This year, it’s safe to say, has not been one to celebrate. But, with Christmas around the corner and many festive ads already hitting screens, celebrate brands must. But how?

Martin Vinter, Managing Director, Media, Ebiquity says:

Back in 2007, John Lewis’ return to the small screen – after three years away – redefined Christmas ads as we know them today. That ad [below], created by Lowe London, showed people stacking presents to produce a shadow of a woman and her dog to the soundtrack of Aubade/Morning Serenade from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. With that ad, it felt like Christmas advertising had changed forever – at least, in hindsight. Fast forward to 2020 and we have become accustomed to big Christmas brand campaigns. It is generally where retailers blow open their marketing coffers and unleash their biggest brand campaign of the year. 

Given the events of the last 10 months, it is very probable that Christmas will see advertisers make a little less of a deal out of this year’s Christmas campaigns. 2020 has already been a watershed moment for advertising as a whole, and the Christmas campaign is likely to be a manifestation of this challenging year. The reality is it will be a very different Christmas for most of the population – many families will have to spend it apart in order to abide by the law. Traditional Christmas values aren’t as relevant now and with consumer confidence in the doldrums and marketing budgets under pressure, the backdrop is challenging – even if most supermarket and food retailers are faring better than many other industries.

Brand owners will have to re-think Christmas campaigns financially, creatively and – importantly – societally. Covid-19 and the resulting impact on society, from how we interact to how we work and trade, means the campaign execution has to balance the relevant – a socially distanced society – but also allow us to reminisce about better times. Christmas 2020 is not the Christmas we are used to, and the challenge for brands and their agencies is to reflect this in sentiment and the creative execution.”



To read the article in full on Shots, click here.

First featured 02/11/2020. 

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