Boots celebrates ‘special connections’ in Christmas campaign

The retailer’s festive ad encourages shoppers to buy a present that shows “you really get them” after its research finds thoughtful gifting giving is what matters most to its customers at Christmas.

Boots is celebrating “special connections” in its 2018 Christmas ad, which is a nod to last year’s “hugely successful” and emotionally-charged festive campaign, according to the company’s marketing director Helen Normoyle.

‘Get them something that says, you get them’ follows the story of a typical teenage girl who at various times can be seen growing frustrated with her mum.

However, this all changes when she spots her mum singing in a choir at a Christmas market, and having seen her in an entirely new light decides to get her a red lipstick for her next performance.

The 90-second spot is accompanied by a track called ‘She’s me mum’ inspired by Robbie Williams’ ‘She’s the One’.

Speaking to Marketing Week, Normoyle says the decision to champion emotional connections stems from the success of last year’s campaign and its research which shows 71% of Boots shoppers “tell us expressing thoughtfulness in their gifting is what matters most” at this time of year.

“Giving a thoughtful gift shows their loves ones, family and friends that they really understand them. We wanted to produce something that celebrates special connections and really shows someone that ‘you get them’,” she says.

Normoyle adds the decision to showcase a beauty product is linked to the notion that beauty is an individual thing and highlights you must really understand the person you’re gifting it to.

The campaign also embodies the idea that it’s “not about how you look but how you feel”, according to Boots’ marketing boss.

“If we look at overall success it’s about how we connect with our customers and how we make them feel. And we really wanted to resonate with what it feels like to feel good at Christmas,” she says.

We wanted to produce something that celebrates special connections and really shows someone that ‘you get them’.

Helen Normoyle, Boots

“It’s not about how it makes you look, it’s about how it makes you feel and that’s the theme that runs throughout our campaigns. It’s the emotions that are evoked in you through what we do.”

The TV spot will first air on 10 November during X Factor, but Normoyle says out-of-home, press, radio and social are just as important if the company intends to be “where customers are”.

“That’s why it’s also important for us to launch the campaign during the X Factor because it has a huge audience and we want to be part of that conversation,” she adds.

With more than 2,500 stores across the nation, in-store experience is also vital.

“People come in looking for inspiration and our colleagues are hugely helpful. They love Christmas, it’s when they really come to life.”

Also speaking at Boots’ Christmas launch event today (8 November) was the company’s new president and managing director Sebastian James who joined the 169-year-old retailer earlier this year and is squarely focused on engaging customers.

“What we now need to do is think about how we engage with our customers, particularly across wellness and beauty, to deliver seamless digital and in-store experiences, which is being refreshed as shoppers begin to think differently about the world,” he explains.

“That’s the task for all of us [retailers] over the next two to three years.”

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