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Top 5 Christmas Consumer PR Campaigns

Top 5 Christmas Consumer PR Campaigns

With the festive season upon us, it’s time to look back at some of the best Christmas campaigns from over the years. As we all know, as soon as December hits, people switch into panic mode over presents, cooking and festive

Photo by on Unsplash

decorations. Brands capitalise, hoping to engage and excite customers with their festive campaigns. A report published by National Building Society stated that £77.6bn was spent last Christmas. Brands are willing to spend millions each year on their Christmas campaigns, hoping to secure a healthy return on investment.

So, without further ado; here are our top five Christmas consumer campaigns

  • Coca-Cola

Red trucks swiftly moving through a snowy landscape, lighting up towns as they go. Such a simple idea but an idea which has stayed in the minds of consumers all around the world for years. The iconic ‘Holidays are coming’ advert, launched back in 1995. For many people the festive season doesn’t start until they see the Coca-Cola advert, that’s quite an impression to have over consumers.

The Coca-Cola Christmas truck tour is also back this year, to hand out free goodies to fans up and down the UK. The hashtag #holidaysarecoming has already amassed 330,000 posts on Instagram. Coca-Cola has shown that its brand can adapt from the 1920’s to almost 100 years later ever evolving with new trends and apply them to their marketing strategies.

  • John Lewis

Over the last ten years, John Lewis Christmas campaigns have become a staple part of our festive season. Never afraid to splash the cash, with the first Christmas campaign in the John Lewis collection costing £6m. By creating popular and memorable campaigns it has had a direct influence on sales. The long wait campaign in 2011 reached half a million views in its first 24 hours. That Christmas saw sales up 9.3% year on year in the five weeks prior to December.

The following year saw an even bigger upsurge in sales, with a massive 44.3% increase thanks to the snowpeople in love campaign which helped John Lewis break into the £800m mark in sales.

  • Sainsburys

Not known traditionally for their Christmas campaigns or in the league as Coca-Cola or John Lewis, but Christmas 2014 was Sainsbury’s year. Inspired by teaming up with the Royal British Legion they retold the story of the Christmas day football match. The almost four-minute-long campaign recreates one of the most famous moments of the first world war.

The supermarket shows the tale of the Christmas day peace in the trenches, a moving and very human story focused on the infamous football match in no man’s land. A young British solider passes on a chocolate gift to his German equal, which then leads to the end message ‘Christmas is for sharing’.

All proceeds that were made from the £1 chocolate bar advertised in the campaign, were donated to the Royal British Legion.

Another hit produced from Sainsbury’s which exceeded all expectations is ‘Mog’s Christmas Calamity’, the 2015 campaign reached over 38 million views on YouTube. With many claiming that Sainsbury’s campaign blew John Lewis’s out of the water for 2015.

  • McDonalds

McDonald’s has been picking up momentum each year with their creative campaigns. In 2017 they’ve created the #ReindeerReady campaign.

The brand tells the story of a young girl on a shopping trip with her father who is saving a McDonald’s carrot stick to give to Santa’s reindeer. But when they return home, her sibling points out that one carrot won’t feed Santa’s army of reindeers, and so they travel back to McDonald’s to get more carrot sticks.

The fast-food brand is hoping similar success to last year, which delivered an increase in sales and brand awareness.

Emily Somers, VP of marketing and food development at McDonald’s goes on to say “We’ve been selling carrot sticks for more than 10 years in our restaurants, it’s something we’ve always done. And it’s absolutely on point with the [wider] message around Christmas”.

  • Heathrow

The nations favourite teddy bears return to our screen this Christmas for part two of Heathrow’s Christmas campaign. Last Christmas we were introduced to Doris and Edward Bair. The campaign tracks two bears as they land at Heathrow airport, go through passport control and walk through arrivals, waiting patiently for someone to claim them. At the end of the commercial the Bair’s transform into elderly adults and it shows that they have been greeted by their grandchildren.

This year it takes a more detailed look at the Bair’s life together with the motto ‘Fly to someone, not just somewhere’



Christmas Window Displays: Maximising on PR Potential

With John Lewis and Selfridges unveiling their Christmas window displays this week, we think about how to maximise on these huge retail advertisements.

Image Courtesy of Miguel MG,

Image Courtesy of Miguel MG,

Window displays give shoppers a reason to visit the stores. This is never more true than at Christmas time. Windows are a huge, physical and tangible advert; an enticement not only to the passer-by, but to the wider public, giving them a reason to visit the store. It is important that retailers set the tone with their window displays, and at Christmas, they are designed to warm customers’ hearts and put people in the festive spirit. For retailers, it is hoped that this will then translate into Christmas purchases and, more importantly, impulse buys. Often a huge investment for retailers, window displays are an important asset for PRs prior to the festive season.

Window Displays – A Brief History

Retailer window displays were first introduced when large plate glass became readily available during the industrial revolution, but became popular in the late 1800s when London’s West End became popular on Christmas Eve with people visiting to view displays of ham and puddings in large shops. This then progressed in the twentieth century. The 1930s saw Salvador Dali designing window fronts for Manhattan’s hottest new shops, and in the 1960s saw Andy Warhol design the windows for Tiffany’s on 5th Avenue.

This Week


Image Courtesy of James Petts,

Image Courtesy of James Petts,

This week John Lewis, Oxford Street has unveiled its Christmas window display (a little ahead of the curve, with most choosing to get Halloween over and done with). The window has a ‘winter woodland’ theme with little squirrels, owls, weasels and foxes made from household products from the department store. Usually overshadowed by its rivals (namely Selfridges, Harrods and Harvey Nicholls) John Lewis has abandoned its conservative style and adopted some festive flare.

Selfridges too have this week unveiled their Christmas window, an edible city of London; a fantasy city including gingerbread Euston Arch and Old London Bridge.

PR Strategy

John Lewis has been particularly strategic in its PR campaign for the Christmas window display, inviting journalists to help the design team in creating some of its woodland creatures. Asking journalists within the national media to join in creating owls and weasels from coffee cups and knives and forks is a great experiential offering, encouraging journalists to then include news features once the windows have launched. The window display also gives PRs a huge asset for picture-driven news stories within the national media, where they can use the creativity and efforts of the design team as leverage with the press.