Whilst some brands choose to reproduce classic and iconic content each year, such as Cadbury’s Secret Santa Postal services and Coca Cola’s Christmas Truck, many brands find new and creative ways to grab the attention of the nation.
Discover some of my favourite Christmas marketing campaigns of 2023, which involved clever collaborations and events to maximise their impact in this competitive festive season.
Lidl – A Magical Christmas
I have a soft spot for Christmas campaigns starring adorable animals and Lidl’s 2023 offering is no exception, featuring a cute raccoon committed to ensuring a little boy receives his toy monkey after it is dropped and left behind by the boy’s mother. Despite the challenging journey for the raccoon, the raccoon’s act of kindness is all worth it when the boy receives his toy.
Building upon the role of toys in this campaign, Lidl’s Toy Bank has returned following huge success last year when gifts were given to over 80,000 children who would have otherwise missed out. Customers at the supermarket are invited to drop off new toys at their nearest store for distribution locally.
Further extending the campaign, Lidl has created soft toy plushies of both the raccoon and monkey, with all proceeds from the sales going to support the work of Neighbourly. Lidl has even headed to its Instagram stories to run a poll to determine the name of the raccoon, encouraging engagement with the campaign amongst consumers on the platform.
Disney – A Wish for The Holidays
Combining the magic of Christmas with a bit of Disney has created a truly impressive Christmas campaign. Simultaneously promoting Disney’s store and the company’s latest cinematic release ‘Wish’, the ad features actresses who voice the film’s protagonist Asha singing ‘A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes’ from Cinderella in several different languages.
With multiculturalism a key component of the ad, Disney doesn’t focus purely on Christmas during their advert this year, also choosing to recognise other festive traditions such as Hanukkah and Diwali for a more inclusive feel to their campaign. All of the scenes are tied together with an underlying theme of wanting to be together and with family during this period.
Disney has also used this opportunity to highlight its long-standing relationship with the children’s charity, Make A Wish. Marking the launch of Disney’s new Wish collection and the new film, Disney has donated $300,000 USD to Make-A-Wish International and its Affiliates.
John Lewis – Snapper: The Perfect Tree
No round-up of Christmas campaigns would be complete without mentioning John Lewis. This multi-faceted campaign is centred around a little boy called Alfie who buys a kit to grow the perfect Christmas tree and ends up nurturing a giant Venus flytrap complete with its loveable personality. The ad aims to highlight that the perfect Christmas (and the perfect Christmas tree) look different to everyone and that this is the season to create and honour your traditions.
John Lewis has conducted research into Christmas traditions, producing ‘The Festive Traditions Tracker’. This report highlights the changing ways that people across the nation with findings including that 6 in 10 people are investing in outdoor lighting and decorations and a third of people are planning to enjoy a mini ‘friendmas’ celebration. The report re-emphasises that traditions change, whilst providing regular references to John Lewis products.
Thanks to the popularity of John Lewis’s previous Christmas ads, many people look forward to the premiere each year. To make the most of this anticipation, John Lewis allowed customers to become a My John Lewis member and download the app so that they could be among the first to see the ad on launch day.
With Snapper’s charm and character proving to be infectious, John Lewis has created an extensive range of themed products to support the campaign, ranging from plushies to pyjamas to books and baubles. Stores are even selling Venus Flytraps for people who want to grow their own Snapper this Christmas.
The high street favourite has also worked in collaboration with Kew Gardens on this latest campaign. An illuminated version of Snapper is being featured as part of the Christmas at Kew light trail and a video has been produced with the team from Kew providing tips and advice on the best way to care for your own Snapper.
While John Lewis seems an obvious choice, we applaud its way of crunching numbers into this creative masterpiece as well as involving some genius collaborations for maximum PR.
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