Why do we love Christmas adverts so much?

By November 17, 2017Stories

You’ve just put the Halloween decorations back in the loft, enjoyed a hog roast at your local bonfire and then, out of nowhere, Christmas spirit appears everywhere you look.

I’m certainly not one to complain, I’m the person that breaks into The Pogues the moment the festive season is upon us and I’ve already got the KC Communications Christmas Elf sat on my desk ready for the Elf on the Shelf antics.

However… whilst I’ll happily spread the festive cheer as early as November, Christmas adverts filling our ad breaks as early as the 7th of November is too much. We all know that the second you hear “Holidays are coming…” and see the familiar Coca-Cola truck that it is “officially Christmas”, right? But why do we love them so much?

Over the past two weeks we have been blessed with the return of the ads, and more importantly, Kevin the Carrot, aka, the star of Aldi’s Christmas advert is back…and he’s found love!

We almost forget that these adverts are created as a promotional platform and as talk about who’s seen what, consumes the office, it is clear that their job as advertisers is done (for this year). But is all this hype worth the incredible £6bn (up from £5.6bn in 2016) that brands will be spending on Christmas advertising this year? I’m sure the college student who fooled the internet into thinking his A-Level project was, in fact, the 2016 John Lewis Christmas advert would think not.

Elf on the Shelf

Whilst the TV ads are the main attraction, the ads usually go above and beyond by creating something for almost all multimedia platforms. John Lewis jumped on the Snapchat bandwagon with their own ‘Buster the Boxer’ filter in 2016, whilst Waitrose released an online interactive experience of the Robin’s journey, as well as a book available to purchase sold in-store.

Not forgetting the ad-focused merchandise that is sold. In 2014 the loveable star of the John Lewis advert, Monty the Penguin sold out in within 24 hours of the launch and were later being sold online for over four times the original RRP price of £95!

Monty the Penguin

Whether you’re completely sucked into the commerciality of each brands campaign or not, research conducted by the Advertising Association found that almost 50% of participants said they were moved to tears by a festive ad and one in six said that they had even changed plans to watch the premiere of their favourite Christmas advertisement.

Whether it’s embracing the festive songs playing through the shops early November, or eagerly waiting in anticipation for the release of the ads. It is no secret that the majority of us are crazy for that warm and comforting feeling that accompanies the Christmas period, often spoon-fed to us in subliminal messages of love, harmony and togetherness conveyed in each advert.

The stand-out Christmas ads of 2017 so far:

  • John Lewis – #UnderTheBed
  • Aldi – #KevinAndKatie
  • Debenhams – #YouShall
  • Waitrose – #ChristmasTogether
  • Argos – #ReadyForTakeOff
  • M&S – #LoveTheBear
  • Asda – Imaginarium #BestChristmasEver
  • Toys R Us – Geoffrey the Giraffe

We did a round-up at the KC Communications office to find out what it is about festive ads that tickles our tinsel!

Sarah

I live for Christmas adverts and I’m definitely not one of these people that complains how early they are – the earlier the better I say!

My favourite adverts are the ones that move away from the commercial ‘present giving’ message and are about being with friends and family. One of my favourites is the Bear & Hare John Lewis advert from a few years ago. Anything tear-jerking is a winner for me.

M&S has done a pretty great job this year with their ‘Love the Bear’ Christmas advert but I’m keen to see what John Lewis have up their sleeves!

Sarah Benson

Megan

Christmas is my favourite time of year and I get excited at the sight of all things Christmassy so when the adverts start coming on TV I love it, particularly the Coca-Cola truck ad, purely because it’s a classic ad.

I’m really family orientated and I have young children in my family so any advert with kids and family really tug at my heartstrings.

The 2011 John Lewis – The Long Wait advert was hands down the best for me but for 2017 I’d say my favourite so far is Aldi’s Kevin and Kate… the best love story since the Titanic!

Meg West

Amanda

I was a little disappointed with this year’s John Lewis advert as I love an ad that tugs at my heart strings!

Then I saw the wonderful Debenhams ‘You Shall’ advert and I loved it! I’m a sucker for romance and the Cinderella-esque love story had me hooked (and of course the happy ending).

When it comes to all-time favourite adverts, it has to be the Man on the Moon. Whilst it was full of the usual kind and heartwarming messages, there was something about the relationship between the child and elderly man that got me!

Amanda Evans

Paula

I’ve decided my favourite ad is the M&S cooperation with Paddington. The main reason behind that can be summarised by saying “too. cute.”. Anything with Paddington is an instant winner with me! However, runner up would be the Very.co.uk ad with the Wolf – if it features cute animals, I’m in!

My all time favourite Christmas ad is a very tough choice! However, I’ll have to go with an advert that my brain has associated with the start of Christmas for as long as I can remember.

The Coca-Cola truck ad, of course. However, in my homeland (Poland) we created an entire song to go with it. In rough translation, the chorus goes along the lines of “The holidays are nearer and nearer”. Hearing it on the TV instantly puts me in the Christmas spirit! Here’s a recent version performed by the winner of The Voice of Poland.

Paulina Kowalska

Laura

Having lived abroad in Singapore for 4 Christmas’s as a child, we often missed the build up to Christmas in the 35 degree heat! So, I love Christmas adverts that show the whole experience. The Coca-Cola advert has always been a favourite of mine and really signifies that Holidays are coming.

This year I am loving ‘Love The Bear’ and having two young kids that are into Paddington, I am sure they will too!  It only seems a minute since we put the Easter bunny away, but now the Christmas adverts are on TV, surely we are allowed to put the Christmas tree up?!

Laura Batchelor

Katrina

My favourite Christmas ad of all time is John Lewis’s 2010 ad, titled “Tribute to Givers”. Having two young children this ad, in particular, resonates with me, especially sneaking presents around the children to get them out of sight. Not only that, have you tried wrapping some of the toys kids get nowadays, a toy kitchen, in particular, drove me insane one year!

For this year, I have to agree with Amanda! I think the Debenhams ‘You Shall’ campaign is fantastic as not only does it captivate you with the romance element, but it takes into consideration modern day technology. The use of hashtags throughout the advert and the viral campaign is a great reflection of online communication in the present day.

Katrina Cliffe