Coke’s ‘Holidays are Coming’ ad returns during World Cup: The Marketing Week Christmas blog 2022
Welcome to the Marketing Week Christmas blog! A chance for the team to cram all the latest festive advertising news into one place.
25 November: Coca-Cola’s ‘Holidays are Coming’ returns during World Cup
Coca-Cola’s iconic red Christmas trucks returned to UK TV screens on Friday (25 November) during half time of the England versus USA World Cup match on ITV.
The ‘Holidays are Coming’ ad has run annually since 1995 and is considered by many as the signal that Christmas has officially begun. Although small tweaks are occasionally made, the ad always depicts a train of Coca-Cola trucks driving through the snow, bringing Christmas magic to towns as children and adults gather to watch them drive by.
The spot continues to feature among the top-ranked festive ads each year on its potential to deliver long-term effectiveness. Last year insights company Kantar and effectiveness research firm System1 both ranked Holidays are Coming as the second most effective Christmas ad of the year, while in 2020 both had the ad in the top spot.
The ad also marks the return of Coca-Cola’s Christmas Truck Tour, which invites consumers to visit the famous truck in towns and cities across the nation over the festive period. Promising to be “bigger and better than ever”, the truck will be set in a winter market setting in each location.
This year’s tour puts a spotlight on local community by supporting FareShare, the UK’s biggest charity fighting hunger and food waste. For every person who visits the Coca-Cola Christmas truck, Coca-Cola Great Britain will fund the equivalent of one meal for a person in need, up to the equivalent of 100,000 meals.
“Coca-Cola has always been synonymous with Christmas, particularly the iconic Truck Tour and Holidays are Coming advert,” says Coca-Cola GB’s senior brand manager, Laura Moon.
“This year the magic of Christmas is needed more than ever, and we are excited to bring back our famous truck tour to fans nationwide.”
Last week Marketing Week revealed Holidays are Coming would be the only Christmas ad campaign from Coca-Cola this year. In both 2020 and 2021 the brand ran an additional campaign, telling a story of a father on a mission to hand-deliver a letter to Santa Claus in the first, and a story of a boy with no chimney in the second.
24 November: Walkers joins forces with Comic Relief to get people to ‘open up’ this Christmas
Walkers has teamed up with Comic Relief for its festive ad this year as it urges people to open up this Christmas.
The ad, which is voiced by Radio 1 DJ and mental health ambassador, Roman Kemp, encourages people to talk about their feelings after its research revealed that every other time someone says they’re fine they’re not being truthful.
This was even more evident at Christmas, with 52% of adults saying they feel additional pressure to be happy over the festive season.
The ad shows a man at a party accompanied by an emoji to show what he is really feeling despite what he’s saying. Walkers repurposed the ad from 2021, re-editing it with Kemp’s voiceover in light of the findings.
“We know that Christmas can be a challenging time for many, and the pressure to appear positive and pretend everything is ‘fine’, even if it’s not, is particularly strong at this time of year,” Philippa Pennington Walkers’ marketing manager says. “The message of our Christmas campaign – that it can help to open up and talk about your feelings – is so important and we hope to be able to encourage people to talk a little more this festive season.”
As part of its tie-up with Comic Relief, Walkers will be donating £2m to the charity and other wellbeing projects.
23 November: Waitrose changes Christmas ad following complaints
Waitrose has updated its Christmas ad following complaints from skin cancer patients and charities, removing a scene in which two farmers compare their sun tans.
The scene was originally included to illustrate the work that goes in all year round to produce festive food in time for Christmas. However, the grocer was criticised for “glorifying” sun tans and failing to acknowledge the dangers of sun exposure.
Commenting on Waitrose’s now-deleted Facebook post, one upset viewer said: “This is a kick in the teeth for all melanoma patients and for all the organisations trying to educate everyone into the dangers of sun tans… What on earth were you thinking to include this in a Christmas advert? Words fail me.”
After apologising earlier this week, the supermarket has now released a new version of the ad without the offending scene.
A Waitrose spokesperson said: “Our ad celebrates the care and effort that our partners and real farmers – who work in all weathers – put in to make sure our customers have what they need for Christmas.
“While we included some light-hearted and ‘true to life’ moments, we’ve listened to the comments made about the serious message of sun safety and will be using an updated version of the ad to address these concerns.”
21 November: Diageo urges drinkers to be ‘wildly responsible’
Diageo is urging people to drink responsibly this festive season in a follow up to last year’s ‘Know When To Stop’ Christmas campaign.
Through its vodka brand Smirnoff, the drinks giant is sharing ‘Drops of Advice’ with drinkers through six animations, a print campaign and pop-up ‘Be Wildly Responsible’ bars worldwide. The advice includes staying hydrated and keeping an eye on friends.
Featuring on Diageo and Smirnoff social channels from this week, this year’s activation signposts drinkers to DRINKiQ – a responsible drinking website providing information and practical advice on alcohol, alongside a range of resources to encourage moderate consumption.
“I’m so proud to see Smirnoff at the helm of this season’s Drops of Advice campaign as the sponsor of our ongoing responsible drinking commitments,” says global Smirnoff senior vice-president, Stephanie Jacoby.
“We know the holidays are an important time for people to get together and enjoy the good times and we want to ensure we’re encouraging people to do that in responsible ways while maintaining the fun, vibrant attitude we’re famous for – encouraging our consumers to be wildly responsible.”
18 November: Camelot unites love and the Lottery in 3-minute festive film
National Lottery operator Camelot is playing into the brand’s ambition “to bring people together” this Christmas, with a three-and-a-half minute film which taps into the season’s sense of “possibility”.
Created with adam&eveDDB, the ‘Christmas Love Story’ tells a tale of two people who meet on a train and exchange a phone number on the back of a Lottery ticket. However, the number gets smudged as they leave. When news of an unclaimed winning ticket spreads, the two are eventually reunited.
The film is directed by Oscar-winner Tom Hooper of The King’s Speech and Les Misérables, and set to the soundtrack of George Michael’s Faith, performed by artist Sleeping At Last.
Launching on Sunday (20 November), the full three-and-a-half minute spot will run in cinemas, with cutdown versions online and on TV. Supporting activity will run across social, radio, outdoor media, retail and press, with integrated creatives for individual Lotto, EuroMillions and festive Scratchcard games.
Special photo booths will also be placed at train stations across the UK, inviting passers-by to have their photo projected onto nearby digital outdoor screens.
“The National Lottery is a uniting force for good in the UK – with players raising over £30 million every week for good causes. This latest campaign is all about The National Lottery’s ambition to bring people together,” says Camelot’s executive director, Matt Ridsdale.
“It also taps into the feelings of hope and possibility that we collectively experience at Christmas, showing that it’s always worth taking a chance to win big.”
16 November: Co-op pulls Christmas ad to fund cost of living support
Co-op is ditching its annual multi-million pound Christmas ad this year, instead partnering with membership-based food scheme and community hub Your Local Pantry to help squeezed households tackle the cost of living crisis.
The retailer will host a live stream from Peckham’s Your Local Pantry shop, featuring TV chef and rapper Big Zuu. The stream will focus on demonstrating simple, nutritious and cheap recipes, as well as the Local Pantry volunteers and members.
Funded by Co-op Members, the partnership aims to triple the Your Local Pantry network within three years from 75 to 225 pantries across the UK. In these stores, members pay a small subscription of as little as £3.50 a week for around £10 worth of food.
Co-op and Your Local Pantry aim to support over 32,000 households over the next three years.
“We have seen many of our competitors attempt to find the right tone for their Christmas ads this year, to reflect the mood of the nation. Rather than spending multi-millions of pounds on a traditional TV advert this year, we felt the best way to show our commitment to making things a little fairer for our communities, is to pull our Christmas ad altogether,” says Co-op’s director of customer proposition and communications, Mel Matson.
“Instead, we are able to channel our resources to highlight a hugely important community-led food scheme, which offers choice and dignity when times are tough.”
Earlier this year, Co-op cut marketing and customer roles by a fifth as part of approximately 400 redundancies at the company’s head office in Manchester. The retailer reported a slump in profits over the first half of its 2022 fiscal year.
Last month, Co-op’s customer and community director Ali Jones left the supermarket after five years in the role to pursue a “new challenge”. Her departure followed the launch of a new strategy for the food business, with plans to invest £37m in slashing prices.
14 November: Amazon enlists Oscar-winning director for festive spot
Amazon has brought on Oscar-winning director Taika Waititi to celebrate the “inventive spirit” of its customers this Christmas.
The online retail giant’s ad depicts a father who concocts a festive surprise for his daughter. The 150-second full film centres on a girl who is obsessed with a snow globe, with scenes showing her reluctant to let it out of her sight even to go to the dentist or to school. In a surprise for his daughter, the father decides to create a life-sized version.
He is depicted ordering a paper shredder from Amazon to create snow, as well as getting help from the community to recreate the snow globe scene for his daughter. The ad shows the daughter is delighted by the surprise from her father and ends on the tagline, “Joy is made”.
“We’re constantly inspired by the inventive spirit of Amazon customers and we wanted to tell a story with a different view of generosity and giving at Christmas, and the joy from doing something special for someone you love,” says Amazon EU general manager of marketing, Ed Smith.
“We’re happy to play a small part in the creation of that joy, but the hero of the story is a father’s love for his child.”
The ad was created by advertising agency Lucky Generals and production company Hungry Man. Director Waititi’s recent credits include ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’, ‘Thor: Ragnarok’, and ‘Jojo Rabbit’.
The 60-second spot will air for the first time this evening during ‘Coronation Street’ on ITV at 8.30pm. The 30-second version will also air today, as part of a nationwide TV campaign.
14 November: Cadbury’s secret Santa service returns ‘bigger than ever’
Cadbury has brought its Secret Santa Postal Service back for its fifth consecutive year, offering the public the opportunity to secretly send a Cadbury chocolate bar to someone for free.
Promising this year’s campaign will be “bigger than ever before”, the brand will be giving away 120,000 bars of chocolate over the six weeks to Christmas Eve using QR codes on static and digital posters across the country. Digital posters will appear at random every day to keep consumers on their toes.
Created with agency VCCP London and production partners Bernadette and Girl&Bear, each poster features the Cadbury Secret Santa postman explaining how the service works. The character is also brought to life in an interactive digital experience once a QR code is scanned, and stars in a 30-second film welcoming viewers into the Cadbury post room to explain the concept.
“We are thrilled to be celebrating another year of selfless festive giving with Cadbury Secret Santa,” says senior brand manager for Cadbury Christmas, Emma Paxton.
“It is so exciting that more people than ever before will be able to become Secret Santas by sending a small gift of chocolate secretly to someone special, especially this year where more people are in need of a little lift than ever before.”
Alongside the posters, the campaign will run across UK TV, video-on-demand (VoD), social, print, radio and digital. Media has been planned and booked by Carat.
14 November: Heathrow celebrates family Christmases with experience-focused ad
Heathrow is putting family front and centre of its Christmas advert, the first campaign since the airport appointed St. Luke’s as its lead creative agency in August.
The 60-second ad called ‘The Gift’ shows a couple in the departure lounge of Terminal 2 toasting their imminent festive getaway. Although the champagne is flowing, the mother appears sad the pair are spending Christmas without their children for the first time after spying a family with kids laughing excitedly in the terminal.
After perusing the shops and getting some food, the father tells his wife to close her eyes as he has a surprise for her. Their two grown-up children appear at the table, as it’s revealed they’ll be joining their parents on the Christmas holiday break. The ad closes with the line: ‘This Christmas, depart as you mean to go on.’
Debuting on video-on-demand from today (14 November), the ad will run in cinemas and online. The creative will also be screened at Winter Wonderland in London’s Hyde Park and the Canary Wharf ice rink, as part of a wider campaign designed to highlight the retail and dining experience at Heathrow. The ad will also appear across outdoor and social media.
“At Heathrow we work year-round to ensure that our passengers can travel across the globe to reunite with their loved ones,” says the airport’s chief commercial officer Ross Baker.
“Colleagues across Heathrow will be working hard to make sure that millions of people can get away for their festive holidays. We hope our Christmas advert shares the joy we feel when our passengers create these special memories at the airport. For many passengers, Christmas starts at Heathrow, with over 250 retailers and restaurants to enjoy before they jet off to one of the 200 destinations available for some holiday joy.”
11 November: Sky showcases the ‘magic of movies’ as blockbusters return to TV
Sky Cinema has injected some magic into its Christmas ad this year, as the broadcaster celebrates the return of big movies to Sky after two years of Covid-19 restrictions impeding the film industry.
Built on the campaign concept “blockbusters are back”, Sky’s 40-second film showcases both festive classics and some of the biggest new releases it has available, such as Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick.
The spot, created by Sky’s in-house creative agency Sky Creative, opens on a family living in a snowy log cabin as they take their sofa outside. Settling into their seats, movies begin to show on a huge scale in the night sky above them.
In a twist, the family are later revealed to be figurines inside a snow globe, which is positioned on a coffee table in front of a real family’s TV. The ad is set to the sound of Bing Crosby’s ‘Mele Kalikimaka’ from the film White Christmas.
The campaign will run in the UK, Ireland and Italy across print, posters, social media, display, and placements through the Sky TV user experience.
“The snow globe idea has given us a beautifully simple vehicle to capture the magic of movies at Christmas while making these blockbusters feel big,” says Sky Creative’s executive creative director, Robin Garton.
10 November: McDonald’s looks to redefine the meaning of Christmas lists
McDonald’s is hoping to bring new meaning to the idea of a Christmas list this festive season, as it launches a range of family experiences accessible through its app.
‘The Alternative Christmas List’ campaign is designed to look beyond the materialistic aspects of the festive season and instead focus on spending time with family.
The advert, created by Leo Burnett, features a young boy writing his list for Father Christmas. After being encouraged to write the list by his mother, Alfie gets carried away with excitement and creates an increasingly lengthy document. However, when Alfie and his parents go Christmas shopping a gust of wind blows the list out of his reach.
Alfie’s parents take him to a McDonald’s branch to cheer him up, but he has held onto the most important part of the wish list – a drawing of him and his parents happy at home over Christmas.
Directed by Oscar winner Tom Hooper, the ad is soundtracked by a cover of Yazoo’s track Only You, sang by Becky Hill. The cover single will be available to download, with 10p from each purchase going to BBC Children in Need.
This year’s ad is a continuation of McDonald’s creative platform #ReindeerReady. The platform, which is now in its sixth year, focuses on shared traditions, with this year’s shining a light on the idea of family time.
As well as the ad, McDonald’s will be releasing six festive experiences in the lead up to Christmas, accessible through its app. These include activities like a touring festive photobooth, McDelivery Christmas carollers and festive audiobooks.
“We know this Christmas isn’t going to be a normal one for many families across the UK and Ireland, so it’s more important than ever that we’re there to support our customers in their preparations to get Reindeer Ready,” says McDonald’s UK and Ireland chief marketing officer Michelle Graham-Clare.
“We’re proud to launch The Alternative Christmas List, which will provide many families across the UK with free, fun activities in the lead-up to the big day, but to also be supporting our charity partner BBC Children in Need with much-needed funds at a time when they need it most.”
9 November: Argos hails return of ‘chaotic’ festive get-togethers
Acknowledging it’s been a “difficult” few years for consumers, Argos is using its Christmas 2022 campaign to celebrate the return of the festive family get-together.
Debuting on ITV and Sky tonight (9 November) at 5.30pm, the 30-second ad shows a quiet Christmas for two being transformed by hordes of excitable sequin-clad neighbours, bakers with trifles, rosy cheeked babies and relatives in fluffy onesies.
Back in the house, the wine glasses, a Christmas tree and bowl of crisps start to shake as the soundtrack builds to an orchestral version of Opus’s song Live is Life. As the crowd sprints down the cul-de-sac, a message appears on screening warning viewers: “They’re coming. Be ready.”
The couple look at each other wide-eyed in panic before deciding they “need a bigger bowl”, at which point the husband jumps on the Argos app.
Created by The&Partnership, four 10-second edits of the ad will land across TV and social towards the end of November.
“We know how difficult the last few years have been for everyone, so we really wanted to bring a smile to viewers faces by highlighting the fun and comedic moments of Christmas get-togethers, along with the unique experience of being able to bring everyone, from all ages and backgrounds, to share a wonderful Christmas together at home,” says Argos head of marketing campaigns, Rob Quartermain.
“This year’s advert really aims to celebrate that moment, and how Argos has everything you need to make this Christmas truly special.”
9 November: Bounty ‘goes it alone’ in Mars Wrigley Celebrations ad
Mars Wrigley is promoting its ‘No-Bounty’ Celebrations tubs with a Christmas campaign which invites consumers to have their say on whether Celebrations should scrap the sweet for good.
The ad depicts Mr Bounty, a character representing the coconut chocolate, “going it alone” and making the decision to leave the Celebration tub after receiving online hate. He is then befriended by an elderly woman who cares for him and allows him to stay with her.
After seeing public pleas for him to return home, Mr Bounty makes the decision to go back to the tub. The finale of the ad shows him being reunited with his fellow Celebrations, including Snickers and Malteasers.
The spot nods to John Lewis ads, which have become famous for emotional festive spots with ballads. This ad features a song written especially for the campaign, ‘Christmas isn’t Christmas’.
At the end, consumers are urged to “join the debate” using the hashtag #BringBackBounty. Mars Wrigley’s research shows 58% of the UK would miss Bounty if it was permanently removed from the tub, and the announcement of a No-Bounty tub trial has already prompted discussion online from social media users.
“Bounty has always been a divisive presence in the Celebrations tub, but no matter which side of the debate you stand, our film teaches an important lesson; you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone,” says Mars Wrigley’s head of Celebrations festive cheer, Emily Owen.
“We’re urging fans who want to keep Bounty in the tub to show their support with #BringBackBounty before we make our final decision on whether Bounty-less tubs are the future of Celebrations.”
The ad acts as a sequel to the 2021 Celebrations campaign, which depicted a ‘Lonely Bounty’ that found festive happiness with a Brussel Sprout.
7 November: O2’s Bubl reconnects a ‘Snowgran’ with her family
O2’s mission to tackle data poverty returns this Christmas, as the telecoms brand promises to gift 1 million GB of data to those who need it most this festive season.
At the centre of a wider Christmas campaign is ‘The Snowgran’, a film starring a disconnected snowman dressed as a gran, a young girl Billie, and O2’s robot mascot Bubl. After spotting the lonely snowgran walking home, Bubl and Billie gift her an O2 Christmas SIM Card which allows her to shake off her snow coat and reconnect with her family.
Directed by animation director Joseph Mann and produced by Blinkink, the ad blends multiple animation styles, including puppetry, CG animation and real-world sets. The campaign launches with a 40-second edit on ITV’s I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here today, while the 60-second version launches on 11 November.
O2 worked with agency VCCP London and content production studio Girl&Bear on the ad, while media has been planned and executed by Havas Media. The campaign will run for six weeks across TV, cinema, broadcaster video-on-demand (BVOD), social, outdoor media, radio and retail.
According to O2, 2 million UK households are at risk of digital exclusion. On top of its 1 million GB donation via its in-store and online Christmas SIM Card initiative, the company will turn 10 of its stores across the UK into National Databanks, where people can access data for free.
“With the cost-of-living crisis deepening, we’re helping even more people stay connected,” says Virgin Media O2’s director of brand and marcomms, Simon Groves.
“Our Christmas campaign combines festive spirit with action by raising awareness of the National Databank and the free O2 data that’s available to help those most in need stay connected over the festive period.”
6 November: Aldi recreates iconic World Cup ad with Christmas teaser
Kevin the Carrot is set to return for his seventh Aldi Christmas ad this year, as revealed in a 50-second teaser film released across the supermarket’s social media channels.
The teaser recreates the classic Nike ad for the 1998 World Cup with its long-standing festive mascot, taking note of the unprecedented clash this year between Christmas and the first winter World Cup.
Created by McCann UK, ‘Feast of Football’ opens with Kevin and his family at an airport ready to fly to Paris with “Peasyjet” for a Christmas holiday. Lamenting the decision to hold a major football tournament in December as he reads a newspaper, Kevin moans: “That’s going to get right in the way of Christmas.”
The carrot screws the newspaper up into a ball and throws it away, only for Ronaldi, a reimagining of famous Portuguese footballer Christiano Ronaldo as a lemon, to take the ball and start a kick-about.
Other famous footballers reimagined as fruits and vegetables join the game, including Messy (Lionel Messi) as a blueberry, MmmBap (Kylian Mbappé) as a pack of bread rolls, Macarooney (Wayne Rooney) as a macaroon, Beth Swede (Beth Mead) as a swede, Roy Bean (Roy Keane) as a bean and Marrowdonna (Diego Maradona) as a marrow.
Kevin himself gets involved and kicks the ball, hitting the security belt “crossbar” as the departure board changes, showing his flight and family has left without him. Dressed conspicuously like mother Kate in the 1990 film Home Alone, wife Katie cries ‘Kevin!’ as she realises he has been left behind.
Aldi’s full Christmas ad is expected to follow within the coming weeks.
4 November: Freemans dials up the glitter with Strictly Christmas ad
Digital retailer Freemans has signed up Strictly stars Janette Manara and Aljaz Skorjanec for its dance-filled festive ad.
‘Find The One’ showcases the breadth of the Freemans range, covering fashion – both designer brands and its own label – home, beauty, toys and accessories, as well as highlighting the fact it offers free delivery and returns.
With the cost of living crisis meaning many consumers will be reining in spending this year, the retailer also talks up the option to spread the cost of Christmas with a number of flexible payment options.
The TV ad, which also features the voice of Loose Women’s Nadia Sawalha, launches tomorrow (4 November), with 10- and 30-second versions, with the campaign also running across digital, social, radio, the Freemans’ website and PR.
Freemans chief customer officer, Richard Cristofoli, says the ad is designed to position the retailer as the destination for “meaningful gifting”.
“We understand everyone is feeling the pinch and therefore our customers want to ensure the gift they pick really counts. Our wide range online enables them to browse and pick the perfect present that shows thoughtful consideration for loved ones,” he says.
“Find The One at Christmas builds on the existing relationship with Janette Manrara, who we have used in several our ads. We are delighted that Aljaz joins Janette in what we think is our strongest and most festive offering to date.”
4 November: Matalan highlights value and range to financially squeezed consumers
Matalan’s Christmas ad this year highlights how glitz and glamour can still be achieved on a budget, with the retailer focusing on its claims of value and product breadth in its 2022 campaign.
‘The Christmas Cupboard’, created with McCann Manchester, shows Matalan’s hero finding the online retailer’s products across fashion, gifts and homeware in a Narnia-esque wardrobe.
With consumers under increased financial pressure this festive season, Matalan’s omnichannel marketing director Jeff Howarth says: “This year as the country feels the economic strain, we know many people will be extremely price conscious and will be managing their Christmas budgets wisely.”
With this in mind, the brand is doubling down on showcasing the “great value and choice” it claims to offer customers as they prepare for Christmas Day itself.
The campaign will run across social, TV and video-on-demand, and will be first broadcast during Channel 4’s I Literally Just Told You today (4 November).
2 November: Sports Direct parodies Christmas ad tropes in football-themed campaign
Sports Direct has unveiled a tongue-in-cheek Christmas campaign which puts a football-focused twist on the traditional tropes of festive advertising.
‘Give Me Football’ is a campaign designed to surprise viewers, brought to life through three 20-second ads starring football legends such as Thierry Henry, Mason Mount, and Declan Rice. Former footballer Eric Cantona returns as the star of the campaign, having first partnered with Sports Direct in the summer of 2021.
The first of the short ads is ‘Family Dinner’, in which the traditional turkey is replaced by a football at a Christmas dinner hosted by Cantona. Henry, Emma Hayes, Gabriel Jesus and Clive Tyldesley also feature in the spot.
‘Directa’ sees the retailer parody smart home hubs with its own alternative voiced by Cantona, with West Ham duo Declan Rice and Jarrod Bowen making appearances. Cantona returns for a third time in perfume ad parody ‘Eau de Footie’, which shows Mason Mount getting close with a football-themed fragrance.
“As we head into an extremely exciting period, building up for both the World Cup and Christmas, we wanted to celebrate notable festive traditions with a comedic football spin. We wanted to create something that would surprise and delight our consumer,” says CMO Beckie Stanion.
“The adverts continue to celebrate the Sports Direct brand purpose; championing the legend in everyone, through the powers of sport. Whether you are a pro on the football pitch or taking charge of the Christmas feast, it is a time to come together and make this season your best one yet, either on or off the pitch.”
The campaign launches on TV on Friday 4 November, with flagship spots during Gogglebox and I’m A Celebrity. It will also be rolled out across out-of-home, social media and in-store screenings. The adverts have been developed by football media company COPA90 and directed by Freddie Waters of Pulse Films.
2 November: Disney unveils final instalment in festive family trilogy
Disney has launched the third and final instalment of its ‘From Our Family to Yours’ Christmas ad series, which celebrates families coming together during times of change.
‘The Gift’ is a three-minute short animated film, which depicts how sibling relationships can support family members during changing times. Disney has been following the same family through its festive ads for three years now.
In 2020, ‘Lola’ depicted the character Nicole and her grandmother, Lola, in a film which demonstrated how their bond evolved over her childhood. Last year, ‘The Stepdad’ showed a grown-up Nicole and her family welcoming new stepdad Mike into their home.
This year, the film takes shape through the eyes of Nicole’s youngest daughter Ella, as the family prepares to welcome a new baby. The conclusion of the ad shows Ella pass along a glow-in-the-dark Mickey Mouse toy that she was given by her brother Max to her new baby sibling.
“For the last three years millions have watched our characters in our ‘From Our Family to Yours’ animated series, as they spend time together building connections and making memories,” says Disney’s vice-president of marketing and communications across consumer products, Sarah Fox.
“We set out to create a family unit that would resonate with audiences worldwide. We are truly grateful for the support we have received for this festive campaign and hope that families and fans enjoy this fitting, heart-warming final instalment of the trilogy.”
The soundtrack to the film, ‘A Little More’, is sung by Jessica Darrow, who is best known for voicing Luisa Madrigal in Disney’s hit 2021 film Encanto.
The Gift has been developed and produced by Disney’s Consumer Products, Gaming & Publishing creative team, led by Angela Affinita, director of brand marketing and creative, in partnership with Flux Animation Studios in New Zealand.
The previous two films in the series reached over 184 million views worldwide combined. This year’s film launches today (2 November) across TV, digital and Disney’s own channels in 46 countries across Europe, North America, South America, Africa and Asia.
Fans of the new film will be able to buy items shown in the ad, including the glow-in-the-dark Mickey Mouse soft toy. Over 187 retailers are joining the campaign and bringing it to life through products, in categories from toys and jewellery to consumables. Pandora, Primark and Tonies will also be launching bespoke retail activations and short spin-off advertising spots throughout November.
1 November: Lego enlists Katy Perry for ‘biggest’ Christmas campaign
The Lego Group has signed up pop star Katy Perry for its “biggest and most playful” global Christmas campaign.
The toy brand handed creative control over to a group of children who chose to build and bring to life a vehicle to help them deliver presents to the community.
After building the vehicle out of Lego inside they emerge to see a life-size version, complete with Katy Perry on board wearing a dress inspired by Lego bricks. She starts singing her hit song Firework as the kids jump on.
Perry’s involvement comes as the toy brand’s research finds 84% of children wish they could play more with their parents.
She will also be involved in additional content, such as interviews and videos of her building a gift as part of Lego’s #BuildToGive initiative, which encourages families to build a creation and share it on social media or Lego Life using the hashtag before the end of December. In response, the toy company plans to give away 2 million Lego sets to children in hospitals, children’s’ homes and vulnerable communities.
The creative for the hero ad was developed by the brand’s in-house Lego Agency and will run across TV, digital, out of home, social and ecommerce, as well as in Lego stores across 35 markets.
Julia Goldin, chief product and marketing officer at the Lego Group, says: “Our new campaign is a celebration of the creative power and optimism that children possess. They see endless possibilities for play and show us the difference play can make to the world as they rebuild it for the better. We want to inspire people of all ages to prioritise play over perfection and unleash a childlike joy this holiday season.”
1 November: Not On The High Street celebrates small Christmas gifts that go a long way
Online marketplace Not On The High Street has kicked off its Christmas marketing campaign with an ad celebrating the difference small gifts can make to people over the festive period.
‘Celebrate Christmas’ illustrates the joy gifting moments can bring people, whether it be a partner, family member or an unfortunate friend whose birthday falls on Christmas Day. The film showcases the range of gifts from small businesses which are available via the online retailer, including thousands that cost under £30.
The advert follows Not On The High Street’s recent rebrand campaign ‘Celebrate Life’, which celebrates all of the occasions in life that can be turned into gifting moments.
“We know value for money is going to be more important than ever this festive season and we want to help our customers by offering a wide range of inspiring, unique gifts to suit every budget, all made by the UK’s best small businesses,” says brand and creative director Lorna Brown.
Created by agency New Commercial Arts, the campaign has launched on broadcast video-on-demand (BVOD) services, YouTube, and social channels. In addition to the film, the brand is launching other Christmas initiatives across wider channels, including online, PR and social media, to support its festive campaign.
27 October: TK Maxx kicks off ‘biggest Christmas campaign to date’
Discount apparel and homeware retailer TK Maxx is positioning itself as the affordable option for Christmas gifts amid the cost of living crisis this year, as it becomes the first UK high street retailer to launch its 2022 festive ad.
Created by longstanding partner Wieden+Kennedy London, the upbeat ‘Nail Christmas for Less’ spot opens with a dad congratulating his daughter on buying such “marvellous” gifts and telling her she “shouldn’t have spent so much”.
In response, the daughter replies that she “just went to TK Maxx”, before embarking on a parade of high fives with the inhabitants of a wintery town to the sound of Cerrone’s 1997 hit ‘Supernature’, as they come out to celebrate her thriftiness.
According to the retailer, the ad comes as part of its “biggest Christmas campaign to date”. Two 20-second and 30-second spots will run on TV, launching during Coronation Street tomorrow (28 October), while an 80-second version will run online. Additional activity will take place across print media, digital and social, alongside influencer and PR activity.Pernod Ricard plans ‘biggest ever’ Christmas marketing spend
“With the ongoing cost of living crisis, we know this is a tough year and, for many people, Christmas is such an important time to come together with loved ones,” says group director Deborah Dolce.
“So we just wanted to let people know you can still do a brilliant job by shopping at TK Maxx. There’s no need to compromise on brands and quality, because our gifts are available for up to 60% less than the recommended retail price. And as our upbeat advert highlights, when you find the right gift, at the right price, the feeling is undeniably infectious.”
Earlier this year, research by Ebay Ads UK found a third of consumers are planning to start their Christmas shopping earlier this year than last, with 30% saying this appetite stems from concerns around the impact inflation will have on Christmas shopping.
Meanwhile, data released by Kantar last week indicates half of UK consumers plan to spend less on Christmas this year, with one in three to cut their gift budgets by at least £25 per head. Only 18% of consumers agree they are strongly looking forward to Christmas ads this year, a decline of 5% from 2021.