Coca-Cola have produced a cinematic short film launched in Brazil and is an impressive production. The brand are skipping the traditional adverts for this year; the festive bottles said to be replacing this- such is their faith in their 'Make Someone Happy' campaign. This short film more than replaces the traditional adverts- the story centres around a child wishing to see 'Papa Noel,' writing a letter and placing it in a glass Coca-Cola bottle, asking if he's not visiting because of the broken bridge into the town, meaning Santa's' carriage can't cross- resulting in his father reading the letter and deciding to rebuild the bridge into their village- bringing the community together to fix the bridge, the coca-cola trucks (and Santa!) are then able to come to town and the entire village is overjoyed at seeing him. The short is based on 'Uma Ponte para Noel' from J. Walter Thompson Brazil (meaning 'A Bridge for Santa') and the short is part of a larger campaign where the story will be retold on the streets of Brazil through a parade of Coca-Cola's vans, which have been brought out every Christmas season since 1995. For those who are unable to go to these parades, they will be making a 360º animation for Google Cardboard. The campaign makes it onto my list mainly as it is actually different! These past few years, many brands are following John Lewis down the path of trying to emotionally scar viewers with lonely old people on the moon, or little penguins needing a friend- Coke show we don't need these things- Christmas adverts can be heart-warming without being heart-breaking.
Send a Cow is a charity where someone's gifts an animal or farming tools to families in Africa, the idea is to start an upward cycle- for example, if you gift a dairy cow, the family will be provided with milk- and money from the sales of surplus milk, they will also be able to use the cows manure on the fields for their crops, and when the cow produces a calf, the cycle carries on as that animal is given to another family in need. The charity have produced a campaign for Christmas, a spoof advert asking people to, "turn panto season into planting season in Africa" encouraging donations for Christmas presents. This campaign makes it into my top picks as not only is it a good cause (every donation between now and Christmas will be matched by the UK government) but is also quite memorable tying into the Christmas panto theme to turn out to be a rather clever bit of marketing.
I'm rather fickle when it comes to my favorite Christmas advert- it must change every time I talk about it, however, for the last week the top spot has been taken by Aldi's telescope Christmas ad. With the tagline, 'Aldi prices are anything but astronomical,' Aldi show their humour with a cheeky spoof advert of John Lewis' 'Man on the Moon' campaign which has been very popular this year. The man in Aldi's advert is sat on the 'moon' using the classic Aldi line of 'I like this one' (referring to John Lewis' £109.95 telescope) 'and I like this one' (pointing to Aldi's much cheaper £69.99 telescope) finishing with 'I'm over the moon with this one' – where 'Jean' floats down on her armchair lifted by balloons. This advert has proved to be rather successful, the tongue in cheek homage to John Lewis' advert received well by the British public.
One of the latest Christmas adverts this year comes from BBC One, which features animated BBC stars- those from The Great British Bake Off, Doctor Who, Sherlock, Strictly Come Dancing, and The Voice. 'Sprout Boy' sets out to find friendship at Christmas, and is turned away at every stage as "nobody ever liked a sprout" until he is taken in by the BBC stars for a Christmas dinner. BBC said of the campaign, "the campaign shines a light on BBC1 bringing the nation together in their millions through its line up of Christmas schedule programming, characters and talent." I quite like this little sprout, I might think twice before wrinkling my nose at them this Christmas. Maybe. Probably not.
Pret a Manger don't advertise traditionally throughout the year, and carry this on throughout Christmas, instead, they use their storefronts, packaging, team members and social media channels to tell the stories of its chosen charities and interact with customers. Over two million customers per week will see their five chosen charities logos on its packaging and coffee cups and every for Christmas sandwich/ baguette bought, Pret will donate 50p of this to the Pret Foundation Trust, which then will distribute it to the charities. A quick look at their social media and you will see stories of those the charities are helping, as well as a photograph campaign on their Instagram account to show Pret's apprenticeship scheme for the homeless or ex-offenders who are turning their life around. The campaign isn't one seen before, and I think it is worth much more than a Christmas advert or marketing campaign from any other company who simply want to increase their own sales, the charities are gaining national exposure from the campaigns and benefit from the donations, and whilst Pret will be benefiting from the positive PR, the chairites are the ones to gain the most this Christmas.