4Ps Marketing

The Ho-Ho-Hype of Christmas TV Advertising

We all have different attitudes towards Christmas – while some people shudder at the thought of hearing another repeat of Wham!’s ‘Last Christmas’ – others welcome the festivities with open arms. However, in recent years a new Christmas phenomenon has emerged . . . who can make the biggest and best piece of Christmas TV advertising? Last year’s contenders saw John Lewis’ loveable Hare and Bear fight against Marks and Spencer’s models David Gandy and Rosie Huntingdon-Whitely. In 2013 Christmas television adverts whirled up a social media storm, creating a huge hype with people wondering what 2014 would bring. It’s clear that adverts have become a huge part of our festive build up with phrases such as “it’s not Christmas until you’ve seen the Coca-Cola advert” becoming a social norm that’s engraved in our seasonal expectations.


Research shows that 2013 experienced a boost in the amount of searches for ‘Christmas tv advert’. Google Trends show how in 2013, searches for the John Lewis advert began to climb in October which indicates that consumers had begun the hype before the advert had even been released, based on their experience the previous year. 2014 so far reveals a similar pattern. John Lewis has cleverly drummed up hype for their advertising, which will potentially lead to an increase in consumer brand awareness and could therefore increase their sales. When the John Lewis 2014 Christmas TV advert was released (06.11.14), social media platforms erupted. On the day that the advert was released, #montythepenguin and ‘John Lewis’ featured in the worldwide top 10 trends on Twitter and a John Lewis Tweet about the advert received over 19,000 retweets in 24 hours!


So what does this increase in search mean for companies such as John Lewis, M&S and Coca-Cola, who fork out millions of pounds per year in order to create an advert that will trump the year before? The more the advert engages its viewers, the more likely people are to talk about it. With this hype building year on year, it’s easy to postulate that 2015’s John Lewis Christmas TV advert will see the biggest search results. But two questions remain: What will they do next? And can another Christmas advert ever knock it off the top spot? The festive fight continues.

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