With just over six weeks until Christmas Day, the internet and social media are a frenzy with gift roundups, holiday GIFs and the launch of beloved high street adverts. The latter is one of my favourite things about being in the UK at Christmas. As a self-confessed crier at commercials, I look forward to early November when stores unveil their stories that pull at our heartstrings every year.
Last Friday we were introduced to Moz, the cuddly monster featured within this year’s John Lewis’ advert, and after the initial viewing, it got me thinking: what is it about quiet soulful music, adorable creatures and an emotional seasonal message that equates to shareable content?
Here are my three thoughts on why there will always be room for this type of content:
1. In an otherwise complicated world, people continue to look for a comforting escape
I’m sure most people would agree that 2017 has been a rollercoaster of unpredictable ups and downs for millions across the world. Like a good book on a rainy day, there is just something about stumbling across a feel good campaign that makes you feel safe and brings a smile to your face, especially during the holiday season.
In my opinion, the Coca-Cola Christmas advert from 2010 is a perfect example of this. Since I was a child, I’ve associated Christmas with the soft drink brand. Whether the advert features polar bears, a jolly Santa or the infamous truck, Coca Cola has been winning at the Christmas game since the 1950s. Their adverts not only pull on the heartstrings but they are also very good at incorporating their product into a one to three-minute story that is relatable and engaging.
2. Music is a global language that speaks volumes for brand sentiment
Don’t you just love when a song instantly reminds you of a feeling, particular memory or even an advert? I can’t listen to Lily Allen’s version of ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ without thinking of John Lewis’ ‘The Bear and the Hare’ advert from 2013.
The addition of music can definitely uplift and position an advert above others, particularly when an artist collaboration naturally aligns with the brand. According to a 2016 Ofcom report the majority of UK adults (64%) go to YouTube for music which opens up a plethora of opportunities for brands to market their products, engage with relevant audiences and encourage natural sentiment, even outside of the Christmas period.
3. Seasonal content needs to be more than just a stocking filler
Brands like John Lewis have been producing memorable adverts for 10 years and just as the online consumer journey has evolved, people now expect a multi-channel experience as oppose to a stand-alone advert.
Like the perfect gift, there is the assumption that these adverts will exude both quality and quantity. This then presents a challenge for smaller brands, most likely due to budget constraints and creative resource. Having said this, there is still plenty of opportunity for smaller brands to get a foot in the door of the online Christmas conversation, especially if they promote their USP in a way that is both natural and innovative and choose the right platforms to push out their content.
Overall, intelligent content will always win. Here’s the latest John Lewis advert which teaches us that a friend is never far away, especially at Christmas.