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Compelling Christmas Campaign’s from UK’s Retailers

The retailers have well and truly outdone themselves this year on their Christmas campaigns. We’ve seen controversy, politics, copycat tactics and well… Elton John.

The first hint of Christmas this year came from the iconic red truck, driving through the trees and snow covered streets. Accompanied with a Christmas jingle to bring goosebumps to viewers as they realise Christmas is coming! Everyone at home watching will have shrieked with excitement that the Coca-Cola advert is here, it’s officially Christmas!!

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But, we soon realise that the red truck has a new driver, a plucky carrot by the name of Kevin. This was an Aldi imitation of the iconic Coca-Cola advert. Not only that, but Kevin loses control, skids off the road and leaves the truck precariously dangling off the edge of a cliff with #savekevin. 

The Aldi Kevin Red Truck advert can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbfB5P6cswA

Instantly I thought the Coca-Cola company would be assembling a 20 strong law team to tackle this issue, threatening so many lawsuits that this Aldi imitation of their iconic Christmas ad would be withdrawn with haste. Refreshingly, Coca-Cola did the opposite. They swiftly replied on social media with the offer to save Kevin with a tow. How wonderful! Such Christmas spirit from both parties. But was this all staged? Had Aldi and Coca-Cola been in cahoots all along? I’d like to think not but my cynical mind would argue otherwise. Within a week, Aldi and their hero Kevin had another adventure taking on an evil parsnip in a bid to save his family. Much more in keeping with a traditional Aldi Christmas advert, normal service resumed. 

The Aldi Kevin Christmas advert can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69Cg_ez7d1U

Step up Iceland to raise the stakes further with their heart wrenching Christmas Orangutan advert. Tackling the issue of Palm Oil and how its production is one of the world’s leading causes of rainforest destruction. The repurposed Greenpeace animated video featured a baby Rang-tan with Emma Thompson explaining how his family have been taken away by ‘men’ destroying his forest. Unfortunately, due to the political nature of the advert, the ASA were forced to ban the advert in accordance with the 2003 Communications Act. This caused uproar across social channels. In support of this cause, Iceland have taken palm oil out of their own label products. Richard Walker, Iceland Managing Director participated in a very feisty debate with Piers Morgan on ITV’s Good Morning Britain. Walker was heavily, and in my opinion, unfairly criticised by Piers Morgan as he launched a scathing attack on Walker’s intention and motives. Iceland have raised awareness on an important issue and taken credible action by removing palm oil from their own products. They do still stock branded products with palm oil (to not would be commercial suicide) but they’ve given shoppers the choice. Have Iceland benefited from this publicity – yes. But why shouldn’t they if they’ve made a positive difference for a great cause? Bravo Iceland!

The banned Iceland advert can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdpspllWI2o

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The John Lewis Christmas campaign is always eagerly anticipated and usually splits industry opinion. This year we see Elton John reminisce over his glittering career and looks back at where it all began, a piano from his mum at Christmas. This is a beautifully made advert and again tugs at the heart strings of parents. Initially the link and relevance with John Lewis was not clear as they didn’t sell the piano featured in the advert, but 3 digital piano’s with a price tag of £872 are now available. Quite an investment for an aspiring 5 year old musician. Lidl’s response to this John Lewis advert was my favourite from all retailers this Christmas. They tweeted an image of a key board at £89.99 with the headline “It’s a Lidl but funny…” and went on to say “Just because you don’t have £872 to spend on a piano, doesn’t mean you can’t be the next Elton”. Fantastic stuff. I’m already excited to see what happens at Christmas in 2019. 

The Elton John, John Lewis advert can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNbSgMEZ_Tw

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