About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Britain Wallows in Warmth of Christmas Ads

by Bidita Debnath on November 26, 2014 at 10:57 PM
Font : A-A+

 Britain Wallows in Warmth of Christmas Ads

As Christmas nears, in an attempt to get customers to part with their cash, British television screens are filled with heart-warming tales of lonely penguins, family reunions and homesick soldiers.

More and more retailers are ditching traditional product adverts for mini movies about love and friendship that have become a national talking point, ranked against each other by the media and subject to parody online.


High-street department store John Lewis, which started the trend a few years ago, again leads the pack with a tear-jerking tale of a little boy who makes his lonely toy penguin's Christmas by buying him a mate.

The two-minute video, which reportedly cost £7 million (8.8 million euros, $11 million), has been watched more than 17 million times since it went online in early November.

The retailer is also doing roaring trade in little fluffy toys of loving penguins Monty and Mabel, and a range of related merchandise.

Hot on their heels are the World War I soldiers imagined by supermarket Sainsbury's, whose three-minute ad tells the story of the Christmas truce between British and German forces in 1914.

The video has more than 12 million views on YouTube, although it has also been accused of being a crass attempt to commercialise the centenary of the start of the four-year conflict.

Many people also viewed it as a risk, given that there is no mention of Sainsbury's until the very end.

But experts say the importance of Christmas in the trading calendar is persuading advertising agencies to try new things.

November and December can represent up to 50 percent of annual turnover for some non-food retailers.

"You've got a massive corporate pressure to deliver at that time of year, so it creates a new rule book for campaigns and creativity," said Lorna Hawtin, head of strategy at the TBWA ad agency in Manchester.

It is hard to gauge the impact of such campaigns, but evidence gathered by the IPA advertising industry body is "pretty unequivocal" that such campaigns work, she told AFP.

John Lewis Christmas sales have increased for the past three years despite a difficult retail climate, and the first figures from this season suggest this trend will continue.

"All the research suggests that persuading consumers to buy is a much more emotional task than you might think," Hawtin said.

- Anonymous goodwill -

John Lewis is credited with shifting the competition from a battle to sell cut-price booze to making consumers feel good about spending their money on presents.

Their seasonal offering is now "a mini-movie with its own narrative" which gives an "uplifting, tear-jerking advertising experience", said Bryan Roberts, an analyst at Kantar Retail.

Viewers have bought into this vision to such an extent that the soundtracks to the last two ads -- both breathy covers of famous songs, as is this year's track -- have gone to number one in the charts.

Other retailers have moved in a similar direction, including high-street store Marks & Spencer, which previously featured celebrities and a full range of products in its ads.

This year it heralded the launch of its Christmas campaign with a series of anonymous acts of goodwill around Britain.

Ranging from covering a primary school in snow overnight to giving gifts to night shift workers, the acts were publicised by a Twitter account @TheTwoFairies -- later revealed as the two winged stars of the TV commercials.

The question now is how long customers will accept the saccharine vision of Christmas on offer in favour, say, of something that makes them laugh.

Spoofs are proliferating online -- in one mash-up, Monty the penguin ends up as Christmas lunch, while in another his first meeting with Mabel is re-dubbed with Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On".

Source: AFP

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Emotional Healing
Psychosis Risk Related to Cat Parasite
Sedentary Behavior Precipitates Night-Time Hot Flashes
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Christmas Feast, Itís always Grand with Cake and Wine Keep Calm at Christmas / 11 Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress How to Keep Christmas Calories under Control Prevent Christmas Injuries Top 10 Tips For A Healthy Christmas 

Recommended Reading
Get Back in Shape After the Christmas Binge
Not knowing the correct way to work out could be harmful for all those wanting to get rid of the ......
Christmas Cards Finally Delivered After 60 Years
In some bizarre news this festive season, a stack of Christmas cards mailed in 1953 have finally ......
Priceless Christmas Gift: Woman Donates Kidney to Colleague
A 51-year old project manager at Royal Bank of Scotland gave a priceless Christmas gift to her ......
Survey Finds Increase In Number Of Deaths On Christmas in Comparison To Other Days
More people die on Christmas than any other day of the year, suggests a new survey....
Christmas Feast, Itís always Grand with Cake and Wine
Christmas is celebrated as a religious and cultural festival by billions of people around the ......
How to Keep Christmas Calories under Control
Christmas festivities need not to be synonymous with weight gain and obesity. With some low calorie ...
Keep Calm at Christmas / 11 Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress
Christmasís emphasis on sharing and loved ones makes it special, but it also makes it harder for som...
Prevent Christmas Injuries
Christmas injuries can ruin the holiday season, but with a little effort you can prevent Christmas i...
Top 10 Tips For A Healthy Christmas
Christmas is a time of indulgence. But still you can stay away from weight gain by following these 1...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use