Let’s be real: the Christmas season has its drawbacks: overjoyed unearthly creatures, too much family time, and canned music playing on a loop. It’s a formula whose exact origins no one knows, but everyone has to follow. Or do they?
Every year, big advertisers reveal their efforts, if not to reinvent, at least to recycle the formula and keep festive marketing alive. This year, once more, we saw major productions that entertained, touched, or educated us in original ways. While we don’t get to passively watch most of them in the land of red dragons, here’s a compile of remarkable ones.
There’s no escaping the science of sound; it evokes memories and emotions like nothing else. That’s why music (rather than merely jingles) is the way to go for some advertisers. With a cool retro look, M&S chose to highlight one of their hero products this year. “Go Jumpers” is an all-dance piece to the sound of the 1992 hit “Jump Around” by House of Pain. The spot, directed by Jake Nava from Beyonce’s Single Ladies music video, may even unleash a new dance move this year, the “shoulder role.”
声音的用处是无法让人回避的，它最能激发人们的回忆和情感，所以得到了一些广告主的喜爱，但这个音乐不仅限于“叮叮当”。英国玛莎百货公司怀旧风广告“Go Jumpers”，主打今年的一个热销产品，以House of Pain乐队1992年的热门歌曲《Jump Around》为背景音乐，全部用舞蹈来呈现，导演为碧昂斯《Single Ladies》MV的导演Jake Nava。这支广告很有可能会让一个新的潮流舞步——“肩舞”流行起来。
Amazon also went musical, celebrating love with singing boxes. Their arrow-shaped logo morphed into a singing mouth and is literally leading the choir. The spot is centered around a delivery woman; she’s the real Santa this Christmas. There’s also a passionate gay kiss midway through. It’s a joyful portrait of diversity.
But the “Grammy” goes to Argos. They transformed their shopping catalog into “The Book of Dreams,” and an everyday joe becomes a rock star after buying a drum set. His kitchen becomes a concert stage, and his daughter slides down a stairway to join the jam session, both still in their pajamas.
A well-timed and funny take can make all the difference when creating a resonating message. It pulls attention and instigates people to share. But, its all a balancing act; after all, humor is culture-specific, and comedy is largely subjective.
This category is celebrity heavy. Pop icon Cardi B is well known for her mischievous character, the type that would top Santa’s naughty list. On Pepsi’s spot, she’s impersonating, well, herself: delightfully naughty and money centered. She runs a workshop that transforms Pepsi cans into cash, and, to her, the more, the merrier (Christmas).
这类广告多用名人。歌手Cardi B以其顽皮性格著称，最适合“圣诞老人”的形象。Cardi B百事广告中自己扮演自己，开心调皮地到处撒币，在她经营的工坊内将百事饮料罐加工成现金，这对她来说才是更快乐的圣诞节。
More poking fun at oneself, Mariah Carey is the face of this year’s Walkers Crisps commercial. This week, her 1994 hit “All I Want for Christmas is You” reached number one on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. Full of bell chimes and backup vocals, its arguably the most annoying Christmas song ever. The commercial makes fun of that as she uses a high pitch tone to defeat an elf opponent in a dispute for the last bag of chips. She reportedly earned 11 million USD for this campaign, on top of the 60 million USD in royalties for the track.
Mariah Carey更像自我调侃，出现在今年Walkers薯片广告中。本周，她1994年的那首热门歌曲《All I Want for Christmas is You》登顶公告牌百强单曲榜，但充满钟鸣声及和声的这首歌，或许是最扰人的圣诞歌。该广告的趣点在于，Mariah Carey最后用一声海豚音从一个精灵的手里争来了最后一袋薯片。据称这支广告让她在6000万美元歌曲版权费之外，还赚得了1100万。
Microsoft’s “Lucy and The Raindeer” also highlights a single product, the brand’s cognitive translator. Lucy, an adorable and curious 6-year-old, uses the device to ask important questions to two reindeer that appear in her backyard. The spot nearly gets you thinking that’s going to be a touching one. Suddenly, a witty twist reveals that the gadget also translates reindeer language — of course, that’s only in the make-believe world.
微软广告《Lucy and The Raindeer》推广期认知翻译工具。Lucy是一个六岁的可爱的小女孩，充满好奇心。她用微软工具向出现在庭院中的两头驯鹿问问题。在观众觉得这可能是一支温情广告的时候，广告突然机智地转变画风，说明这个翻译工具也能翻译出驯鹿的语言——当然，只能在虚幻世界里。
It’s not new that advertisers try to hit consumers in the feels. But, over the last decade, we’ve seen a new trend that leverages their powerful reach as a platform for positive change. Gender equality is everywhere, so are empowered working moms providing for the household. On Facebook’s advert, a US Army mom deployed on Christmas is surprised when other moms in a “Military Mama” Facebook Group combine forces to decorate a real Christmas environment for her kids.
Macy’s “Santa Girl” reminds us that anyone can be whatever they want, regardless of gender. There’s no product featured, just a powerful message: if a little girl’s dream is to become Santa Claus, so be it. And to hell with bullies.
Try not to shed a tear with Apple’s “The Surprise,” in which two small agitated girls surprise their grandfather by making a digital montage and recollection of family moments on an iPad. The gift includes videos and photos of their late grandmother. It’s universally touching; family bonds and loss are common to every culture.
Some commercials value style over product information and deliver a real cinema experience in just a few minutes. When it comes to Christmas, John Lewis has a reputation to uphold. This year, the British chain of department stores partnered with a chain of supermarkets, Waitrose, to produce a fairytale-like advert. It’s about the friendship between a little girl and an adorable clumsy little dragon; when he’s happy, he breathes fire and ends up ruining everything. The song is a cover of ‘Can’t Fight This Feeling,’ by Dan Smith, lead singer, and founder of indie band Bastille.
有些广告相比产品信息，更看重风格，希望能在几分钟的时限内传递出真正的看电影的感觉。每到圣诞，大家都会想到英国John Lewis百货公司的高品质广告。今年，它与连锁超市Waitrose联合推出童话般的广告，描写一个小女孩与一支可爱但笨拙的小火龙的友谊。小火龙高兴的时候就会喷火，为此而毁坏了不少东西。广告背景歌曲选用Bastille乐队主唱Dan Smith的《Can’t Fight This Feeling》。
Sainsbury gives us a time travel experience by setting their advert in 19th-century England, where child labor was still a thing. An entire set was built on the outskirts of Bucharest for this spot that celebrates the 150th anniversary of the brand. Young Nicholas, an orphan and chimney sweeper, is wrongfully condemned for stealing tamarinds. He then seeks revenge and justice, ridiculizing his perpetrator and distributing fruits to other orphans. Could that be the true story of Saint Nicholas?
Some honorable mentions this year go to Xfinity, for bringing back ET the extraterrestrial; to Ikea, for making household items rap; and to New York Lottery for making woodland animals help a park ranger, instead of the other way around.
That’s it! Put on your Christmas jumper, heat the mulled wine and enjoy the commercially instigated festive spirit that’s all around.