Christmas is BIG business in the retail world, and this year is no exception. UK retail sales over the festive period are set to rise by 2.6% to £91bn, and online sales are also predicted to break a £13bn record. It’s no wonder with all this extra business up for grabs that retailers and brands up the tempo to compete in this fierce, but ever so merry market place.
Nowadays, Christmas marketing campaigns have become somewhat of a tradition, perhaps as much as the annual Love Actually viewing, or leaving mince pies out for Santa. We all wait for the day where we can run back to the office, and shriek to our colleagues that “the red cups have arrived in Starbucks!” – now that’s what I call Christmas.
Perhaps the most anticipated campaign of the year is the John Lewis Christmas advert. Launched this week via social media before TV, people nationwide gathered their tissues and sat in anticipation for the two minute, joyous tearjerker.. This year #MontyThePenguin set the nation unsurprisingly into a Twitter frenzy cooing over the lovesick fluff ball. By 10am on the morning it launched there had been a reported 11,363 mentions of the hashtag, according to social media agency, We Are Social, and it continues to grow.
Twitter’s UK managing director Bruce Daisley told The Huffington Post: “This year’s John Lewis ad is swooningly brilliant. They expertly focus on telling beautiful stories in an understated way. We can just hope and pray it doesn’t lead to more Tom Odell being played on the radio”. Well we do, Bruce.
The battle for the TV premier of the ad was won by Channel 4, thanks to its laugh out loud programme, Gogglebox, during which Monty the Penguin will be making his television debut, the superstar!
New to the John Lewis campaign this year, you will also be able to purchase Monty toys (at a not so festive £95), Christmas cards, umbrellas, even schedule a visit to the Monty Grotto. The indoor ‘Antarctic-themed space’ will play host to Google’s virtual reality technology, allowing visitors to try new goggles made entirely from cardboard, ‘Google Cardboard’. Microsoft has also contributed to the Monty Grotto by introducing a toy machine, which will bring children’s real toys to life by animating them on screen.
Another advert that is making waves this year is the new Argos, Get Set for Giving, ad. A great reflection of the retailer’s ‘digital transformation’, and the first of the Argos ads not to feature the Argos aliens. Accompanied by Run DMC’s Christmas soundtrack ‘Christmas in Hollis’, we think Argos is onto a winner. Argos for Business (AfB), part of the Home Retail Group is one of our clients at JAM, so we will be keeping an eye out on the AfB social media for the nation’s reaction.
Strong contenders for the Christmas campaigns of the year from John Lewis and Argos, we’re sure you’ll agree. Is anyone going to top it? Just like Monty, we’ll be waiting…