Diamond Prize Number 1 goes to John Lewis
Every year the biggest retailers battle it out on ITV, Channel 4 and all the satellite channels that show advertising to deliver a winning piece of festive entertainment. Traditionally these mini films transport us to a spiritual place when we all sang carols and everyone was excited to hang up our stockings for Santa.
A classic advert is the Coca-cola sleigh bringing sparkling bottles of sweetness to the world. These magnificent marketing masterpieces inspire us to head for the high street and max out our plastic in order cater for everything you might want over the holiday season whilst positively ‘living the dream’.
This years outstanding achievement award goes to the John Lewis Partnership for their ‘The Boy and The Piano’. A nostaligic Elton John sits at his old piano and remembers, looking back at his career through the decades. It tells a story of how a gift can be transformative to the tune of Elton’s popular hit ‘Your Song’. The way the different scenes flow is brilliant and the scenes of Elton performing on stage at various ages and settings is perfectly executed and we feel we are right there with him. The combination of a British genius musician, a retro flashback in time and a child given his first musical instrument on Christmas Day by his family just totally hits the spot.
The message that a quality gift is an investment that can last a lifetime is perfect for boosting John Lewis sales. This advert also reminds us that lift is short and we have to live our dreams which is also another good note for this upmarket lifestyle store. A budget of millions well spent…at least the company’s partners can see where the budget for this years partnership bonus went!
Gold Prize Number 2 goes to Sainsbury’s
Sainsbury’s brings us another advert that evokes magical childhood memories by presenting a special version of an British school Christmas play. A cute little girl dressed as a star struggles to sing on her own a version of the well known contemporary pop song “we only get what we give” by New Radicals. Then she finds her confidence and gives it her all singing “Don’t give up…you got the music in you” accompanied by her school friends who are in fancy dress representing everything good about Christmas in the UK. The solo star flies up to the top of the tree on this festive school stage and the slogan is “we give everything for the ones we love.” This advert celebrated love and encouragement and ‘pulling out all the stops’ at Christmas.
This musical piece of marketing will appeal to families with children and anyone who remembers their own school play. It is a super little heart warming film which is relatively simple but effective. It is perceptive to focus on giving confidence by going to Sainsbury’s as many are feeling insecure about shopping at this time of political upheaval throughout Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
We have all had a moment on stage where we needed a boost to get in the swing of things. This year it is especially, we all need a hand boosting our festive mood.
Of course in this country we always have something to moan about and this advert has sparked furious controversy by dozens of people who complained to the Advertising Standards Agency about the traditional retailer featuring a ‘plug boy’. The young man aged 8 is wearing a plug costume and runs into the socket to activate the lights on the tree. This incensed both anxious parents and health and safety experts who unsurprisingly do not recommend that kids play with electric sockets.
Frankincense Prize Number 3 goes to Boots
Boots was one of the first festive adverts to come bouncing onto our screens this year. This offering tells a story of a tense mother and teenage daughter relationship that will strike an emotional chord with many Mums and young ladies who have been told to ‘go upstairs and wipe that make-up off’. The musical Mummy surprises her wayward offspring by wearing her bright red Christmas lipstick matching all the other ladies who are making a special effort and singing carols in the community choir. The Mother is then very touched to receive a present of a new cranberry coloured lippy underneath the tree from the thankful youngster, who shows her love and appreciation with this small but thoughtful gift.
The message that thanks Mums for everything they do will appeal to ladies who shop at the British pharmacy and the slogan ‘gifts to say you get them’ is clever by encouraging the idea that a personal but not necessarily big present is appropriate to buy for loved ones this year. It’s the best Boots advert yet, although it does leave the boys and the men out in the cold this season.
Myrrh Prize Number 4 goes to Marks and Spencer
The Marks & Spencer’s advert is a kaleidoscope of sparkling fun and fashion. Celebrity Holly Willoughby is living in her smart West London house and leading the way like the princess on top of the tree. Top male model David Gandy and Holly’s mostly female friends are having a jolly time in Christmas jumpers or all ready to party in the latest seasons garments from the historic department store.
Appealing to its core customer base of over 30 something aged women, this advert features fancy knickers and big pants from the winter classic Bridget Jones film, some amusing seething gift envy and a funny twist ending with Holly telling her fairy Godmother she got her posh amethyst wool coat from M&S.
The key messages are about the ‘must haves that make Christmas’ and ‘give a little love’ sung by the unmissable voice of Tom Jones. This mini film is spicy romp and is very entertaining. However its mixed bag approach feels slightly disjointed in places, as if different teams of people ‘put it all together at the end.’
Silver Prize Number 5 goes to Aldi
Aldi’s Christmas TV advert with Kevin the Carrot and the wicked Parsnip is a poetic children’s tale. It is about the grocery chains animated mascot and hero Kevin flying across a medieval castle’s feasting table being chased by a evil old parsnip character. The Daddy carrot flies through the air and saving his little veggies he athletically jumps through the window and lands in Santa’s sleigh. This computer generated promotional segment is part of a series of escapades where Kevin the Carrot has many adventures.
The latest quick advert is a sparkling Coca-cola sleigh inspired Aldi truck on ice, that slides off the mountain side in a clever ‘cliff hanger’. There are many mini videos in the virtual book of Aldi’s winter stories. In fact the healthy hero has become so popular, that there were several heated till point tousles by parents on a mission to purchase the Kevin the Carrot toys for their young ones, when they hit the shops earlier this month. It has also been reported that the large soft toy version has been changing hands on ebay for £500. It is certain that Aldi will be very proud of the runaway success of their tasty campaign this year.
‘John Lewis & Partners Christmas Ad 2018’ John Lewis & Partners 14 Nov 2018
‘The Big Night, Sainsbury’s Ad Christmas 2018’ Sainsbury’s, 11 Nov 2018
‘Boots Christmas TV Advert 2018, Gifts That Get Them’ You Tube, Boots, 8 Nov 2018
‘Holly Willoughby leads Marks & Spencer’s new Christmas advert on the must-haves for the festive season’ Olivia Heath, House Beautiful, 13 Nov 2018
‘Aldi Christmas TV Advert 2018 – Kevin the Carrot and the Wicked Parsnip’ Aldi UK on You Tube 7 Nov 2018