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Blogs by Madeleine Helme

Madeleine Helme

| 5 min read

The Top 5 Christmas Digital Marketing Campaigns

By Madeleine Helme

  1. What makes a great Christmas marketing campaign?
  2. The top 5 Christmas campaigns from recent years
  3. Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot
  4. Coca Cola, Holidays Are Coming
  5. John Lewis Christmas ads
  6. Sainsbury’s Christmas ads
  7. Irn Bru’s The Snowman
  8. Craft a Christmas marketing campaign for your brand

’Tis the season to be jolly, and a well thought out marketing campaign around Christmas time is a sure-fire way to make you jolly in business. Consumers are in a spending mood and are looking for gifts for their loved ones, so you need to focus your marketing efforts to capitalise on this.

This is especially a good opportunity for businesses that sell products. Food and drink, jewellery, beauty products, clothing, and technology are all examples of product types that are traditionally thought of as gifts.

But this doesn’t mean that Christmas marketing isn’t for you if you offer a service or products that aren’t usually associated with gift-giving. Christmas campaigns that show off your best products or services and offer generous discounts or deals are sure to loosen people’s purse strings from Black Friday onwards.

What makes a great Christmas marketing campaign?

Christmas is a time for tradition and sentimentality, for celebrating what you have and spending time with family and friends. The best Christmas marketing campaigns tap into this, appealing to the emotions of their audience (which we’ll see with many of the Christmas ads we’ll discuss later in this article). Many consumer purchases are driven by emotion more than by logic and reasoning, which is why adverts that tug at the heartstrings work so well.

Another key element of Christmas digital marketing campaigns is shareability. Brands should create something that their audience will want to show to their friends and family, and even strangers on the internet. So, your campaigns have to be entertaining and engaging. Relatable characters and engaging storytelling play a big part in this. And, digitally speaking, your campaigns could encourage sharing by including hashtags to facilitate discussion and shareability on social media.

The top 5 Christmas campaigns from recent years

We’re treated to numerous entertaining and moving Christmas ads on TV every year, and the brands behind these ads do a great job of integrating their traditional media advertisements into the digital world. The ads are always posted on YouTube, often with extended versions, so that they can be viewed in their millions and shared on social media and other platforms.

To help give you some inspiration for your Christmas digital marketing campaigns, let’s look at some of the best offerings from the big brands over the last few years…

Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot

Aldi Christmas Launch Advert 2020

The budget supermarket chain has done an impressive job of competing with the likes of Sainsbury’s and Tesco to win the hearts of shoppers. Kevin the Carrot has been gracing our screens every Christmas since 2016. Over the years, Aldi has introduced us to Kevin, Katie, and their carrot children, and this year’s advert sees Kevin making the epic journey home to spend Christmas with his family.

The festive advert reminds us that “Christmas without Kevin just wouldn’t be the same.” And shoppers agree, with Katie and Kevin the Carrot stuffed toys being in high demand year after year. Aldi’s use of social mediahelps to build on their Christmas campaigns. This year, their tweets started out by teasing the return of Kevin with the hashtag #WhereIsKevin.

Coca Cola, Holidays Are Coming

Coca-Cola Christmas Commercial 2020

For many people across the UK, it’s not truly Christmas until you see the Coca Cola truck on your TV. The iconic red truck has been a mainstay of Christmas television since 1995 and came to be associated with the equally iconic “Holidays are coming” jingle. Coca Cola even expanded their global campaign into a real-world event, with their Christmas truck tours reaching the UK in 2010.

While the popular truck tour has had to be cancelled this year due to Covid-19, we’re sure it will be back and bigger than ever next year. And the Coca Cola truck still makes its appearance in this year’s poignant Christmas ad, which already has more than 4 million views on YouTube.

John Lewis Christmas ads

John Lewis Christmas Advert – The Beart and the Hare

John Lewis never fails to create a touching Christmas advert that brings a tear to the eye. It’s something that people look forward to every year, seeing what the retailer has come up with this time. Unlike the above brands, John Lewis has reinvented their Christmas ads every year since hitting our screens in 2007, and there has been plenty of memorable moments to choose from.

Some of their best Christmas ads have been those presenting children’s stories, such as 2017’s Moz the Monster and 2013’s The Bear and the Hare. The latter really represents the formula that they have perfected over the years; a simple yet moving story backed up by an understated cover of a popular song. In this case, it was Lily Allen’s cover of Somewhere Only We Know by Keane that had viewers reaching for the tissues.

Sainsbury’s Christmas ads

1914 – Sainsbury's Christmas Advert

Like John Lewis, Sainsbury’s presents us with a different story and message each year. From Mog’s Christmas Calamity to 2014’s tribute to the famous Christmas Eve ceasefire in WWI, many of Sainsbury’s Christmas ads are up there with the best of them.

The latter is the perfect example of encapsulating the Christmas spirit in an advert. Not only does it portray the idea of opposing nations coming together during those special moments, but it also reflects the spirit of giving as it advertised a chocolate bar from which all profits would go towards a veterans’ charity.

Irn Bru’s The Snowman

IRN-BRU Snowmad Advert

Most of us grew up watching the short film, The Snowman on TV at Christmas. In 2006, Irn Bru gave us a new comedic twist on the classic cartoon in their Christmas ad. It sees the snowman and the boy flying around the skies just like in the original, but this time the boy has a can of Irn Bru that he refuses to share, with the iconic song rewritten with some playful lyrics.

While this one doesn’t exactly reflect the notions of giving and sharing that we associate with Christmas, it tapped into our emotions in a different way by appealing to us through nostalgia and humour. Irn Bru even released a follow-up ad in 2018 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the original short film.

Craft a Christmas marketing campaign for your brand

We hope this has sparked some ideas that will help you market your brand online this Christmas. From touching videos and entertaining characters to generous discounts and lively discussion on social media, which direction will your Christmas digital marketing campaigns take? Contact us at Vitty for more marketing ideas or support with implementing your marketing strategy.