5 best marketing – Christmas Edition

Once again this year, to be precise, we find ourselves in a whirlwind of lights, gift wrapping and endless bingeing: the Christmas season has once again entered our everyday lives with its usual frenzy. In all this chaos, you wouldn’t think that marketing and creativity would sit idly by… on the contrary! Commercials, initiatives, branded content, pop-ups ‘bloom’ abundantly; so we have collected for you what we consider to be the 5 best marketing initiatives Christmas Edition.

Enjoy the show!

1. Coca-Cola - The Santa Stories

You say Christmas, you say Coca-Cola: partly because ‘Father Christmas in red’ is one of its creations, partly because of the great Christmas commercials it has always made, the close link between the multinational and Christmas is undeniable. This year, it returns with great auteur branded content, thanks to ‘The Santa Stories‘, directed by Steven Caple Jr., director and screenwriter of ‘Transformers: Rise of the Beasts’, and Bryce Dallas Howard, director of ‘The Mandalorian’, and released on Prime Video, YouTube and TikTok.

In the two short films, the brand extends the concept of its Christmas 2023 campaign, entitled ‘Anyone can be Santa‘: if each of us performs acts of kindness, generosity and goodwill, then we are all a little bit like Father Christmas.

Islam ElDessouky, Global Head of Creative Strategy and Content at Coca-Cola comments on the new Christmas 2023 campaign: “Stories have the super-power to move people and inspire change. With these short films we wanted to give more depth to the Coca-Cola narrative through themes that have never been touched on before and that people don’t expect to see.” He then concludes, “The creative genius of all the people working for the brand was central to the success of this project. A beautiful open-source co-creation model that makes the brand better, the story more impactful and represents the true magic of human connection.”

We couldn’t agree more with both statements: among our services we offer participatory generative workshops for brand design, which are useful both in the outlining phase of a brand or a strategic content; on the other hand, regarding the importance of branded content, for us it is essential for a brand to entertain and excite its audience through the creation of content and formats.

2. ALDI UK celebrates WITH its branded character 'Kevin The Carrot'

Taking advantage of the new-found popularity of ‘The Chocolate Factory’, thanks to Paul King’s latest film which follows the story of Willy Wonka before the opening of the mouth-watering factory, Aldi UK has taken inspiration from Roald Dahl’s celebrated book for its Christmas 2023 advert. The protagonist is once again Aldi’s branded character, Kevin the Carrot, who, accompanied by Grandpa Gratus, takes part in a tour of the factory, with a competition attached. Here he meets all sorts of mischievous and super selfish characters, managing to triumph and give Christmas the right meaning.

Aldi creates a narrative that entertains and amuses, focusing on the values of holiday joy and a sense of belonging. As stated by Jemma Townsend, Aldi’s marketing director: ‘Christmas is magical if we come together and share the joy of the festive season even in difficult times, just like Kevin wants to do with his Christmas wish. We know our customers will love to see him get into the Christmas spirit and we welcome him for his eighth year with us”.

3. Shaun the sheep & Barbour : the collab we needed

Among the 5 best marketing initiatives Christmas Edition this is the one we enjoyed the most: Barbour, the British brand famous for waterproof jackets, chose the characters of ‘Shaun the Sheep‘ for its Christmas 2023 campaign. Shaun and his friends want to repair the farmer’s jacket for Christmas, but they certainly don’t excel in the art of tailoring. Luckily, thanks to the intervention of the dog Bitzer, the jacket is magically fixed by Barbour experts thanks to the Wax for Life programme.

Barbour chooses an entertainment formula combined with well-known characters (who bring back the serenity of childhood, among other things) to narrate the Wax for Life service, through enjoyable and entertaining content. In this way the company conveys what is an important value, namely its commitment to the environment and reducing waste, focusing on the maintenance of garments already sold, thus taking a stand against waste in fashion

4. flight delayed? the M&M’s merry movie holiday lounge takes care of you!

We all know how stressful travelling can be during the Christmas season: thousands and thousands of people on the move, delays and cancellations messing up plans. But to offer passengers at the Dallas (USA) airport a place of comfort for the various inconveniences, M& M’s has taken care of this with a pop-up equipped with all the essentials to make the wait more pleasant: a lounge with a warm and cosy atmosphere, seats, Christmas films on a loop and, of course, lots of M&M’s products.

The confectionery brand has created a promotional product that promotes not only the brand but also one of the situations in which the product is consumed.

Well done M&M’s: having combined creativity with a useful service that is certainly appreciated by thousands of passengers earns them a special mention in this ranking.a. 

5.  Walmart: add to heart! The new branded series by Walmart, 100% shoppable!

There is another great classic of the Christmas season: low-budget romantic comedies; sugary, diabetes-risk movies with a happily-ever-after ending. All rigorously accompanied by atmospheric snowfalls, warm lights and crocodile tears. 

Walmart, a well-known US supermarket chain, has launched for the 2023 festive season ‘Add to heart’, a branded Christmas series with 23 episodes of up to five minutes each, available on YouTube. But in reality, as the claim goes, ‘It’s not a RomCom. It’s RomCommerce!”, because each episode features products available at Walmart, both in physical shops and in the online store: from scarves to Christmas decorations, from candy to spices, from furniture to the outfits of the protagonists, everything is ‘shoppable’. On Walmart’s official website, there is a whole dedicated section with extra content and products collected by episode. 

Katy Jordan, senior director of commerce media at The Mars Agency, said that “the success of this campaign will show advertisers, media networks and consumers the true benefits of contextual commerce with a seamless consumer experience from inspiration to purchase. Walmart offers its customers a new shopping experience by relying on an entertainment product that also acts as a ‘shop window’, providing the excitement and light-heartedness we seek during the Christmas season. 

We liked the idea… but we thought: wouldn’t it be even better if it were realised with the technology of interactivity, the same as our Nudge Theory format? That way the products would be directly purchasable while watching the series…shall we contact Walmart next year? 😉

What we have seen are 5 examples of content that in different ways have applied entertainment to Christmas marketing: what they have in common is that they take Christmas values and make them their own through a brand-rewarding narrative. At the same time, many brands take advantage of the ‘basic’ narratives of the period (from the rom-com to the childhood novel, passing through the classic narrative with a message steeped in values, etc.) or positive characters, perhaps linked to childhood imagery (from characters from animated series to Father Christmas) to communicate a positive, ‘comforting’ feeling to their audience and emotionally convey the values dear to the brand.

We close this last article of the month wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and reminding you that to stage the right mix of entertainment and marketing for your brand, we Broders are here.


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