Every creative agency in the land wants the job of working on Christmas campaigns for the big retailers. And, as always, we were all waiting with baited breath to find out what everyone would pull out of the bag this year.
Most would agree that this Christmas phenomenon started with John Lewis in 2011. Its ad entitled ‘The Long Wait’ saw a young boy try to use magic to change the clock amongst other things – and the idea of ‘the Christmas story’ advert was born.
Other retailers quickly caught on to the trend. This year, we couldn’t help but wonder if John Lewis was in danger of losing its crown – especially with the ‘Paddington Bear and the Christmas Visitor’ offering from Marks and Spencer.
The short film is heart-meltingly sweet and classically ‘British’ in style. After all, is there a greater British shopping institution than M&S? Teamed with Paddington, the bear of the moment and a truly British icon himself, it’s a clever move that allows the retailer to leverage the spending power of the blockbuster movie set to launch this weekend.
However, if we’re looking at savvy digital strategies we think John Lewis is still content king. It all started on Tuesday, when a new Twitter account @underthebed hit lunchtime social browsers with a promoted four-second ad. The social media sphere went crazy and #underthebed was trending within minutes.
This is a great example of pre-marketing – a way to get people talking about John Lewis on the day M&S launched its spectacular offering… sneaky, but brilliant!
So did the main attraction live up to the hype? This year’s ad followed the classic formula – a small child makes an unlikely friend, a song that’ll undoubtedly be top of the iTunes chart by the end of the week plays in the background and everyone’s left with a warm fuzzy feeling. But we couldn’t help but feel a little deflated – and that the ad lacked the creativity of previous years.
Regardless of the mixed reactions flooding social media this morning, it’s clear that consumer appetite for this heart-warming Christmas content isn’t slowing down any time soon.
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