Burberry changes creative direction in surreal star-studded Christmas campaign: The Marketing Week Christmas blog 2018

Welcome to the Marketing Week Christmas blog! A chance for the Marketing Week team to cram all the latest festive advertising news into one place.

14 November: Burberry changes creative direction in surreal star-studded Christmas campaign

Naomi Campbell, Matt Smith, M.I.A and Kristin Scott star in Burberry’s newly-released Christmas campaign – a surreal and fantastical spin on the usual traditional festivities.

The advert, titled ‘Close Your Eyes and Think of Christmas’, travels through a variety of scenes with a twist, including bad weather, a family gathering and delayed trains, while an eerie rendition of Carol of the Bells plays in the background.

It is the first Christmas campaign from Burberry’s new creative officer Ricardo Tisci, who replaced long-time CCO Christopher Bailey earlier this year.

Directed by Juno Calypso, it is a marked change from Burberry’s usual approach to Christmas – a sign that Tisci is trying to differentiate from his predecessor and make his own mark. EH

14 November: CollectPlus shows people how to donate coats this winter

CollectPlus has created a short film called ‘A Coat Tale’ to encourage people to give their old coats a new lease of life by keeping someone warm this winter.

The film is part of an ongoing partnership with Hands on London and its Wrap Up initiatives in London, Birmingham and Manchester, which collect unwanted coats and distribute them to a variety of causes across the UK for the homeless, elderly and others in need in the lead up to Christmas.

For the fourth year running, CollectPlus is providing shipping labels for people to download and use to send unwanted coats from any of CollectPlus’ 7,000 parcel points. It has also donated 750 free labels which will each allow up to 10kg of coats to be sent in one go. EH

14 November: Santa impersonators star in Zizzi’s first Christmas ad

Zizzi has launched its first Christmas ad, ‘The Father Christmas, Christmas Party’, which has brought together 20 of the UK’s top Father Christmas impersonators to celebrate the joy of pizza.

The 40-second tongue-in-cheek film sees the Santas feast on various special dishes from Zizzi’s new Christmas menu, which promises “a dish for everyone,” as well as letting viewers in on the secret of where Father Christmas himself chooses to host his own Christmas party (no prizes for guessing where).

“Our Christmas menu has been put together to serve every taste and diet preference so there really is something for everyone – including twenty Father Christmases, and potentially even the Real Father Christmas himself!,” says Rachel Hendry, head of brand and commercial marketing.

“The result is full of fun, capturing the real spirit of the Christmas party season and showing that whoever is on your guestlist Zizzi will have something special for them.”

The campaign was created by Zizzi’s comms agency The Academy and will run across Zizzi channels from today. EH

14 November: Patrick Stewart narrates advent calendar-inspired ad for Sky Cinema

Sky Cinema lets viewers look through the 24 windows of an advent calendar-inspired Christmas mansion block in its 2018 festive campaign, each of which reveals a different family brought together by a range of blockbuster and Christmas films (all on Sky Cinema, of course).

Narrated by Patrick Stewart, it is the first time Sky’s in-house creative agency has done the Cinema Christmas ad, which alongside the 60-second TV spot will include DRTV, radio and out-of-home.

“Christmas is such a huge time of year for Sky Cinema and it’s really important for us to communicate the sheer breadth of movies available during the festive period,” says Carli Farmer, director of Sky TV products and premiums.

” It’s been brilliant to have the Sky Creative Agency team on-board for their first Sky Cinema Christmas campaign and they’ve pulled out all the stops to deliver a commercial that fulfilled our brief while bringing to life the magic of Christmas”. EH

14 November: Advertisers’ Christmas spend to hit record £6.4bn

Businesses will spend £6.4bn on Christmas advertising throughout the final quarter of the year, up 5% on 2017, according to economic forecast data from the Advertising Association.

Brands spent £6.1bn on festive advertising during the last quarter of 2017, meaning 28% of the total £22.1bn spent on advertising last year was invested in the run-up of Christmas.

Music plays an important role in many brands’ Christmas campaigns – this year has seen renditions of classics such as Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Go Your Own Way’ (Tesco), Robbie Williams’ ‘She’s The One’ (Boots) and the New Radicals’ classic 90s song, ‘You Get What You Give’ (Sainsbury’s), with rumours Elton John might appear in this year’s much-awaited John Lewis ad. Given music is so important, the Advertising Association commissioned a separate piece of research into consumers’ attitudes towards the music that appears in Christmas ads.

It finds Coca-Cola’s ‘Holidays are Coming’ is the nation’s favourite festive tune, while Irn Bru’s cheeky version of ‘The Snowman’ from its 2011 ad (see below) and Lily Allen’s cover of ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ from John Lewis’ 2013 ad complete the top three.

Nearly one in five people associate a particular song or artist with a Christmas ad and a similar number have searched online for Christmas ads so they can listen to the music, leading more than one in 10 to become fans of an artist or song.

Karen Fraser, leader of advertising think tank, Credos says: “Advertisers are increasing their investments in Christmas advertising year-on-year, because they know Christmas advertising works. As the UK high street faces an uncertain future, Christmas is one of the key periods for retailers. Advertising helps stores attract customers, and that helps sustain jobs and high streets in the UK. We need advertising, and we need Christmas advertising in particular.” LT

12 November: Brits will eat 504 mince pies in their lifetime

1,386 gifts bought, 1,008 sprouts and 504 mince pies eaten, 1,827 baubles hung and 252 crackers pulled. These are just some of the impressive numbers Brits will rack up in their lifetime according to research from Amazon looking at the festive shopping habits of UK consumers.

Across the average adult lifetime, the average Brit will spend 882 hours – more than 36 days – buying presents and will listen to more than 1,008 hours of Christmas music (the equivalent of listening to Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You more than 16,000 times).

They will receive 630 presents and travel, on average, 20,097 miles to get home during the festive period – the equivalent of travelling from Land’s End to John O’Groats 23 times and just short of going around the globe once.

Partners and spouses were voted by 46% of respondents as the best present buyers, followed by mothers (27%) and then daughters (17%).

While the average UK adult will buy 22 presents this Christmas, those in Oxford are apparently the most generous, splashing out on 33 gifts each for their friends and family, followed by the residents of Sheffield who purchase on average 26 presents. Closely behind are the people of Manchester and Newcastle upon Tyne who buy on average 25 gifts each.

Almost half (48%) of Brits carry out all their Christmas shopping online, with those polled citing that the ease of browsing online is the top reason for doing so, followed by saving time and the wide variety of products available. EH

9 November: Martin Freeman gives Torvill and Dean a run for their money in Vodafone ad

Martin Freeman has put his skates on for Vodafone UK’s Christmas ad to “highlight Vodafone’s dedication to helping customers stay connected this Christmas” (obviously).

Freeman’s character and his girlfriend Clare (who he fell for in last year’s Christmas campaign) arrive at a family Christmas gathering.

In a huge plot twist, Aunty Sue arrives unannounced, which means they didn’t get her a gift.

Uh oh. A panicked Freeman doesn’t know what to do, but with a few taps on Clare’s handy Google Pixel 3, the nightmare is sorted – “thanks to Vodafone’s great network connectivity”.

In elation, Freeman is transported to the rink where he gives the performance of his life.

The campaign kicks off on TV today, appearing in commercial breaks during the X Factor live show on Saturday 10th and Coronation Street on Monday 12th. It will also air in the launch of I’m a Celebrity on 18th.

The #ChristmasCovered creative will also run in store, online, out of home and across social and PR channels. EH

9 November: Iceland’s Christmas ad banned for ‘being too political’

Iceland’s festive ad has been banned from being aired for breaching political rules, after it failed to win over regulators.

The grocer stuck a deal with Greenpeace to rehash its animated short film highlighting the destruction palm oil is having on our rainforests and the orangutan communities. The harrowing film is narrated by Greenpeace advocate Emma Thompson and follows the story of a little girl and a young orangutan named Rang-Tan.

The ad was designed to offer consumers the choice of an orangutan friendly Christmas but has been banned from TV and will be launched on YouTube instead.

According to Clearcast, the watchdog responsible for vetting ads before they are broadcast, the advert breached rules within the 2003 Communications Act which ban political advertising.

A spokesperson for Clearcast says: “Clearcast and the broadcasters have to date been unable to clear this Iceland ad because we concerned that it doesn’t comply with the political rules of the BCAP code. The creative submitted to us is linked to another organisation who have not yet been able to demonstrate compliance in this area.”

Iceland’s founder Malcolm Walker says the company sought permission to use Greenpeace’s film and remove the logo to replace it with Iceland’s.

“It would have blown the John Lewis ad out of the window. It was so emotional,” he adds.

This year Iceland became the first major UK retailer to pledge to remove palm oil from its products. EL

9 November: Harvey Nichols fills Christmas windows with Champagne

Harvey Nichols has unveiled its Christmas window display – a sparkly display of metallic colours, lights and shapes inspired by festive celebrations.

A giant Champagne bottle fills the first and second window, before it pops and pours hues of gold and silver that fill the remaining windows along Knightsbridge while 3D bubbles burst out of the windows to attract passers-by.

Gifts from fashion, beauty, food and wine will be displayed in every window, surrounded by hanging baubles and gold leaf.

To celebrate the new Disney film Mary Poppins Returns, four original costumes will be showcased in the Knightsbridge windows alongside gilded umbrellas.

“Our 2018 Christmas windows are all about the exciting festivities that take place during the season; celebrations, parties and catching up with friend,” says Janet Wardley, head of visual display.

“This inspired us to create a luxurious display of dazzling metallic colours, lights and shapes, filled with hero gifting ideas – helping our customer get into the Christmas spirit!” EH

8 November: Harrods unveils Fantastica Christmas windows

Described by creative visual director Alex Wells-Greco as “the pinnacle of sensory storytelling”, Harrods Fantastica Christmas windows put a luxurious twist on a host of festive rituals from unwrapping gifts to the Queen’s speech.

One window is dominated by a giant Christmas dinner with turkey and all the trimmings, while other windows feature shimmering giant sweets and a Dolce & Gabbana inspired ‘leftover fridge’ (see above).

Outside its London flagship store Harrods has erected an eight-metre Christmas tree adorned with more than 100 oversized gourmet delights, including cranberries, candy canes and Brussel sprouts.

To support the visual merchandising campaign a series of interactive activities are set to run throughout November and December, including pop-ups, tutorials, gift personalisation and food tastings. CR

8 November: Marks & Spencer asks the nation to pick their #MyMarksFave food

What better way to work out what’s the nation’s favourite Chirstmas food than to travel the length and breadth of the UK in a van looking for answers?

This was the approach favoured by Marks & Spencer, which asked consumers across the UK to pick their #MyMarksFave for the Christmas dinner table. Answers ranged from soft buttery turkey and ‘game changer’ sprouts, to shimmering chocolate acorns and a prosecco drenched Christmas pudding. CR 

8 November: Heathrow brings back Doris and Edward the bears for a “quintessential” British Christmas

Heathrow’s Christmas marketing campaign will once again star Doris and Edward Blair, the bears that have been the stars of their festive advertising for the past two years.

In this year’s campaign, the Blairs are seen returning to the UK from their Florida home after longing for the “quintessential” British Christmas. The ad opens with Edward enjoying lying in the sun, until he hears the sound of Christmas carols and begins to miss Britain at Christmas time, leading the couple to book a flight back to Heathrow.

Set to 1980s tune Every Time You Go Away by Paul Young, the campaign was created by Havas London. It will be on YouTube, social media, TV and outdoor.

Ross Baker, Heathrow’s chief commercial officer, says: “The nation’s love for Doris and Edward is overwhelming and has been since we first met them in 2016. For many people, being close to the ones we love is what really makes Christmas special. This is why we see The Blairs return to their family from warmer climes, as many of Heathrow’s passengers make similar journeys home for the festive season.” SV

7 November: JD launches biggest ever Christmas campaign

JD has turned to celebrities such as boxer Anthony Joshua, Manchester United footballer Jesse Lingard and US actor Jaden Smith to give its Christmas campaign some start power.

The film featuring the stars will air on TV in the UK, France, Holland, Spain, Italy and Ireland, as well as cinemas in Malaysia and Singapore. Campaign imagery will be used in stores and in out-of-home, while social media will be used to amplify its reach.

Stephen White, JD’s group marketing director, says: “We chose the line-up because they are aspirational and influential to our audience and provide a huge reach across social media platforms. The campaign and the icons who appear in it echo JD’s global market leading position.”

6 November: Save the Children warns Christmas jumpers should be ‘worn responsibly’

Save the Children is promoting its annual Christmas Jumper Day with an ad, created by adam&eve DDB, that warns the clothing must be worn responsibly.

To demonstrate why, the campaign features people who have not fully thought through whether wearing a Christmas jumper is appropriate. One is a fitness instructor leading a spin class; another is a dentist; while a third is a policeman on a stakeout.

The campaign, which will run across TV, outdoor, press and radio, ends with a callout for people to request fundraising packs and sign up to the event.

Vicky Fallon, campaign fundraising director at Save the Children, says: “While there’s a very serious intent with all our fundraising, we love how people embrace the fun and silliness of Save the Children’s annual Christmas Jumper Day, and we love how adam&eveDDB have captured this in their ‘Please wear responsibly’ campaign. For you, it’s just £2 and a lot of fun but the more you raise, the more we can give children in the world’s toughest places a better future.”

Christmas Jumper Day takes place on Friday, 14 December. SV

6 November: TK Maxx reveals the joy of The Neverending Stocking

Think Christmas is only one day a year? Think again. This festive period TK Maxx is introducing The Neverending Stocking, a friendly gift giving super-sock that comes to life after a customer finds it nestled between the shelves.

The stocking lives with its adopted family for a whole year delivering gifts for the whole family, before on the stroke of midnight on Christmas Day the following year it is sucked up the chimney and flies out into the night sky.

Designed by Wieden+Kennedy, this is TK Maxx’s third Christmas campaign under the Ridiculous Possibilities brand platform and will run in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Poland, Austria and the Netherlands across TV, print, digital, social, mobile and experiential.

The in-store launch tomorrow (7 November) will see TK Maxx offering shoppers the chance to actually win a host of treasures every month for a year. A limited number of bespoke ‘neverending stockings’ will be hidden on the shelves of TK Maxx stores across Europe and online, with the winning shoppers receiving a year of gifts that can also be donated to family and friends.

“We have worked together with all our agencies to create a campaign that is beyond a straight broadcast message, rather it aims to engage with our shoppers in an experiential and engaging way. It brings to life TK Maxx’s brand message of ‘Big Gifts. Small Prices’ through the main Christmas TV ad, as well as creating standout in this busy season,” says Deborah Dolce, TK Maxx group brand and marketing director.

“We are encouraging our customers to visit stores and search for one of the neverending stockings, whilst also reminding them that TK Maxx is a perfect gift destination for both Christmas and beyond.” CR

5 November: Lego debuts first global Christmas campaign

Lego’s first ever global Christmas advert hits UK TV screens today, looking to show how Lego can transcend the limitations of a plastic building block and ignite the even the wildest of wishes of the imagination.

From space jets to a high speed police chase, the 60-second spot – set to Strauss’s Blue Danube Waltz – features children from all over the world unwrapping their Lego gifts before being transported to another world.

‘This is not a Brick. It’s their wildest wishes,’ the voiceover says.

The campaign, created by Lego Agency, Lego’s recently renamed in-house team, will air in 36 markets. It will also include a Facebook chatbot called Ralph and an AR filter for children and their parents to play with. EH

2 November: Aldi brings back Kevin the Carrot, again

Aldi is teasing its Christmas marketing campaign for 2018, releasing a 40-second trailer that reveals its festive mascot, Kevin the Carrot, is back for the third time.

In the spot, created by McCann, Kevin is featured driving a lorry that looks suspiciously similar to the Coca-Cola Christmas truck. But he finds himself in trouble once again when the lorry is knocked off course by an avalanche, leaving Kevin teetering on the edge of a cliff.

Can Kevin survive to feature in another Christmas campaign next year? We can only hope so. SV

2 November: Amazon boxes sing Jackson Five

Amazon has brought its singing boxes back for a second year, giving their rendition of that renowned festive classic (…) Can You Feel It.

Throughout the ad – which will run in 30-, 60-, and 90-second spots – people (and dogs) who have “embraced the spirit of Christmas” are able to see the magic of the boxes come to life.

And for the first time, Amazon is letting its hardworking delivery drivers and warehouse workers see the boxes sing too.

The TV ad, created by Lucky Generals, will break in the UK on Saturday evening, before rolling out in the US and other countries thereafter. The campaign will also run online and across print and OOH. EH

2 November: Littlewoods ‘Own the Show’ big top festive fun

A circus show is the theme of Littlewoods’ Christmas 2018 ad, created by St Luke’s, in which a colourful cast of performers showcase some of the items shoppers can buy from Littlewoods.com this year – from gifts and electricals to decorations and festive fashions.

In the circus ring, inspired by the Littlewoods brand’s purple circle, a ringmaster mum puts on the year’s best show with Littlewoods backstage, helping her to deliver “everything that is needed to give her family the best Christmas”.

The 20-second spot, ‘Own The Show’, features a cover of the theme tune from the film ‘The Greatest Showman’ by Panic! At The Disco. It ends with the line: ‘Own the show with Littlewoods’, voiced by actress Jaime Winston.

“This year, Littlewoods has continued to focus on the proposition of ‘Own It’,” explains Ben Cooper, Littlewoods’ head of brand.

“Through the use of our circus, our ringmaster Mum owns the show with a little help from Littlewoods. We offer a huge range of brands that she can spread the cost on, interest free, and there’s no time of year this is more important to our customers than at Christmas.”

The campaign will run in two bursts until Christmas on TV, YouTube and social channels. EH

2 November: Barbour celebrates Snowman’s 40th birthday with bespoke film

Barbour and Penguin have joined forces to celebrate the 40th anniversary of beloved children’s classic The Snowman.

The campaign, made by The Corner London’s in-house production team, is a 110-second bespoke film using real-life people to to depict the impact that The Snowman has had on one family. Like the original film, its focus is on actions rather than words.

The film features the cast wearing a mix of Barbour product including classic styles alongside Barbour x The Snowman licensed product exclusively produced in partnership with Penguin for the 2018 festive season.

Paul Wilkinson, global marketing and commercial director, says: “We are delighted to be partnering with Penguin Ventures to celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Snowman. It is a classic and much loved story which has become an established part of family Christmas traditions.

“In our film, Evie’s enthusiasm and magical imagination really brings this story to life. It captures both the innocence of children and the nostalgia of adults. Everyone wants to believe that ‘Maybe just Maybe’, magic can happen.” EH

1 November: Fortnum & Mason unveils first Christmas film

Fortnum & Mason is celebrating having been around for more than three centuries’ worth of Christmases with its first ever festive film as part of its Masters of Merry campaign.

Looking to showcase the momentous change that has happened over the past 300 years, as well as celebrating the “merriment and magic” of Christmas, the 45 second film is a mix of original archive footage and live footage of Christmas products shot at Fortnum & Mason’s flagship Piccadilly store.

“This season has always been at the heart of Fortnum & Mason,” says Zia Zareem-Slade, customer experience director.

“The extraordinary food, the joy-giving gifts, the exceptional moments – the spirit of Christmas has been the catalyst in all that we do. And while many things will change in the next 300 years, Fortnum’s at Christmas is one thing that won’t. It’s a proud moment for the brand to see our spirit translated into film at Christmas – we hope it will resonate with customers old and new”.

The film, which has been directed by Aardman Animations of Wallace & Gromit fame, launches globally today and will be shown exclusively on digital and social channels. The Masters of Merry campaign will run across all channels. EH

1 November: Notonthehighstreet gets handsy with C4 and UKTV

British online retailer notonthehighstreet will sponsor a range of festive entertainment across Channel 4 and UKTV’s portfolio of channels until the end of the year, starting today.

Predicted to reach over 39.7 million adults, the partnership which runs until 31 December will deliver over 2,000 hours of sponsored programmes including Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas, The Simpsons and Gogglesprogs.

The nine unique idents, which have been created and produced by Drum and Nice Biscuits, show hands writing thoughtful notes and gift tags to loved ones, while also showcasing the range of products from small businesses available on notonthehighstreet.

Two notonthehighstreet partners, Amy Elson from Chambers and Beau and Laura Sayers from Laura Sayers Illustration, also feature in the ads, while the voice over is done by Shaun of the Dead actress Jessica Hynes.

“This year we wanted to approach our advertising in a different way,” says Ella D’Amato, Chief Commercial and Marketing Officer at notonthehighstreet.

“Partnering with C4 and UKTV allows us to engage with our audience repeatedly and at scale this Christmas around programmes we know they’re watching and enjoying with their families.”

The creative will also run across notonthehighstreet’s social channels from 2 November and at the curated pop-ups at Waterloo Station between 2 and 22 November and Westfield White City between 3 and 24 December. EH

1 November: Cineworld uses Mary Poppins to count down Christmas

Cineworld is hoping Mary Poppins will inspire families to go to the cinema this Christmas.

With both a cinema advert and digital advent calendar, the brand is aiming to encourage both parents and children to gift themselves with a trip to see a film.

The cinema advert, created by agency Twelve, shows a busy family at home during Christmas but the children become excited when they spot the silhouette of Mary Poppins flying to their home. On arrival she hands the parents the ‘perfect gift’ who then go out to the cinema while she looks after the children.

The ad pays homage to the iconic nanny and coincides with the new film Mary Poppins returns which will land in Cineworld cinemas on 21 December.

Head of marketing for Cineworld, Casey Cohen, says: “With a focus on brand storytelling and a pinch of inspiration from Mary Poppins, our advert is a heart-warming tale that will capture imaginations and celebrate Cineworld as the best place to watch a movie.”

Cineworld is also launching a digital advent calendar, starting on 1 December. Consumers will be able to count down virtually with each day revealing a variety of cinema related promos, including a ‘first look’ at film content and prizes from the Cineworld gift range, including an Unlimited card. MF

30 October: Girl fulfills space dreams after Very.co.uk helps parents find the right gift

Parents are invited to do some future-gazing in Very.co.uk’s Christmas campaign with a heart-warming video about finding the gift that helps children find their gift.

The animated film, created by St Luke’s, opens with a young girl playing with her toy rocket (that’s right, girls like rockets too) before following her journey through life as her interest in the universe and space travel grows.

Going for that ‘aww’ moment, the film ends with Elsie’s parents staring up into the stars as their astronaut daughter looks back down from space.

“The greatest gift you can give someone is the power to be whoever and whatever they want to be – and that’s what we’ve focused on this year,” says Sylvia Woon, chief marketing officer at parent company Shop Direct.

“Our ‘find their gift’ campaign aims to put Very at the heart of Christmas, inspiring consumers to give that one gift that could help a loved one realise their dreams.”

The multi-media campaign will run for two months and is backed by activity on digital channels, mobile, VOD, print and out-of-home advertising. The 30-second TV spot will appear within the X-Factor break on 3 November and on 6 November during a network spot within the Pride of Britain Awards. EH

30 October: The Christmas race begins at John Lewis and Waitrose

John Lewis

With less than two months to go, Waitrose customers are beginning to stock up on festive treats, with sales of mince pies up 38%, stollen up 22% and advent calendars up 40% this week.

Meanwhile, Gift Food sales at John Lewis rose by 14% and Christmas trees by 18%. EH

26 October: The Entertainer to sponsor This Morning

High street toy retailer The Entertainer will be sponsoring ITV’s This Morning and Phillip Schofield’s How To Spend It Well as part of a multichannel Christmas push.

The £1.5m campaign, which celebrates ‘Little Festive Moments’, includes the sponsorship and activation of the campaign across PR, social media and in-store marketing from the end of October.

Phil Geary, chief marketing officer at The Entertainer says: “Christmas is naturally a key time of the year for us.

“The sponsorship of these hugely popular TV programmes, which are loved by families across the UK, is a great opportunity for us to remain at the forefront of our customer minds, by reaching almost half of British parents as they prepare for the festive season. It’s also great to further strengthen the relationship we have with ITV following our CITV sponsorship.”

The investment follows The Entertainer’s mid-year results, which revealed a 25% increase in total sales, while online sales were up 21% year on year. EH

25 October: Shopkeepers sing Mariah in Visa’s Christmas ad

Did Christmas even happen if you didn’t drink too much mulled wine and wail Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas at the top of your lungs at least once?

Well now it’s the turn of real shopkeepers from across the UK to give their rendition of the festive classic in Visa’s 2018 Christmas campaign.

It is the first campaign Visa has launched during the Christmas ad season. With Christmas being one of the most important times of the year for small retailers, the ad aims to highlight the need to support the high street during the festive period.

Let’s hope Mariah can inject some much needed Christmas cheer into what has otherwise been a tough year for many retailers on the high street. EH

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