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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas 2011

For retailers the Christmas TV ad is the UK equivalent on the Superbowl Half-Time spot in the US in terms of budget.
Celebrities and traditional Christmas paraphernalia (snow, nativity, tree, family) are a must. However, when striving to create THE blockbuster Christmas ad what makes great comms can potentially be forgotten.
Boots is perhaps the best/worse example in 2011. Earlier this year their 'I'm Fine' was a clever evolution from 'Here Come The Girls''. It amusingly highlighted the everyday heroism of being a mum. However, at Christmas our heroic women can't simply be keeping a home functioning, they need to be all action. The addition of Mission Impossible cues feels like it might have been at the expense of the warmth though.
But they’re not the only ones who have discovered mum as this year’s Christmas hero. The Littlewoods ad is based around this very theme (and is not simply an attempt ruin Christmas by evil Santa - deniers) It's also very close to John Lewis. John Lewis just have a bigger budget and a willingness to swim deeper into the syrupy gloop.
Ads packed with references to popular culture are designed to reassure us brands and retailers really understand what the kids are into. M&S is the worse offender here. M&S using X-Factor finalists feels like a maiden aunt trying to use Little Mix to find common ground with a 16 year old emo nephew on Boxing day.
In contrast Waitrose's ad with Delia and Heston has the magic of Christmas. The Delia cake box is beautiful and wonderfully appealing. Its an opportunity to get the thrill of making things yourself but with the reassuring guiding hand of Delia. The focus on a few hero products makes it much easier to develop links between the ad and the shopping experience too.
. Our favourite TV ad though is perhaps the one most overtly influenced by the current financial climate. Halfords simple idea gives us: nostalgia for the Christmas you got a bike (everyone wanted a bike one Christmas), the thrill of riding a bike so fast as a kid you weren't sure you'd ever stop and a reassuring message of longevity and thus value for money.
Nothing much stood out on the BTL front - there seems to still be a real focus on TV at this time of year. That said we must give a nod to Mini's Christmas wrapping paper. Great fun to do and absolutely in line with the brand's playful spirit.
Finally, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. from all at Thinktank.

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10:24 AM  

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