Santa Claus is coming to town and no one can have possibly missed it. London is filled with lights, Christmas tunes and the rain has been replaced by the cold. Whist tourists and Londoners are rushing to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park and the city centre to shop and get ready for festive season marketeers are trying to come up with the most innovative strategies in oder to get a slice of the cake.
Retailers such as John Lewis, Selfridges and Harrods all have their winning campaigns already in place. The online as well as offline war has officially started. Customers are becoming more and more tech savvy and the rules of engagement have become more complex, urging marketeers to engage in cross-channel campaigns.
The John Lewis Christmas ad is an excellent example of these changes. The ad was first released on the 8th of November on the John Lewis website and Youtube before being broacasted on TV for the Xfactor on the following Saturday night. This early online release has been a winning strategy that has allowed for the brand to create a momentum for the last couple of years.
The hype behind Christmas campaigns is considerable. The ad was created by the ad agency Adam and Eve and directed by Yves Geleyn and Elliot Dear. The making of this ad involved not only two directors and a successful ad agency but also a team of Disney characters designers and animators as well as talented modelmakers and postproduction artists.
The video below illustrate the impressive amount of work put into the production of the ad. The combination of 2D stop-motion with 3D set, gives, to my point of view a beautiful illustrative style.
While campaigns like this one are clearly impactful how do smaller companies manage to engage with their customers in this ever competitive period?
As I browsed around the web I realised that there seemed to be a flourishing amount of online competitions. Indeed competitions are allowing for brands to create a personal relationship with their customers by making them an integrated part of the campaign. Furthermore, in many cases the customers become the creators of the campaign.
There is a lot of obvious advantages to this kind of marketing activities. First of all, it raises brand awareness by engaging the audience. It also is relatively cheap as most of the work is done organically by the customers themselves. (For example by sharing their entries on social media)
This kind of campaign also comes with limitations and is in no means working for all companies. Indeed, the main danger is the loss of control over the brand image. It might work for smaller companies but should be handled with care for larger companies with an established image.
While I was researching for this article I came across a Christmas window competition and decided to go for it. The competition is organised by Shutterly Fabulous in partnership with the home store Pedlars. The idea seemed cool. You decorate your window and post the image on your blog. I really needed to give my bedroom a Christmassy feel so why not!
Here is the result!