Our favourite festive adverts
With the sound of jingle bells in the air and the return of Starbucks' famous red cups, there's no denying that Christmas is almost upon us. Whilst we find ourselves busier than Santa's elves as we work on getting our web design projects finished for the year, there's a distinctively festive cheer in the air. Yet, despite how busy we are, we can't resist watching all the new Christmas adverts as they fill up our Twitter timelines and Facebook feeds. It truly is the most wonderful time of year for those of us who love a good marketing campaign. As such, we're taking a look at our favourite adverts of the season so far.
John Lewis - Moz the monster
It's become an unspoken rule that the airing of the John Lewis advert marks the beginning of the festive season. It marks the moment when it's acceptable to start blasting the Christmas music and tucking into the mince pies. Over the years, John Lewis has become renowned for its Christmas offerings with its tear-jerking messages. This year, the spot tells the two-minute tale of the friendship between a young boy and the monster living under the bed, Moz. After lots of late nights together, Moz notices how the little boy, Joe, is struggling to stay awake in the days that follow. Selflessly, he buys Joe a nightlight that makes him fall asleep but makes Moz disappear until Joe turns the light off.
Whilst there's been some mixed reactions on Twitter, we feel that it hits the mark. Last year, John Lewis started to move away from the emotional offerings to focus on happier 'feel good' emotions. Moz the monster seems to sit in the middle somewhere; it's light-hearted but the message of friendship is enough to bring happy tears to the eyes of even the greatest of grinches!
Directed by Oscar winner, Michel Gondry, this was always going to be a success. Gondry commented,"When I told my ex-girlfriend I was doing the next John Lewis Christmas film she said, 'You have big shoes to fill, this John Lewis commercial must make people cry, don't forget'. Last week I showed it to her and she cried. Phew."
Marks & Spencer - The Christmas visitor
Let's face it, Marks & Spencer were onto a winner the moment they decided to include everyone's favourite bear in the spot. That's right, Paddington Bear is the star of this year's Marks & Spencer advert. To tie in with the release of the new film Paddington 2, the advert sees the duffle-coat wearing hero save Christmas for all of the neighbours from a burglar he mistakes for Santa Claus.
Deciding to help 'Santa' on his gift drop, Paddington takes the thief on an adventure. Upon seeing how happy a little girl is when she opens her present, the burglar sees the error of his ways and gets the warm, fuzzy feeling which we're sure viewers also feel!
Aside from hitting the nail on the head in terms of messaging, M&S also manage to keep it subtle in terms of branding. It's superbly done, with personalised stockings and clever product placement in the form of their signature mince pies. After seeing Asda's offering which was quite heavy-handed in its way of promoting food products, it's refreshing to see M&S take this more subtle approach which conjures up a more positive sentiment towards the brand rather than being too focused on trying to sell.
Aldi- Kevin the carrot
Realising they were onto a winner with their unlikely orange hero, Aldi has brought Kevin back for the second year. And this year, he's the star of the love story we've all been waiting for. Picking up from where last year’s campaign ended, the 2017 offering is set on a luxurious sleeper train with a nod to the upcoming release of Murder on the Orient Express.
After battling his way across the dining table once more, defeating enemies in the form of champagne corks, cutlery and even flying peas, Kevin meets Katie and wins her heart with his heroic ways. Whilst some have complained about the stereotypical storyline of a man winning a woman's heart, I've personally never seen a love story between two vegetables unfold. Plus, with poetic narration from Jim Broadbent, it's hard not to get all the feels. It's a simple yet sweet offering that gives you the Christmas joy, even if you do find yourself shaking your head not long after!
Whilst you've probably missed the mark for kicking off a creative Christmas campaign this year, but give us a shout if you want to up your marketing game in 2018.