Battle of the Adverts

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There was a time when a big part of festive season was about which single was going to be the Christmas number one and win the coveted air-time on Top of The Pops’ Christmas Special.

Sadly, those days are long gone but a new battle has emerged – one that is equally as potent and compelling….and just as lucrative – the Christmas TV commercial.

Of course, the all important social media sharing is now the gauge of success long before the cash-registers have added up the effect on the bottom line and many consumers have voluntarily chosen to do the marketing work for the agencies by greedily taking up this role.

The annual onslaught of heart-breaking, saccharin flavoured, offerings are well and truly underway. Sorry for the cynicism, but too many retailers appear to be purely courting the commercial buck these days with little regard for the added value to the festive cheer.

Some say it’s only really Christmas when Coca Cola announces “Holidays are Coming” but this year the beverage giant changed tack slightly and released another feel-good advert featuring the song Make Someone Happyby American jazz singer Jimmy Durante.

I wonder if breaking the mould slightly lost them a few places in the race and for quite some time John Lewis’ Monty the penguin appeared to be leading the way quickly followed by M&S’ match-make fairies accompanied by Nat King Cole’s “Fly Me to the Moon”.

For me, though, there was a total eclipse of the adverts with the release of Sainsbury’s mighty World War I campaign focusing on the Christmas Day truce in 1914. I understand that it came into much criticism for hijacking Remembrance Day but, personally, don’t think this was warranted.

It powerfully took advantage of a celebration already prominently promoted with the Tower of London Poppies and placed minimal emphasis on product placement choosing instead to push a heart-warming message; Christmas is for sharing, and tying in a genuine partnership with The Royal British Legion.

Brilliant concept, excellently executed and profits on the sale of the chocolate bars going to The Royal British Legion to benefit our armed forces and their families, past and present….what’s not to like?

Merry Christmas!


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