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The PR Christmas gift that keeps on giving

Date Posted: 16/11/2016 10:18:56
Posted By: Geometry PR

For most of the year we do everything we can to avoid adverts, from recording programmes so we can FF through the annoying three minutes or so, to changing channels furiously, or just going old school and making a cup of tea.

However what happens to us in November is something of a Christmas miracle because we start talking about adverts as if they are a part of the festive build up, as if they’re holly-covered wrapping paper, mulled wine or stocking fillers.

These adverts have become as anticipated as the prospect of snow on the big day – and betting is as fierce.

John Lewis was one of the first to attach its sleigh to this particular reindeer, but this year Christmas adverts have snowballed with every retail giant having a Rudolph in the race.

We have John Lewis with the bouncing dogs, sister store Waitrose pinning its hopes on a cute robin while Aldi’s campaign success rests on the narrow shoulders of Kevin the carrot. Skating yetis are the animals of choice with Argos, while Sainsbury’s seems to have taken an early lead with James Cordon tugging at the heartstrings with his musical story about an overworked dad. M&S and Boots are all about the girls, with the former placing Mrs Claus firmly in the seat of power (a tad patronising in my opinion) and the latter singing the praises of the 500,000 women who work on Christmas Day. For sheer eye-watering extravagance alone first prize must go to Burberry, whose three minute and thirty second period drama of an advert came in at £10m.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that these communications and marketing campaigns are fluffy stuff – the retail race for our Christmas cash is expected to cost UK companies about £5.6 billion.

And that’s the point here - Christmas ‘adverts’ are big business and the mainstream and social media coverage they attract is almost impossible to put a price on. Every newspaper, magazine, website and associated social media platform in the country is pointing us towards these little gems, not only for us to receive gratefully but then of course to like, share, retweet and comment. ‘Like’, ‘share’, ‘retweet’ and ‘comment’ being four of the most influential words in the English dictionary in 2016.

There may be many millions of pounds devoted to this type of Christmas ‘message’, but by tapping into the British public’s obsession with a great story, incorporating some engaging video and adding a Christmas singalong classic, and then of course delivering it beautifully packaged and easy to share – well the results can be absolutely priceless.