It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, so here’s a festive message from us to you!
By Kelly Gerrish
When it comes to Christmas marketing ideas, a lot of businesses think short-term. While discounting products to boost sales may increase revenue initially, it doesn’t create long-term loyalty.
Executed the right way, Christmas marketing can build customer loyalty that will far outlast the leftover turkey and put your business top of the tree for the New Year.
Tell me what you want, what you really, really want
A key principle of marketing is giving your customers what they really want. One company who took this literally is Canadian airline WestJet in 2013. The result is a heartwarming viral campaign that will bring a smile (and possibly even a tear) to the Scroogiest of us all.
Before boarding their plane, passengers were asked by Santa what they wanted for Christmas. Requests ranged from the traditional socks and a warm scarf, to a tablet and a big screen TV. The passengers were then greeted at their destination by their wrapped and individually labelled presents on the luggage belt.
Unsurprisingly, the customers were blown away! WestJet’s video of the stunt went viral, garnering 43 million views on YouTube. Not bad for a company with only 3,700 YouTube subscribers at the time.
The best thing about it is not the company giving away free presents. It’s WestJet recognising and rewarding their most valuable asset: the customers. And the next time those passengers needed to travel, you can bet that WestJet were top of their minds.
By Kelly Gerrish
Whether you’re looking to check off gifts for those on your Christmas list or score some new technology for yourself at a serious discount, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the retail holidays for you.
Nowadays it’s difficult to tell when Black Friday ends and Cyber Monday begins. But it’s not that important to differentiate among them anyway. Now that practically everything is offered online, is there really a reason to brave the cold and the flying elbows?
It was a black Friday for the UK high street, as the predicted repeat of last year’s in-store chaos failed to materialise. Instead a change in consumer buying behaviour saw shoppers flock online for their shopping. Discounts of up to 60% resulted in the UK’s first £1 billion day online, with Amazon reporting a record 86 sales per second.
The added benefit of Cyber Monday being payday for many leaves them poised to splash the cash now rather than on Friday. Indeed, Cyber Monday sales are expected to bring in another £943m, up 31% from last year.
For some, Cyber Monday offers the exact same benefits as Black Friday – without the hassle. The increase in mobile devices means price comparison has never been easier, with other retailers just a click away. Surely it’s worth opting for the comfy sofa instead of the crowded shopping centre where you can’t even get a parking space…
By Kelly Gerrish
So it isn’t just John Lewis who like to make us cry in the run up to Christmas. Tugging at the heartstrings transcends the language barrier in this advert for the Spanish lottery currently taking the internet by storm.
The Pixar Up!-style animation shows a lonely security guard, Justino, whose night shifts mean his human contact is minimal. His only interaction is with the mannequins he pretends to play football with, and even feeds his tea to at one point. He sets up a series of thoughtful surprises for his colleagues to brighten their days when they get into work the next morning, but his lonely night routine means he receives no recognition.
But that all changes when the lottery syndicate he’s set up comes up trumps, and he is welcomed onto his next shift by his colleagues.
While the message of ‘you’ll have plenty of friends once you’ve won the lottery’ is more than a little flawed, the advert manages to give you that warm glow we normally reserve for John Lewis’ festive offering. The message is similar too – giving time to lonely people to ensure they don’t spend Christmas alone.
John Lewis, Spain may have just stolen your crown this year.
By Kelly Gerrish
Christmas excitement is no longer characterised by the race to the Christmas Number One. Instead, it’s a British department store’s festive TV offering that kickstarts the countdown to Christmas.
A lonely old man living on the moon is the unlikely focus of this year’s eagerly awaited John Lewis Christmas ad, as the department store puts a charitable spin on its latest multi-million pound campaign.
After two years of successful ads featuring cuddly animals – The Bear and the Hare, and penguins Monty and Mabel – this year the retailer is tugging at the heartstrings. Set to the Oasis track Half the World Away, it tells the story of a young girl, Lily, who spots an old man living on his own on the moon through her telescope. Concerned that he will spend Christmas alone, she finds a way to send him the perfect gift.
The strapline ‘Show someone they’re loved this Christmas’ reinforces Age UK’s message that ‘No one should have no one at Christmas.’
The advert reveal has come to signify the start of the Christmas shopping season for many. This year John Lewis is moving away from promoting its own product range, aiming instead to use the hype to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for Age UK. Profits from three products – a mug, gift tag and card – will go to the charity.
The retailer has spent £7m on its festive campaign, The Man in the Moon. As well as the TV ad, there’s also a smartphone game, merchandise including glow in the dark pyjamas, and 11 stores will feature areas decked out like the surface of the moon.
The launch of the ad has become a major event on the marketing calendar. Each year John Lewis has to meet (and preferably surpass) the expectations of a public obsessed with the ad like no other.
Rachel Swift, Head of Marketing at John Lewis, says that despite the hype increasing year on year, the retailer had stuck to the same strategy for the last five years. “It’s all about thoughtful gifting and going the extra mile for someone you love at Christmas,” she said. “We don’t go into it thinking, ‘This is going to be huge,’ just getting something right for the brand at this time of year and something we hope customers really love.”
13 million views 10 days after launch says that once again, John Lewis has hit the spot.
By Kelly Gerrish
With only a few advent calendar chocolates to go until the big day, now’s the time to curl up on the sofa under a blanket, hot drink in hand, for a Christmas flick. You’ve already seen the picks from our marketing team. Now here’s the personal favourites from our design team.
David Cornes, Studio Manager – The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
What says Christmas more than a fantasy world of magic, mythical beasts and talking animals? Add in Jadis the White Witch in her world of snow and ice and the classic battle of good versus evil, it’s C.S Lewis at his best and a perfect story for Christmas.
Richard Ellis, Senior Designer – Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Yes, I know that on the surface it doesn’t even slightly resemble a Christmas film. But it was always on at Christmas when I was a kid so the association is there for me. There are plenty of elements that make it a Christmas film. There’s a snow planet and if you take away the giant killing machines, it looks like a festive Winter Wonderland. It has elves that live in a magical cloud city. There are muppets and by association that makes it Christmas (see The Muppet Christmas Carol). There’s a reindeer, well sort of. And don’t forget the snowman!
David Flynn, Junior Designer – Father Christmas (1991)
This film reminds me of being a kid at Christmas time. I loved the food scene in Paris – I found all the food fascinating and Santa getting sick and hungover really funny. Merry Blooming Christmas!
So have we got it right? Or has our list gone horribly wrong? Let us know your Christmas crackers in the comments box below.
By Kelly Gerrish
It’s time to take a walk in right on the line’s winter wonderland of cinema – our best Christmas movies countdown! Here’s the personal favourites from our marketing team.
Venetia Rowland, Managing Director – Doctor Zhivago (1965)
Love in the snow and a revolution thrown in for good measure! Omar Sharif at the peak of his gorgeousness, this film tells of a love that inspires poetry. Directed by the great David Lean, it’s a Christmas must see! I love it as it’s a bit of a pot boiler with an ice palace as a back drop.
Kelly Gerrish, Account Manager – The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
Not the most critically acclaimed version of Charles Dickens’ tale to ever grace the screen, but The Muppet Christmas Carol is funny and heartwarming while staying surprisingly faithful to Dickens’ original story. I first saw this film at the cinema as a five year old and its become a Christmas staple ever since. There are moments where you forget it’s supposed to be a children’s film. You even forget it’s supposed to be a Muppet film. It’s just a wonderful festive story, enchantingly told with a cracking soundtrack to boot.
Katherine Udal, Account Manager – Love Actually (2003)
Love Actually is not only my ultimate festive film but one of my favourites in general. It reminds me of the most important factors of Christmas – family and friends. A real mixture of feel good and heart wrenching storylines get your emotions churning throughout the whole 136 minutes. I can’t wait to stick the fire on, snuggle up with my hot chocolate and watch it for the 1768324th time this year!
Danielle Every, Office Administrator – Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (1997)
Beauty and the Beast was my favourite film growing up so when this ‘midquel’ was released needless to say I loved it just as much. I really love it for nostalgic reasons as it reminds me of Christmas Eve with my family snuggled up with a hot milk before bed.
Check back tomorrow for our design team’s favourites and see whether you agree.
By Kelly Gerrish
Christmas adverts have become a real event in recent years with companies all upping their game in the battle to be the best. The best ones go out of their way to try and bottle that simply intangible Christmas feeling.
As the glut of Christmas adverts fills every ad break, now is the perfect time to share some of our favourites over the years to celebrate the magic of Christmas.
Irn Bru 2006 – The Snowman
The Snowman is one of the best loved Christmas films of all time so Irn Bru tapping into it for their 2006 advert was a stroke of genius.
The advert re-creates the memorable flight with Walking in the Air playing in the background, and the pair take flight after the boy takes a swig of Irn Bru. It’s clear to see where Red Bull got their inspiration for their Gives You Wings campaign.
Sainsburys 2014 – Christmas is For Sharing
Sainsburys’ emotional tribute to fallen soldiers gave John Lewis a run for their money this year.
Made in partnership with the Royal British Legion, it focuses on the famous Christmas Day football match between British and German forces in 1914 and the unexpected comradeship between a British and German soldier. It’s a real tear-jerker, but it’s not the first to pull at the heart strings.
John Lewis 2013 – The Bear and the Hare
John Lewis has had some winning efforts over the years, but the most memorable is last year’s The Bear and The Hare.
Entirely hand drawn, it shows a hare giving his friend a Christmas he’ll never forget by gifting him an alarm clock to ensure he wakes from his slumber to join them all round the Christmas tree.
Of course they’ve given it a good shot this year too – but who could beat the look on the bear’s face when he sees Christmas for the first time? John Lewis definitely love a heart-warming ending.
Coca Cola 1995 onwards – Holidays Are Coming
It’s a familiar sight on our TV screens at Christmas. For most of us, seeing that fleet of twinkling Coca-Cola trucks chugging their way along the snowy landscape really marks the start of Christmas. The Holidays Are Coming advert is so iconic that Coca Cola haven’t needed to think up a new campaign each year. It’s simply not Christmas until you’ve seen this advert – we couldn’t imagine Christmas without it.
By Kelly Gerrish
With only 18 days before the big day, it really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Apart from the mad shopping rush and preparing your festive menu, it’s also a time to say thank you to your customers for their loyalty over the past year. Holidays are coming – how will you keep your customers coming back once the tree has wilted and the festivities are over?
The ways you can show your appreciation are as wide as your imagination. Why not get into the Christmas spirit with something fun and engaging?
Here at right on the line we can help you with anything from holiday greeting e-cards and festive giveaways to corporate rewards schemes. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a chat over a mince pie.