With the major grocery retailers having broken their Christmas adverts for 2015, British Baker picks apart their strategies.
With its bright dance soundtrack and emphasis on people going about their ordinary Christmas preparations and celebrations, the advert marks a sharp break from the sentiment-heavy trend best represented this year by John Lewis’ £7m Man on the Moon campaign. Skating snowmen, dragging the Christmas tree home and a pug in a daft hat seems to scream: “Hey, isn’t Christmas meant to be fun?”
A trio of adverts focus heavily on provenance and service for Morrisons, promoting the idea that these things make Christmas magical. One focuses on the freshness of the produce, including that the Christmas vegetables come from British farms, while another emphasises the range of services staff will carry out for customers, from building a party platter to lending wine glasses. The third advertises that Morrisons is making as many of its products in store as possible. In terms of baked goods, this includes its Chocolate Panettone, Fruit Panettone, Stollen, Tear & Share Christmas Tree Panettone, Luxury Deep Filled Mince Pies, Short-crust Mince Pies and Christmas Pudding Bread.
Sticking firmly with its new Tesco family featuring Ruth Jones as Mum and Ben Millar as Dad, Tesco has released a series of short adverts focusing on various festive ranges including the party food and Finest range. Most innovative is its promotion of its gluten-free range, though some might argue the message of all the adverts becomes lost in hammy story and none feel particularly festive.
After last year creating an advert based on the 1914 Christmas truce and raising money for the Royal British Legion with a tie-in chocolate bar, Sainsbury’s has taken a similar tack with its 2015 offering. Teaming up with HarperCollins Children’s Books and Save the Children, it has commissioned a special book from children’s author Judith Kerr. Mog’s Christmas Calamity features her much-loved character, Mog, and all profits are going to improve child literacy in the UK. The advert is a CGI/live-action adaptation of the tale and features the hapless cat nearly ruining Christmas for the Thomas family. Instead of grocery products, the advert is much more focused on building up feelings of goodwill towards Sainsbury’s.
Waitrose’s advert starts with a question “What makes Christmas, Christmas?” before emphatically answering it with a montage of food and home-cooking clips. Set to cheerful jazz number and featuring a lot of shots of Waitrose products, the advert firmly anchors the idea that Christmas needs high-end food to work in the mind of the consumer and makes for a far lighter touch than parent company John Lewis’ advert.
With the discounters going from strength to strength from a sales perspective, it was always going to be interesting to see what they came up with for advertising this year. Aldi has produced a version of My Favourite Things from the Sound of Music. Its products are subtly presented throughout an advert that features a typical selection of domestic, Christmas scenes to cheering effect.
In contrast to Aldi’s warm and traditional Christmas advert, Lidl has decided to have more fun with its ‘School of Christmas’. Students are schooled in spoof subjects including Christmas pudding lighting and fairy light untangling. Each lesson features in its own extended cut to complement the grand montage of the main advert. Much like Sainsbury’s, the campaign seems to be more about brand awareness and image than promoting specific products and manages to raise a smile with its imaginative silliness.