10 Dec 2019

It’s that time of year when brands gift consumers their biggest marketing campaigns in an effort to get us jingling all the way to checkout.

This year’s assortment box of festive campaigns has it all – everything from heart-warming to heart-breaking and humorous.

This year, brands have spent a record £6.8 billion on festive advertising as they battle it out to win consumers hearts and minds. But which campaigns have caught your eye?

Here’s some headlines from 2019’s Christmas marketing campaigns...

Coca Cola goes all out

This year saw Coca-Cola’s biggest Christmas campaign to date. As well as the traditional Coca-Cola Christmas Truck Tour, there’s the TV ad (designed to “remind us that there is more that unites us than divides us”), decorated London buses, and karaoke takeovers of the Piccadilly Lights for 90 minutes at a time. The company has also hooked up with other brands. For every can sampled and recycled during the truck tour, it’s donating 10p to homeless charity Crisis. And partnerships with Snapchat and navigation app Waze have seen a dedicated filter and Santa-voiced directions, respectively.

Co-op highlights charity work

The Co-op has placed as much focus on its work with the community as its festive food in its Christmas ad this year. The ad shows a woman returning home late from work and enjoying a late-night mince pie with her partner and daughter. It also features the community group BTM Brass Band playing The Pogue’s Fairytale of New York – just one of the community groups Co-op supports throughout the year. The group will be will be donating £17m to support good causes this Christmas.

Aldi’s Christmas campaign voted this year's most effective

According to data from Kantar, Aldi’s festive ad featuring Kevin the Carrot has been crowned 2019’s most effective Christmas marketing campaign. Aldi’s campaign scored highly in six out of eight key measures, doing well on emotional impact, differentiation and brand building. Kevin the Carrot may be placed above rival Edgar the Dragon overall, but John Lewis and Waitrose’s ad came out on top as the most enjoyable and Christmassy campaign in the survey of 3,000 consumers.

Peloton got its Christmas ad very wrong

There’s plenty of competition among brands that got it wrong this year. But we’d say Peloton tops that list after its festive ad went viral for all the wrong reasons. The 30-second ad titled ‘The gift that gives back’ shows a woman receiving an exercise bike from her partner. However, the ad has been criticised on social media for being sexist, dystopian, offensive and downright dumb. ASA ruled that it didn’t breach guidelines preventing gender stereotypes that may cause harm or serious offence. The backlash, however, did wipe £1.1 billion off the brand’s value and see its shares plummet.

£100 Christmas ad for local hardware shop goes viral

For some, the best festive ad of the year is the £100 advert for Hafod Hardware in Rhayader, Powys. Featuring the owner’s son two-year-old Arthur, the ad was made to encourage people to shop locally. It shows Arthur getting ready in the morning and working in the hardware shop for the day, and it left some viewers in tears. Most of the £100 budget was spent on the soundtrack – a cover of Alphaville’s ‘Forever Young’.

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