Many people have those special Christmas memories, waking up early to open presents, Christmas lunches with family and falling asleep on the sofa in front of the fire. Christmas campaigns play on this nostalgia, using music and cosy scenes to remind us of the times we all hold dearDespite the challenges that 2020 has thrown at us, we’re still feeling mega festive and can’t wait for the day the big man pays us a visit this year. In true festive spirit – we’ve rounded up the most memorable Christmas campaigns of all time. Some of these are our favourites and you’ll no doubt recognise them, but what better way to spread Christmas cheer than to celebrate some of the very best Christmas adverts around.  

Well of course we couldn’t miss out Coco Cola and their iconic red truck that for many, is the first sign that Christmas is on its wayIt’s impossible not to feel Christmassy when ‘holidays are coming’ catches you off guard in early November. Since 1995, these trucks have been lighting up our television screens and bringing joy. Following the success of the advert, Coca Cola began touring the USA with their iconic trucksbringing the advert to life. In 2010, the trucks made their debut in the UK, visiting cities, towns and villages up and down the country allowing the advertisement to become a reality for many and further cementing Coco Cola’s relationship with Christmas.  

In recent years, German supermarket giant Aldi has created a very memorable and successful Christmas marketing campaign. The character of ‘Kevin the Carrot’ and his family have featured in Aldi’s Christmas adverts since 2016, quickly becoming one of the most popular festive characters. So popular in fact, that when Aldi released plush toys of the characters, they had to introduce a digital queuing system on their website, previously used for ticket sales to Glastonbury! It goes without saying that this little CGI character and his family have won the hearts of many across the UK and Ireland. This year, Aldi have added another layer of familiarity to their ‘Kevin the Carrot’ adverts, by using respective accents for British and Irish markets, appealing to their different audiences 

Before the razzle dazzle of CGI, 3 young children touched the hearts of many. In 1991, Kelloggs released this Christmas advert where a family goes against the grain by leaving out a bowl of corn flakes for Santa Claus. Later in the night, the youngest wakes up and shares a wonderful moment with old St NickThis advert captures the true magic of Christmas through the eyes of a child, inviting the audience to reminisce on their own childhood Christmases as well as those of their own children. It’s this personal connection and emotional experience that makes this advert so effective and memorable even almost 30 years later.  

John Lewis are synonymous with Christmas, and year on year, we all wait eagerly to see their latest offering. In 2011, the retailer made the decision to launch their advert online first, gaining a massive 1 million hits on the first day! By using iconic songs such as ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ and ‘Can’t fight this feeling’, as well as loveable characters like Excitable Edgar and Moz the Monster, John Lewis have firmly held their place as memorable Christmas campaign makers. They certainly upped the ante when it came to Christmas ads and 2020s offering is no different. Though they dramatically reduced their budget to raise money for charities Fareshare, to help those facing food poverty and Home-Start, which supports parents in need, their advert still packs an emotional punch. 

With 2020 being such a tough year for many, there’s an added need for sensitivity when it comes to Christmas campaigns. Due to the UK living in varying levels of restriction, and governments ever changing guidelines in response to the pandemic, it’s clear that people are craving human connection more than ever before. With this in mind, many retailers have focused on a coming together of sorts and showing love to one another. Coca ColaJohn Lewis and Aldi have all centred their festive marketing campaigns around togetherness and love this year, while grocery retailer Tesco have taken slant on the situation. By forgiving ’naughty’ behaviour such as buying too much toilet roll and cancelling the naughty listTesco have managed to make light of the difficult situation that we all found ourselves in this year, bringing back that feeling of happiness and joy that Christmas marketing campaigns are all about.  

Check out our insights and tools hub for tips on building a marketing campaign with human connections at its core.  

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