival the dominating John Lewis social activity so far. With bad carol singing, ’80s style pyjamas, feverish present opening and emotional reunions at airports, the ad creates a patchwork effect of Christmas moments, submitted by 114 families around the UK. So far the emotional sentiment is resonating well, with hundreds of mentions of the hashtag online, showing that the digital shift is becoming more prevalent as an increasing amount of brands start to prioritise their social media strategy.
As for Tesco, its home video-style Christmas advert was warm and fuzzy to the very core, painting family scenes from Christmas over the years, and ending with the strapline, ‘There’s Nothing better than Christmas’ and presumably fond memories of Christmas past from up and down the country.
If none of these campaigns have inspired you to get up off your seat and blitz your Christmas shopping in two hours flat, stirred the festive spirit in you that you’ve been ignoring for the past month, or even tempted a lone tear to escape from your eye, then you can officially declare yourself immune to Christmas fever. Hope Santa is good to you anyway (not).