Christmas 2014: The brands that emotionally connect with us

Christmas brand ad 2014

Retailers are all scrambling to remind us that Christmas is just around the corner. For most, this is the key time of the year where they need to enhance their connection with their customers to stay top of mind and maximise their share of wallet.

Here are is selection of this season’s best Chrissy ads that deliver powerful and relevant Christmas brand story telling.

John Lewis – Monty the Penguin

This year’s offering from the retailer who is the master of the Christmas brand ad. It’s another big budget production with Tom Odell remaking John Lennon’s ‘Real Love’ for the soundtrack. Once again, they’ve cleverly used kids, animals and music to tell a story of Christmas but is the theme growing tired?


Sainsbury’s – Christmas is for sharing

Rivaling John Lewis in the UK for the first time for Christmas ad crown is Sainsbury’s. The story of the Christmas truce on the Western Front during World War One is an epic but polarising commercial that is getting the retailer loads of attention. While some feel the use of WW1 is insensitive or disrespectful, the message of ‘Christmas is for sharing’ seems to be winning over most people. Profits from the chocolate shown in the ad are all going to charity.


David Jones – The things we do for love

David Jones has invested much more into their Christmas ad this year. It’s been described as very John Lewis and I’m sure their ads provide much of the inspiration. It’s much better than last year’s tacky effort of just throwing lots of product at us and has a very Aussie Christmas feel, even complete with no Chimney on the house.


Waitrose – The Gingerbread Stall

Waitrose finds a great way to not only connect their brand to Christmas but also emphasise their brand differentiator that people that work they care more because they own the store.


Marks & Spencer – Follow the fairies

M&S shows the brands cheeky side and uses humour to stand out from the other department stores.


Bonds – Shine bright with Bonds

One of the few Aussie brands who invests in Christmas, Bonds continues to try to convince us socks and jocks do make a good present. This year they’ve steered completely clear of the Christmas cliches, and have opted for an upbeat production to promote all new prints in confetti, glitter and stars. It doesn’t really connect with Christmas but maybe I will be proved wrong if Bonds convince ‘us’ to wear festive underwear this season. The ad is also being strengthened by the ‘pledge to shine bright’ social campaign that encourages random acts of kindness to makes someone’s Christmas shine brighter.


Michael Hughes
Managing Partner, Strategy 

1 Comment

  1. jordina evins

    hi, just wanted to say thanks for bringing the Christmas ads together in your mail. I am living in the UK, background in marketing & comms, but now more in the Community Investment space working in London. Interesting to see the DJs ad, appreciate budget issue, but it really didn’t resonate with me, just didn’t connect on the level of the UK ones, love the soundtrack to M&S, and resonate with the challenges of Waitrose….and Sainsburys I am in the “for it” school of thought. I was disappointed with penguins and John Lewis too – thought have we not seen this before, BUT then again an 11 year old little male friend, absolutely loved it, wants a penguin, and they are all sold out, so I am obviously not the target audience.

    Happy Christmas



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