29.10.2015 It’s a cracker: brands prepare to launch their highly anticipated Christmas campaigns

You may refuse to accept it, but Christmas is only just around the corner. As with the last few years, there will be huge anticipation as to what the big Christmas advertising campaign will be, and we shouldn’t have to wait much longer to find out.

The Christmas television advert has become something of a British institution and in recent years the leader of this festive race has been John Lewis.

The department store’s incredibly successful adverts have sparked phenomenal engagement on social media and led to a significant boost in sales. Their 2012 advert Snowpeople in Love contributed to a year-on-year sales increase of more than 44 per cent.

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Sales aren’t the only thing to soar throughout the Christmas period for John Lewis. Its 2013 campaign by Adam&Eve/DDB The Bear and the Hare had over 23 million views on YouTube and Monty the Penguin stole the show in 2014, adding another impressive 23 million views.

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John Lewis may be the biggest name in the game to most but in 2013, with 2.8 million YouTube views, Bailey’s Christmas Nutcracker campaign leapt into second place.

It must have been a year for the underdog in 2013, as third place was held by Three’s Dance Pony Dance Christmas campaign by Wieden+Kennedy. The advert provided some comedic relief from the norm of the emotional winter season advert.

But we should also not forget the solid attempts by Marks & Spencer in the past few years. Its Magic and Sparkle advert gained over three million views in 2014 and definitely delivered on the Christmassy theme.

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While John Lewis usually dominates the race, last year they were almost pipped to the post by competitor and grocery giant Sainsbury’s. Its advert, made in partnership with The Royal British Legion, attracted 17 million views, as well as international coverage thanks to its touching premise.

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What next?

So what can we expect for Christmas 2015? Unsurprisingly, there is already a lot of speculation as to whose campaign will lead this year. And, if previous years are anything to go by, John Lewis will introduce us to another tearjerker, complete with adorable animals or children and an emotional version of a well-known song – what else could we want from a Christmas advert?

There are a lot of ideas storming around social media, including rumours that the Oasis track Half the World Away, famous as the theme tune to another TV festive favourite, The Royle Family, will be the song of choice for John Lewis.

One thing we can definitely expect from John Lewis is an integrated Christmas campaign. Managing Director Andy Street has confirmed the advert will launch on social media next Friday along with an increased budget for social media spending.

Even though Sainsbury’s was extremely successful last year, we are predicting it is unlikely it will be able to live up to its previous campaign (though not without a fight, we’re sure!).

And let us not forget the underdogs. They may not be able to reach the top of the Christmas advert ladder, but who would say no to more cheerful Christmas campaigns to prepare us for the big season? Not us!