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Christmas Adverts. The battle of John Lewis, Waitrose, M&S & Sainsbury’s

We know we’re in the thick of the festive season when the first Christmas advert graces our television screens.  The God-father of Christmas adverts, John Lewis, set the bar some years ago with their heartfelt and heavily emotive adverts, adamant on pulling the heart strings of even the most cold hearted viewers. From a marketing point of view, placing family and relationships at the core of the message is a great strategy, subtly instilling associative feelings of trust and honesty with the brands themselves. 

But let’s not be cynical, we’re no grinches! Yes, we too cry those salty tears (damn the successful marketing campaigns and old men on the moon).  The team here at Slice got together to check out and rank this years competitors.  We’ve prepared a cry-o-metre for you – just so you know how many tissues to have at the ready!

The Adverts

1. M&S – Christmas with love from Mrs Claus 

2. Waitrose – #HomeForChristmas

3. John Lewis – #BusterTheBoxer

4. Sainsbury’s – The Greatest Gift

Our Thoughts

We thought that the heart warming M&S advert, telling the story of sibling love, did a fantastic job with product placement throughout – showcasing luxurious jumpers to fluffy socks, buttery mince pies to kids fashion shoes.  It was also a nice twist to have a female lead, in the form of Mrs Claus.

The star of the Waitrose advert this year was the Robin, documenting it’s journey from stormy sea’s to the garden of a young girl, which certainly caused a few wet eyes in the office. 

Sainsbury’s rather long advert features the familiar voice of James Cordon singing a catchy tune telling the story of a Father’s quest to spend more time with his family. The advert played heavily on the emotional family message, however we weren’t sure we were left feeling hungry at the end of it…

John Lewis controversially changed their tried and tested strategy this year, going for a more humorous, tongue in cheek approach. We personally quite liked it, but it has been met with some disappointed viewings.  Whether the change in approach has paid off for them time will tell…

A common theme in all the adverts is a true and lovely message about the importance of friends and family.  So go have a mulled wine (whether it be purchased from M&S, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s…) and thoroughly enjoy the festive season!

You can see some of our recent packaging design work here

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