You know it's Christmas when...

11th Nov 2016

You know it's Christmas when...

Whether you like it or not, Christmas is coming. It will be here before you know it and no matter how advanced your festive planning skills are, there's bound to be that last minute panic.

Why are we talking about Christmas so much this early? Well, it could be that the Christmas advert machine is well and truly up and running, with all of your favourite brands wheeling out their annual effort to take the crown of best in show.


When is it acceptable to launch them? As soon as Halloween is over it would seem. Before it was all about securing a spot in the breaks between popular Saturday night television, but now it looks more about being first.


You know that it's the one piece of advertising that every big retail brand is secretly working on behind the scenes, almost from the moment the current advert launches. It's no surprise that brands are spending the big bucks on them year after year. Celebrity endorsements, animation, live action, historical, funny, sad, bizarre - the Christmas advert covers all forms. In the same year that Sainsbury's went for World War 1, M&S chose fairies and Lidl surprised everyone in their ad by telling them they were eating their food. If you do it right, it seems not to matter which subject you choose.


I suppose you would say that the current level of anticipation and expectation from Christmas adverts was started by John Lewis. They've run away with Coca Cola's "you know it's Christmas when you see..." crown in my opinion. It's hard to talk about Christmas adverts without talking about John Lewis.


You probably can't recall their first 'big spend' advert, but this should refresh your memory: From there, their adverts have only got bigger (not necessarily better) but the anticipation that goes with them has definitely grown. They have set a precedent and a benchmark for others to try - some more successfully than others - to follow.


What is a successful advert? Depending upon the brand, it will - broadly speaking - come down to two factors - an uplift in sales of merchandise associated with the advert or a sentimental win, where your advert is the one everyone can recall for all the right reasons. You've probably seen this year's effort from John Lewis (launched online yesterday and no doubt will feature on the box this weekend) and it seems to be the former. Head to their website and you can fill your stocking with as many Buster toys as you can shake a trampoline at.

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