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4 of The Best Christmas Adverts and What You Can Learn From Them

Published on 14/12/16

Ahh... Christmas. A time for giving, sharing and most of all - spending. Businesses, brands and bodies are ramping up their merry marketing efforts, over the festive season, in order to win the hearts and minds of their audiences. I'm sure you're all too familiar with Buster the bouncing boxer dog, along with the various other characters that we get introduced to throughout this annual marketing bonanza. We've had the story of 'The Bear and the Hare', a recreation of the WW1 Christmas truce, Mog the cat, a carrot called Kevin, and a penguin called Monty. But what is it about these adverts that are so captivating?

Seasonality & Emotion

By taking advantage of seasonality, you will be able to find a common ground amongst the majority of your audience; something they are able to identify with and relate to.

Understanding the underlying themes the come hand in hand with Christmas - behind the Christmas tree, presents, bows and glitter - there are overwhelming themes of love, connectedness, sharing, caring, family, community, and faith. It's a time of selflessness and consideration for those around you. To take the time to appreciate the people in your life and life itself. By addressing these emotive themes within your marketing campaigns, your brand will immediately become more 'human'

The Allegro advert has certainly borrowed some of the main themes of Christmas and built this campaign around them. Featuring an old man teaching himself English, using a guide he bought online, just in time to visit his English-speaking grandchild at Christmas. This highly emotive story certainly tugs on the old heartstrings.

Watching the man's sheer determination and dedication throughout his language-learning journey, and eventually being introduced to the reasoning behind his efforts, really resonates with the audience. Not only is it funny, relatable, and incredibly emotive - it also serves its purpose. Allegro have successfully managed to increase their brand awareness, share a slice of their personality and connect with their audience on an emotional level, without being invasive, forceful or boisterous. For that reason, we're going to give this ad a 10/10! We love it!

Telling a Story

As we have mentioned in one of our previous blog posts, the effect of having a narrative embedded into your marketing campaign will immediately make it relatable, resonant and real. Storytelling is, and always will be, an intrinsic part of our society and culture. Naturally, we are empathetic, emotionally and socially connected creatures who have the ability to 'feel' someone else's pain, rejoice in their happiness and experience anger over their tribulations. A story provides us with a point of connection, which so many people can relate to; thus feeding our innate curiosity with the lives of others. 

perfect example of an incredible advert that uses storytelling to portray the true meaning of Christmas is undoubtedly the 2013 John Lewis ad: 'The Bear & The Hare'. I couldn't think of a better example than this incredibly well executed, original and timeless tale of two friends who occupy very different lives. 

This ad takes the universally revered theme of sharing, to another level. Although the two friends don't share the same sleeping patterns, the want of sharing the joy of Christmas with the bear is the hare's main objective. A simple gift soon rectifies this and awakens his over-sized friend from his seasonal slumber to experience Christmas day for the first time. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it, which is precisely why it deserves 10/10.

More Than Just an Ad

Now, this won't, can't and doesn't happen with every advert in the world, but when an advert becomes so successful it snowballs into an entire world of its own, it is a truly remarkable feat. Aldi''Kevin the Carrot' campaign has managed to successfully create not only one ad, but a plethora of content supporting their Christmas carrot campaign. The main advert documents the treacherous journey of an animated carrot on a mission to meet Santa. Although a selection of Aldi's festive food and drink items are featured in the ad, the spotlight is certainly more focused on Kevin. However, once the ad comes to a close, featuring Kevin finally flying high on Santa's sleigh, the audience's relationship with Kevin doesn't stop there.

With several other videos including the casting of the Christmas carrot and a bit of tongue-and-cheek with Kevin's excitement towards the release of the latest John Lewis Christmas ad. All of these videos collectively build upon Kevin's personality and back story throughout the course of the campaign. There are also limited edition soft toy versions of Kevin which have been available to buy in Aldi stores since November, for £2.99 - with 100% of the proceeds being donated to the Barnardo's charity.

"We hope viewers enjoy watching Kevin The Carrot's story as his adventures unfold throughout the season." - Tony Baines, Joint Managing Director of corporate buying at Aldi.

Along with the hashtag #KevinTheCarrot the campaign reached a global audience of 2.3 million in its first week. Check out more of Kevin's adventures on Aldi's YouTube channel.

Home Is Where The Heart Is

This year, Waitrose hit the nail on the head with their 'Home For Christmas' campaign, documenting the traumatic journey of one robin trying to make its way home for Christmas. The journey finds this little robin escaping hungry predators, battling through a storm, and almost doesn't make it home in one piece. The main theme of this is the idea of Christmas bringing families together again straight to the heart; the family home.


So what can we learn from these adverts and how can we translate it into being useful in regards to your school marketing efforts?

  • Be Seasonal: Take advantage of seasonal events, holidays and dates of note. This will help you organise your marketing calendar throughout the entire year. For example; you know that Open Days take place throughout September and October, therefore you need to be promoting the dates a few months in advance.
  • Tell a story: Don't just try and cram in as many of your school's amenities, facilties and academic achievements as you can. Create a holisitc insight into your school by telling your own story. Whether this is following the journey of a child throughout their time at the school or various stories of students, parents and teachers to create a well-rounded vision of the school. 
  • Create a multi-faceted campaign: Don't just invest all your budget in one place, spread your campaigns across all platforms and media. This will allow for more 'reach' - appearing infront of your audiences at different times, in different places. For example, your open day campaign might be to hand out flyers around Primary schools in the local area, for parents to find. Followed by creating a promotional school video to feature on your school wbesite and seed out across our various social platforms. 
  • Home is where the heart is: Make sure you're appealing to whole family and their values. You don't just want to target the parents of the students, you also want to appeal to the students themselves. Although the parents play the largest role in the decision of which school their child goes to (especially if they are the ones paying for it) - you also have to convince the prospective pupil that your school is going to be the best place for them!

If you are interested in learning more about how to make the most of your school's marketing, get in touch with us today and speak to one of our marketing specialists about how we could help you with your school's promotional video and marketing campaigns. 

Talk to us on 03453 191 039 or email us at