Iceland slams ‘Christmas in November’ as it unveils a Geordie Santa

The frozen foods discounter says it made a conscious decision to delay its Christmas ad after customers said the festivities were starting too early.

Iceland is launching its headline Christmas ad, replacing brand advocate and Mysterious Girl singer Peter Andre with a chirpy, Geordie-accented Santa Claus.

The 60-second spot, which retains Iceland’s ‘the Power of Frozen’ slogan and was created by independent agency Karmarama, features married couple Nick and Sarah Claus being greeted with a surprise Iceland Christmas food delivery. Following the delivery, Santa returns home for regular ‘pit stops’ of mince pies, prepared by his wife.

Mrs Claus, who is portrayed as an attentive housewife, is perhaps not the progressive portrayal that the fictional character saw in the M&S Christmas ad. The ad itself, however, fits in with an overarching theme that has seen major UK retailers such as John Lewis abandon overly-emotional ads for comedy.

According to Iceland’s joint managing director Nick Canning, the retailer made a conscious decision to delay its Christmas ad and in-store decorations until the start of December. He claims the public are tired of seeing brands pushing “Christmas in November”.

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“The feedback from our shoppers was that no one wants to see a Christmas advert at the start of November. They want to enjoy the Autumn and save the festivities until nearer the big day to avoid Christmas fatigue, so we have listened to them and taken the bold move to put our ad out and Christmas decorations up later,” he explains.

“Our sales from last year showed that 56% of our Christmas transactions don’t take place until December itself anyway, so why hassle our customers for months beforehand?”

Canning says Iceland has also abandoned its historic reliance on celebrity partnerships – such as Kerry Katona and Andre – to instead focus on real-life families. Earlier this year, Iceland debuted a campaign that focused on mum vloggers through its partnership with social network Channel Mum.

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