As we all know each year almost every brand competes to have the best Christmas advert seen on TV. This time of the year is extremely important for Marketers and Advertisers because most people tune in and look for quality at competitive prices.
Known as the UK Super Bowl, we’ve highlighted our three favourite TV advertisements from the mainstream supermarkets and discussed their strategies, impacts and of course overall Christmas feel.
“She epitomises the huge efforts our customers put into making the festive season special and represents the love and togetherness that customers want to feel and see in abundance at Christmas.”
Sharing the spotlight this Christmas, the sophisticated Janet Mcteer, as we know her, plays Mrs Claus. In this advertisement we see that Mrs Claus is more than capable of doing her husband’s job (obviously!) as she becomes the mastermind behind Christmas; delivering gifts to children before her husband returns home.
This is a role which we never knew anyone else could do, M&S have set this from a feminist perspective and it totally breaks a new mould for female stereotypes. Why does Mrs Claus fly a red helicopter and not ride a sleigh? Why does Mrs Claus walk through the front door and not climb down the chimney? Because it’s 2016 and times have changed, that’s why!
The strategy and concept behind this advertisement are quite different from what we’re used to. In previous years M&S would make sure we would see their products close up on TV. However, this year, M&S try to engage with an audience by telling a story that’s more worthwhile and easier for their audience to emotionally commit to.
The story of Mrs Claus is fairly new to Television, which is why this advertisement becomes ten times more interesting: It’s not your typical run-of-the-mill Christmas advert we’re used to seeing. Instead of trying to impress or win over new customers like every other brand, M&S have aimed their advertisement at existing consumers, particularly women who make up 58% of their current shoppers.
The impact of this years M&S TV ad has created such a positive response leaving you intrigued about Mrs Claus. The unfamiliarity with Mrs Claus gets you thinking, who is she? What is she like?
M&S have really thought about associating Mrs Claus with the brand. This has given them the opportunity to not only brand her in a way that reflects their company best but also places them ahead of their competition. They are the first brand to give their starring role to a strong female lead. Which, is becoming more and more common, as we have seen with the new Star Wars films. In doing this M&S has shot to the forefront of many people’s minds.The positive connotations that M&S now have not only make you think twice about Mrs Claus but also appreciate the work in which Grandmothers, Mothers, Wives and Women already do.
“The idea of the efforts we go to in getting home to connect with loved ones… The robin acts as a kind of metaphor for what we all go through at Christmas.”
W Rupert Thomas, Marketing director
Christmas is one time of year we like to spend with our loved ones, and many of us will travel miles in the most chaotic conditions to achieve this.
However, our many varied journeys to reach those loved ones is somewhat different for Britain’s national bird. In Waitrose’s Christmas TV ad, emerging from Sweden and leaving the nest, we are introduced to the Waitrose Robin and follow him on its quest to reach the UK.
This 90-second advertisement establishes the lengths in which we are all willing to take to be reunited with friends and family during the festive season.Travelling over the North Sea the Robin is faced with unpromising obstacles. With no intention of giving up, the Robin continues his journey battling on through fierce weather conditions, knowing Christmas is best spent with those that matter most.
When the Robin is kindly nursed back to life after taking a fall, he then successfully reaches the desired destination; a bird table in a small English garden. He is greeted by a young girl awaiting her annual visit of the Christmas Robin. Lunch then approaches, celebrations begin and the Christmas Robin shares a mince pie with a friend.
The strategy is clear, Waitrose has exaggerated the lengths and obstacles some individuals go through to be with their loved ones at Christmas.
By doing this, Waitrose has emphasised that no matter how hard your situation may be you should never give up because the end result is always worth it. Using a Robin as a metaphor we know it isn’t the world’s strongest bird but it is the determination, the stamina and spirit which makes this advert a joy to watch.
Waitrose has tried to capture the audience’s attention by taking you on this journey with the Robin.
The great use of special effects and music make this advertisement more of an emotional experience. It spectacularly summarises the true meaning of Christmas and astutely removes its sentiment from more materialistic examples that we are so used to seeing on our tellies time of year. All in all this makes for wonderfully refreshing viewing, such that clearly separates Waitrose from the competition this year.
“We will continue to dispel public misconceptions directly.”
Claire Farrant advertising and marketing director
Lidl is a brand known for not hiding from the truth. This year Lidl continue their narrative #LidlSurprises and create a campaign that most definitely challenges anyone that has ever doubted or frowned upon the grocery store:
A tweet from Debbie raises concern that Lidl own a “prison for turkeys” and assumes Lidl offer poor living conditions for the food they produce. Lidl respond and ask Debbie to visit the farm for the day. Taken by surprise Debbie is seen escorted round the land with Tony the farmer. Debbie had jumped to assumptions and from this experience was shocked by the end result.
This advert went through Lidls process and how the conditions of their produce was kept and cared for.
Lidl have gone for a different tone of voice this Christmas. One that challenges Debbie – who represents the supermarket’s customers as a whole – who may have dissociations with the brand. The concept was to take something negative and turn it into a positive by not misleading the public but by presenting them with the truth.
The impact is huge and cleverly done. Lidl aren’t denying the fact that they don’t have a huge fan base like Waitrose, but rather approach this situation by changing the public’s concern into a first hand experience in hope to alter their opinions. This advertisement is very real, bold and stands out amongst the rest. It shows Lidl listen to people on social media, whether it is a good or bad interaction, they turn these situations into an opportunity by creating individual and personal brand recognition.