Christmas in the UK is like the Superbowl in the US

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There are arguably two major annual events that bring out the best Brand creativity year after year: The Superbowl in America, and Christmas in the UK. At the beginning of November, the Christmas season officially kicked-off in the UK with the unveiling of a flurry of campaigns. Every retailer that you can think of has thrown their hat in the creative octagon: Waitrose, Aldi, Lidl, M&S, Curry’s, Asda, Boots, Morrison’s, Argos, and of course John Lewis.

The one Brand that really sets the bench-mark for Christmas creativity is John Lewis. Year after year, JL delivers brilliance, a bit like Bud used to do at the Superbowl. From time to time other retailers rival their creative eximagescellence, such as Sainsbury’s in 2014 and Tesco in 2012. However, none are as consistently brilliant in igniting the Christmas spirit in us all. The stories are heart-wrenching, beautiful, and inspired.

The good that we all desire is embodied again and again, making us love John Lewis a bit more every year. According to the Express, the 2015 John Lewis ad had immediate effect on elderly charity “Independent Age” interest: a 600% increase in inquiries and 370 volunteers on Friday versus the usual 60. The Brand simply dictates the Christmas dialogue and brings out the better in all of us. Their campaign is fully integrated well beyond charity, with full onsite, mobile and social experiences (see some here). They are so culturally prevalent that professional spoofs are created within hours of the TV ad release (see below: Original & Star Wars version):

The other giant of this Season is Sainsbury’s, who have developed another true work of wonder in 2015. After their re-enactment of the World War I Christmas Day football game, they needed to really dig deep into their creative acumen to pull out another great piece of work. While I do not believe it matches the raw power and intelligence of last year’s work, their “Mog’s Christmas Calamity” is a very heart-warming and cinematic piece that brings a new chapter of this famous cat’s adventure to the British public. In doing so, it create a bond with the nation.

So far the only other Brand that has a respectable holiday film is Aldi. The storytelling is warm and slightly enchanting, the production is quality, and ability to create an authentic holiday feel is achieved. There is little amplification of significance that can be noticed aside from some social media posts, even the site has decor but no obvious content. Let’s see what Tesco and Sainsbury’s have in store for us this festive season!


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