Apart from the Super Bowl, no annual event is more significant in the world of advertising than the festive season. This year, the run-up to Christmas has coincided with another ad-friendly spectacle: the FIFA World Cup. In the United States, where the holiday season has already kicked off with Thanksgiving, Fox Sports and the agency Hungry Man brought soccer and Santa together.
In the UK, McCann’s recurring Kevin the Carrot character – for supermarket chain Aldi – is trying to relax in front of a match when a mysterious intruder interrupts.
With the following spot for the snack Pringles, Grey London combine football and Christmas in a way that approaches the surreal.
The British have long been known for their ability to craft emotional Christmas films – largely due to the annual offering for department store John Lewis, by Adam&EveDDB. In the past animatronic animals such as penguins and dragons have provided the required sprinkle of magic, but this year the agency returned to reality with a film that has a rewarding twist at the end. Handkerchiefs at the ready, everyone.
Let’s take a break from festive films for a moment to look at some less traditional innovations. Here’s a great one from the agency We Believers, which re-purposed beer delivery trucks to bring people together for the holidays.
Everyone knows that Christmas can be stressful, to the point of having a negative impact on mental health. A Canadian non-profit and the agency Citizen Relations took a familiar holiday trope – the kitsch Christmas jumper – and used it to raise awareness of the issue, via some obliging influencers.
Now we’re going to cheat a bit and leap back to last year, when Dentsu Creative came up with a cheerful digital idea for Spotify. But to trigger it on your phone, you had to open a good, old-fashioned newspaper.
We’ll finish with a couple of our favourite films from this season. In Germany, the supermarket Penny rivals John Lewis for Christmas presence. This year its agency Serviceplan pulled out all the dramatic stops with an ad about closing the generation gap.
It’s time to finish on a high. There’s nothing like romance at Christmas, and this spot for the UK’s National Lottery – once again from Adam&EveDDB – is note perfect: the story, craft and casting could hardly be better. Enjoy it with our compliments. And happy holidays!