How brands have marketed Christmas after the weirdest year in history

How brands have marketed Christmas after the weirdest year in history

As a general rule of thumb, advertisers typically work a year in advance when planning their Christmas marketing campaigns. But how could brands possibly have been prepared to market Christmas 2020 when the only ‘precedented’ thing about this year has been the use of the word ‘unprecedented’? Read on to find out how brands have successfully adapted their Christmas marketing campaigns during (quite frankly) the weirdest year in history…

Gift giving is out, community spirit is in

During a year when so many have lost their jobs, it would be *slightly* tactless for brands to focus their campaigns on how the latest iPad or MacBook Pro would make the perfect gift this Christmas. Instead, many marketeers have opted to focus their Christmas ads on something that can’t be bought – community spirit.

For example, Amazon’s ‘The Show Must Go On’ ad tells the story of a teenage ballet dancer who was selected to be the star in her performance, only for the show to be cancelled due to the pandemic. Despite this, the young dancer performs her dance to members of her community, who watch from their balconies. The ad ultimately draws on the idea that, no matter how much people have lost and sacrificed this year, communities have come together to support one another throughout.

Embracing the #relatability factor

Other brands, such as Tesco, have opted to take a more stripped back, light-hearted approach to their Christmas campaigns this year, with some of the most successful ads drawing on the theme of #lockdownlife.

Tesco’s ‘No Naughty List’ ad touches on some oh-so-relatable 2020 moments, from handwashing and home schooling to toilet roll and captain Tom. The messaging is simple- after the distaster of a year that was 2020, everyone deserves to indulge this Christmas.

Sustainability is here to stay

Studies have shown that as a result of the pandemic, consumers are now more eco-conscious in their shopping habits.* With this in mind, many brands have shifted their focus away from mass-consumerism and towards the theme of sustainability.

Barbour’s ‘Father Christmas to the Rescue’ ad tells the story of a young boy whose dog has chewed his Dad’s favourite Barbour wax jacket. Rather than asking for presents, the little boy asks Santa for help mending the jacket. By putting the theme of sustainability at the forefront of this campaign, the marketeers were able to promote the brand without directly or overtly pushing sales.


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