Talking about the 2022 John Lewis Christmas ad, Dr. Annmarie Hanlon claims that the period from October to January brings around 70% of year sales. And this is not unique to the department store powerhouse. Brands around the world prepare months in advance in the hopes of creating an advert which is sharable, memorable and, of course, profitable.
In her run down of the best Christmas ads for Time Out, Alice Saville says:
It’s that time when mega brands pretend to be all-round decent normal guys by making poignant festive adverts about the value of togetherness, love and buying shedloads of festive tat.
The power of human
I mean, it’s such an odd phenomenon. All advertising and marketing communications should be about making connections with humans. How can you not when you’re trying to get them to do something? But time and time again, Adland tends to feel more sentimental (McDonalds), more people focused (Waitrose) and more magical (Asda) at Christmas.
When Proctor & Gamble assessed its own work it discovered “[…] work yielding an emotional response was eight times more likely to be successful than work eliciting indifference. They looked at 300 TV ads, 85 online videos, 100 Facebook posts and 50 in-store displays to conclude that messaging which generated positive reactions enjoyed the greatest impact.”
Creating emotion in humans drives impact. It makes communications “sticky” and memorable which helps people recall key moments. It doesn’t work because the communication is emotional, it works because the emotional reaction in us makes it memorable.
So what are our main takeaways?
It makes sense to take what we love from Christmas ads and apply it to all our communications throughout the year – like the gift that keeps giving. Here’s what we’ve learned:
By considering these takeaways and creating an emotional response within our comms, we can make the spirit of Christmas last all year. We will forge stronger connections when we embrace the human gifts of empathetic insight, authentic personality, compelling stories.
After all, humans are for life, not just for Christmas.