It’s that time of year, the nights are drawing in, the weather is getting colder and with the clocks due to go back this weekend we’re all wondering when the start of this year’s Christmas advertising campaigns will begin.
Well we’re anticipating that the Christmas adverts may make an appearance this weekend. Last year, the John Lewis Christmas ad was aired during Gogglebox on the first Friday of November, but a short snippet of the advert was shown in the ad breaks for the X Factor on the preceding Sunday. On that basis we could see an appearance from the big brands as early as this weekend.
What can we expect from the big brands this year?
Over the years Christmas advertising has changed dramatically – and in fact this has affected advertising right across the board.
Once upon a time, back in 1983, Woolworths advertised using the traditional marketing mix, with products and prices showcased through promotions and the ability to buy everything in one place. Arguably, this is a tactic that worked for many years, but the success of this type of campaign dropped dramatically over time. Possibly, due to consumer fatigue and advances in technology.
Now in 2016, we don’t have to watch adverts like before. With technology allowing us to skip adverts on catch up and use fast forward functions through recordings, customers need to feel connected to the advert, they must want to watch an advert, not be forced to watch it.
Over the past couple of years, the race to the top spot was between retail giants John Lewis and Sainsbury’s. Previous adverts from both retailers have told us a story, connected with us and tugged at our heartstrings. We still remember adverts from the last few years, more importantly we remember the story that they told.
A prime example is the 2014 Sainsbury’s advert that marked the century anniversary since the start of the First World War. Although heavily criticised at the time for being in bad taste, it still did enough to push past John Lewis and Monty the Penguin to the number one spot.
Last year we saw more stories come to life that tugged at the heartstrings of consumers and created an emotional bond with the brand. Any cat owner can relate to the Mog story and the destruction our four legged furry friends often cause – particularly with the Christmas decorations. Although light hearted, the messages were similar from both John Lewis and Sainsbury’s about the power of sharing your Christmas – definitely not your 1980’s sales pitch.
This year we’re expecting even more emotional stories to emerge through the Christmas noise. We’re likely to see something big from Marks and Spencer in an effort to top this year’s league of Christmas ads. We’re also hoping for some fresh approaches from brands to bring something new to the blockbuster advert competition.
Of course, we’re also sure that we’ll see the return of the Coca Cola truck, but with a winning formula for 20 years – it’s unlikely that we’re going to see a change in the Coca Cola story this year.