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Unwrapping the Appeal of Christmas Ads

date 19th November 2019
user Post by hatch

Nothing signals the start of the festive season quite like the flurry of Christmas ads that make us laugh, cry, reach for our wallets and give us something to talk about with extended family.

The star at the top of the tree – if you will – is often John Lewis out of the UK. The department store consistently delivers Christmas cheer and in turn impressions, recall and recognition.

A spokeswoman for the company told the BBC, "Our ads always deliver an excellent return on investment at a time of year that is critical for us, generally delivering 20 times the return on our original spend.”



Christmas ads can now even directly drive new revenue streams based on their content. UK grocery chain Aldi created a 2018 campaign based on ‘Kevin the Carrot’ and subsequently created a crisis on social media because the £3.99 plush version sold out so fast.


These ads work so well because they invoke an emotional response in the audience, and reap the rewards of linking that with their brands. At Christmas, this comes with the added benefit of being the time of year that people are actually actively seeking out advertising.


The flipside of this is the expense that goes into a TVC like John Lewis’. Their 2018 video allegedly cost them £8m, which is the kind of cash many New Zealand brands can’t spare. That’s where radio comes in.

Theater of the mind is the common term used to explain the association audio has on our psyche. The sound of bells jingling, boots in the snow (*sand in our case) and ripping wrapping paper are effective means of painting a picture, without the expense of an animated character.

Perth Zoo - Silent Night





Radio is an ideal media for those looking to foray into festive advertising, without the commitment of a six figure spend.




Have you got a great example of Christmas copywriting? Enter it into the 2020 Orcas here.