We’re taking our hats off to a great Christmas campaign

Retailers’ Christmas adverts have become somewhat of a fixture in everyone’s festive calendar but are there signs the strategy of pulling on the emotional heart strings is losing its sparkle? Certainly, when the storytelling bar has been set so high in the past, it’s not always easy to come up with a fresh concept that doesn’t feel like it’s trying too hard to make us feel warm and cosy, with ads being difficult to distinguish between retailers.

According to data and media technology agency 4C Insights, M&S’s Christmas ad linking with the cinema release of Paddington 2 has achieved higher levels of engagement than John Lewis’s offering within twelve hours of launch. Of those interactions, 93% were positive in sentiment compared to 70% for the John Lewis advert. At the time of writing, the M&S spot is the most talked about supermarket Christmas ad on social media.

While increasing consumer engagement levels, M&S’s partnership with Paddington 2 has reportedly actually lowered the retailer’s usual Christmas campaign costs. They collaborated with the makers and distributors of the film to produce ‘Paddington and the Christmas visitor’, which centres around the red-hatted bear who’s known for his endearing qualities and British appeal.

Paddington can also be seen across all M&S store windows, POS and online, thus extending his presence from the TV ad to other channels. A range of Paddington licensed product is also available to purchase in store.

Looking ahead to Christmas 2018, we think the campaign has some big shoes to fill. Our eyes are firmly set on the November 9 cinema release of Illumination’s The Grinch – a delightful, heart-warming, all-audience animated tale that will embrace the values of Christmas. The film could provide brands with a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Christmas but with a twist: leveraging the grumpy Grinch to deliver an unexpected and memorable campaign.

If you’d like to discover the promotional partnership opportunities available on The Grinch, please get in touch.