posted at 02:00
Author: T.L. Stanley
For British advertisers, Christmas is the Super Bowl
"It's definitely our Super Bowl," said Ben Priest, founder and executive creative director of adam&eveDDB, which has snagged more than 17 million YouTube views for its touching Monty the Penguin ad for retailer John Lewis. "Christmas is a massively important time of the year commercially, and it's caused a creative surge as well from the ad community that feels as if it's escalating." "There's so much anticipation and secrecy and speculation about the Christmas ads now. It's a little like Christmas itself, and when you finally see them, are you going to be wowed or disappointed?". Judging from consumer reaction and social media chatter, the British ads are succeeding on many levels and in many countries, from the sold-out penguin merchandise at John Lewis to the ongoing debate about using a famous WWI truce as the basis for a Sainsbury's grocery chain ad. The U.S. ad market, by contrast, isn't known for producing waves of standout holiday commercials - no, Jingle Bellies from Kmart/Joe Boxer does not count - with the focus more on traditional price-driven selling rather than an attempt to cue the waterworks. There's no such hesitation in the U.K., where ads liberally use the word Christmas, with retailers leading the way in ad spending, aiming directly at the tear ducts to push shoppers into department stores and food chains. "Creating these Christmas ads can't become a race in itself, with all of us just trying to be clever and outdo each other," Priest said. "We don't think of Sainbury's as a maverick brand," Pay said, "But they've elevated Christmas ads to a higher level here. It's absolutely incredible." A few more noteworthy ads include Vodafone's "Let it Go" sing-along, just in case that Frozen earworm had climbed out of your skull; shredding Santas and an all-around rocked-out light show from grocery chain Tesco; a "Make Someone Happy" Coca-Cola spot; and a family moment fresh off the overnight shift from pharmacy retailer Boots.

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