The secret to a good Christmas advert

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Jade Evans, Senior Account Manager at Media Agency Group, breaks down the secret ingredients to a successful Christmas advert...

 

It is that time of year again. The Christmas advert frenzy.

Over the past year’s brands have ploughed a huge amount of their advertising budget into creating the perfect TV commercial.

It is the once in a year opportunity for brands to really get their customers chatting and ultimately till bells a-ringing!

Competition for the top spot is fierce and brands are continually looking for new ways to stand out from the rest.

But what really is the secret to making a good Christmas commercial? 

We at Media Agency Group have had a scratch of heads and shared our thoughts on what feel are the secret ingredients to a good Christmas ad...

  • The sentiment

Christmas is usually an emotional time of the year and anything that tugs on your heart strings, can win hearts and minds.

A random act of kindness, a family bonding experience or feeling of togetherness between the old and the young. 

We all want to be left with that warm fuzzy feeling, whilst we are snuggled up with our mulled wine next to a roaring fire. Anuncio Lotería de Navidad – “Justino” (2015), was a beautiful Spanish Pixar inspired animation, which takes you on a journey with a lonely security guard whose life is stuck in a routine that involves minimal human contact.

All that changes when he sets up a lottery syndicate and finds himself surprised by his colleagues when their numbers come up. One to make you shed a tear or two.

  • The story

If you haven’t got a story, you have not really got an advert. The best adverts need to go somewhere and take us on a journey. Christmas is essentially about children and stories which are seen through their innocent and excited eyes, can be ever so compelling. 

The 2014 Sainsbury’s football advert certainly created sentiment by re-telling a powerful and true story of Christmas Day in 1914, when opposing British and German soldiers emerged from their trenches to exchange gifts and play football.

  • The star

We’ve seen all sorts of animal’s objects and people grace our screens over recent years, from snowmen, polar bears, dogs, carrots (!) and kids. The best adverts seem to be centred around a ‘star’, who we follow on their journey as they fall in love, overcome sadness, laugh, cry – all in the name of Christmas.

However, Elton John certainly divided opinion last year as the ‘star’ of the John Lewis 2018 advert.

  • Humour

It is the season to be jolly many of the Xmas adverts of recent years have moved away from the sentimental heart’ strings format and gone for the belly laughs. 

Aldi and Kevin the Carrot family frenzy seem to capture the fun side of Xmas well.

  • The cause

Brands are more and more conscious about their social responsibility, ethical status and charitable links and associating their Xmas adverts with a charitable cause, can be super powerful and very engaging with the consumers.

Iceland UK frozen foods supermarket had a strong cause at its heart last year (2018), with a baby orangutan telling a little girl how his home, the rainforest, has been destroyed by humans harvesting palm oil. Iceland was planning to air the commercial on TV but it was “banned by advertising regulations on grounds of political advertising.”

Ban or no ban, it became a huge hit online and caused a huge media and consumer debate.

  • The soundtrack

Images and content are nothing without a good accompanying soundtrack.

John Lewis usually gets this pretty spot on and have used a range of acoustic melancholy tracks to win over viewers, using artists such as Elbow.

Has Christmas even started if you have not seen the classic Coca-Cola 'Holidays Are Coming' advert? 

It has been around for numerous years and shows a young boy ringing a bell to signal that the Coca-Cola Christmas trucks are making their way to town and the catchy tune and lyrics of ‘Holidays are coming’ – is a mark for many that Christmas fast is approaching!