The race is on for the best Christmas campaign

  • 2
  • November 12, 2014
William Hobson

William Hobson

Senior Digital PR Strategist

    In the PR team here at Branded3, over the past few months we have gathered every Friday to discuss our favourite PR campaigns of the week. This enables us to draw inspiration from the most newsworthy campaigns to apply to our own clients.

    As we’ve entered November, the race has officially begun for the best Christmas campaign of 2014.

    Last week, we decided to make our campaign review a Christmas special (early I know, but Christmas does start in August these days!) in honour of the release of almost every Christmas advert last week.

    After speaking to the whole team for feedback and their opinion, I’ve decided to highlight the most favoured campaigns from this year so far and one that didn’t prove as popular with everyone here.

    John Lewis- ‘Monty the Penguin’ = 10.4m views

    The top campaign that stood out to us all had to be John Lewis. For the past few years, this really has been the one to watch and this year didn’t disappoint at all.

    The advert was focused around a young boy and his Penguin, Monty who is lonely at Christmas time. The advert concludes with Monty finally finding his companion on Christmas morning only to turn out they were both the little boys’ toys all along. The video alone has received over 10 million views on YouTube in under a week.

    I particularly liked this campaign as it incorporated social media as well as traditional forms of advertising. John Lewis sent prominent bloggers and vloggers Monty the Penguin toys with the hashtag to get an initial buzz around the campaign without any further information. This helped create enigma and an initial interest in the campaign before release of the advert. The YouTube views alone show how the initial buzz around the campaign helped drive traffic towards the video instantaneity.

    Marks and Spencer- ‘Two Fairies’ = 2.3m views

    Marks and Spencer’s campaign was launched via Twitter with the Two Fairies account which was originally anonymous. They were running a surprise and delight, this is where they asked Twitter users what they would like and sent it to them from this anonymous account.

    This drew attention to the account, as there was speculation as to who was behind it. They gained over 14,000 followers before it was even unveiled as Marks and Spencer. The advert follows on from this with two fairies granting the public’s Christmas gift issues (with M&S products of course).

    I really like this use of social media to create a pre-buzz around the campaign before the advert even aired. It was simple yet effective and got lots of people talking about it on social media. This is a tactic I think will be used more and more over the coming years.

    Iceland- Christmas Advert 2014 = 7.4k views

    In comparison to John Lewis and Marks and Spencer; Iceland’s advert uses a totally different technique of celebrity endorsement.

    Whereas this may have worked in the past using a celebrity endorser to publicise your product and hopefully gaining followers by piggy backing on their popularity, I just don’t think it’s going to cut it for a top Christmas campaign anymore.

    I think this is proven with the views it has received on YouTube alone, only 7,000. I mean I’m as much of a fan as Peter Andre as the next person but I really do think they could have upped their game this year.

    With a whole month and a half to go until Christmas we are yet to see campaigns from retailers such as Sainsbury’s, it’s only a matter of days until they hit the screens.

    I think that they too will follow this incorporated approach of traditional and digital media in order to widen the reach of their campaigns much further than just TV advertisements.