Emotion-evoking Christmas campaigns and why we love them

When brands embrace Christmas Campaigns 23 Oct, 2019

Our studio’s favourite time of year is fast approaching and nothing ignites the festive spirit quite like a touchy-feely Christmas campaign from a big brand.

This year, any day now, they’ll all be at it again – competing for your emotions (and to be totally honest, your dollarydoos). To get you in the mood, we’re looking back at some of the most touching Christmas campaigns of the past few years and how they’ve embraced the holiday season:

Year: 2018
Brand: Apple 
Christmas Campaign: ‘Share your gifts’

Why we love it

Maybe it’s because we’re all creatives here in the studio or perhaps it’s our all-round love of Apple products, but this story of an aspiring artist fills our souls with happiness.

Now this may be an ad, but it appeals to something deep within us because it embraces the idea of Christmas as a time of giving – not presents, but the gifts that you can create and the joy they bring.

It’s just all kinds of feel good; not to mention visually perfect! Like all good Christmas campaigns, the branding and product placement isn’t too overpowering.

Year: 2017
Brand: NRMA
Christmas Campaign: ‘Drive Safely’

Why we love it

This offering from car insurer NRMA is beautifully done and there’s something about this gran and pop – especially when they’re in the car – that just about all of us can relate to.

Within the first few seconds, it manages to strike an instant chord and makes us cry every time. And the music! Such a touching soundtrack from Tom Odell that works to set the scene and emphasise the journey home.

It’s a strong message to drive safely on the roads when we know they’re most dangerous at this time of year (and doesn’t the heart skip a bit when they nearly miss that exit!)

Year: 2010
Brand: John Lewis 
Christmas Campaign: ‘Always a Woman’

Why we love it

An oldie but a goodie, this modern classic from UK department store John Lewis makes us tear up every time! In just 90 seconds, it cleverly traces a woman’s life story from cradle to grandparenthood through a series of shape-shifting shots. For example, she’s lifted out of her cot as a baby, but when she’s put down she’s suddenly three years old. You see her in primary school, at uni, on her wedding day and enjoying her grandchildren.

As with the NRMA ad, the music is key – a beautiful version of Billy Joel’s Always a Woman by Fyfe Dangerfield. Fun fact: our copywriter loves this ad so much she walked down the aisle to this song.

The tagline when it flashes up on screen at the end is possibly our favourite of all time: ‘Our lifelong commitment to you.’ How brilliant is that! For a department store. At Christmas time.

Year: 2015
Brand: EDEKA 
Christmas Campaign: ‘Heimkommen (Coming Home)’

Why we love it

Ok, so this campaign for German supermarket chain EDEKA isn’t your average tear jerker with its unexpected dark twist at the end. It follows an elderly man spending Christmas Day alone year after year as his busy family fails to make it home to see him. He fakes his death to finally bring them all together.

It went viral when it was released, it’s been viewed more than 60 million times on YouTube, sparked news stories and yes, there were even spoofs and spin offs. Social media users even shared how the ad made them change their flights to be home sooner for Christmas!

We find it hard not to get teary watching this and while there are critics and controversy surrounding this campaign, you can’t deny it got people talking about the message of making sure loved ones aren’t left alone at Christmas.

Year: 2018
Brand: Boots 
Christmas Campaign: ‘Gifts That Get Them’

Why we love it

Another great, touchy feely Christmas campaign this time from the British health and beauty and pharmacy retailer, Boots. Robbie Williams’ hit song “She’s the One” is changed to “She’s Me Mum” as the ad follows a teenage girl and her well-meaning Mum.

The teenager does typical teenage things like stealing her Mum’s perfume (cue the product placement) and generally pushing the boundaries. But that can’t hide their special connection that’s highlighted when she spots her Mum singing at a Christmas market. In the final scene around the Christmas tree, she gives her Mum exactly what she knows she’ll love – a lipstick.

Who hasn’t resorted to gift vouchers occasionally and while there’s nothing wrong with that, we couldn’t help but be inspired by the clever message that thoughtful gifts show a loved one you truly understand them and what makes them feel good about themselves.

– Sketch Corp.