News in the Ads #32

Forgive my tendency to get festive too early, but this week’s industry news has a Christmas focus (in part because I am counting down the days to my holiday, and also because I can’t resist anything red with fur trim).

1) Coca-Cola “Christmas”Coca-Cola has launched its global Christmas campaign, created by McCann Madrid. The work, which is running in more than 100 countries, features an eight-metre marionette Santa that is manoeuvred by people in a town at Christmas time. According to McCann Madrid, the campaign is centred on the idea that “when people are united in the spirit of the Christmas season, something magical can happen”.

-> My first thoughts were “More of the lorry please? What is this music?” but then I remembered that this is a global campaign, and ergo more cheesy. Magical the giant puppet certainly is, and I get the affiliation with Coke (with the whole happiness mantra) but I also find it creepy. Additionally, how can Santa fit down the chimney?!

2) Vodafone Ireland “Christmas campaign” by Grey London
Grey has created a 60-second cinema and TV spot for Vodafone Ireland. The animated film tells the story of a young reindeer that returns home to see his friends and family for Christmas, only to find that no-one is around when he arrives. It is then revealed that they have planned a surprise party for him.

-> I nearly shivered when I watched this, and not due to the cold. Sugar-cane sweet, the advert nauseatingly positions Vodafone as the Christmas good guy but without explaining why. “Good surprises” mysteriously await the Vodafone customer come the 25th, but I anticipate these being standard customer care. Ideally with phone companies, I would rather have no surprises at all.

3) Debenhams says ‘no’ to Santa’s grotto
The department store chain, has this year signalled the end of an era by announcing that there will be no grottos or Santas in its shops for the first time in several years. It said that last year, customers complained that they saw four or five versions of the mythical character in just one shopping trip and that their prevalence was spoiling the magic.

-> I love this story – purely as a result of Debenhams taking the moral high road in the rise of the fake Santa. I guess the sad part of the story is that there are a lot of less convincing Santas out there, as well as a lot of confused children. Although Netmums would suggest otherwise – viewing Debenhams’ decision as a means of saving money.

4) John Lewis extends Christmas ad campaign with book launch
John Lewis is launching a book that tells the story of the snowman and his journey, which are the subject of the retailer’s high profile Christmas campaign.

-> What is a Christmas advertising news post without a mention of John Lewis? The retailer have launched a range of products surrounding the snowman’s journey, including a knit your own snowman kit. The snowman also features in a social media and experiential campaign with him featuring in spots across the country. For his sake, let’s hope it snows.

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