• Katie Geraghty

Big magic comes from little moments: A Christmas Ad Round Up

One of the first signs of Christmas is the slew of festive ads that arrive on our screens. And we couldn’t be happier – after all, what’s Christmas without the likes of the John Lewis ad, or the Disney animated short?


Well, we’ve done a deep dive into this year's global Christmas campaigns, so you don’t have to! It looks like brands are singing the same Christmas hymn sheet, with adverts running with similar themes.


It’s clear that the pandemic has caused many brands to reflect. What is it about Christmas that we love most? With this in mind, brands seem to be going back to basics – if the last 20 months have taught us anything, it is that it’s little things that can make a big impact.


We’ve put our Santa hats on and written our very own ‘Nice List’ of recurring themes…


UNAPOLOGETICALLY SPECIFIC

Many brands are honing in on a specific audience this year, opting to appeal to a segment of their target audience with a niche campaign.

Going with this strategy, as opposed to the usual appealing to the masses with a generic campaign (and sometimes missing the mark in the process) is a risky move, but when it works it pays off tenfold.

Following on from their successful ‘Lola’ campaign, this year Disney tells the story of the ‘Stepdad’. This ad isn’t going to hit the feels with everyone, but it will resonate strongly with a specific audience. With their message of ‘from our family to yours’, Disney makes it clear that this statement includes every type of family – a gorgeous tribute with beautiful animation.



KEEPING IT LOCAL

In the same vein of ‘unapologetically specific’, sport brands in particular have taken a localised or native approach this year with their adverts.

JD Sports centred their advert on the streets of Greater Manchester calling it ‘JD Street’ – where the brand was born some 20 years ago. Going back to their roots tells us so much about the brand itself and allows us into their world. And as for the people of Greater Manchester, they feel special in having their home put on the main stage.


SCHOOL TALENT SHOWS

Who doesn’t love a good Christmas Talent Show? Don’t answer that…

TK Maxx and ASDA both feature a Talent Show in their Christmas adverts this year. While ASDA used this scene as a way of showing the hustle and bustle in the lead up to Christmas, TK Maxx approached it as a way to sell their product, showing a young boy being inspired to play piano because of his brand new shoes.



ACTS OF KINDNESS & ‘REAL MAGIC’

Coca Cola's campaign this year coined the term ‘real magic’, which celebrates the idea that magic comes from the unexpected moments of connection in our everyday lives.

In their Christmas ad we see a family move into a new apartment. When the young boy realises there is no chimney or fireplace he makes it his mission to create one himself, bringing the community of those living there together along the way. This ad creates its own ‘unexpected moment’ for the viewer, and – spoiler!– it’s a real heartwarmer.

Littlewoods took a similar approach with their Irish campaign this year, showing that even in the smallest acts of kindness, big love can be found.




It’s clear that brands this year have really tapped into current consumer sentiment. After the past two years, and the ongoing situation with the pandemic, we are all reflecting on what is important this Christmas – those little magic moments with each other.

Christmas is a time for connection - and nothing is more important to us at Pluto, than making impactful Connections That Stick for our clients.

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