How brands can create something truly magical at Christmas (or to be honest, any time of year).
As the year draws to a close, and the festive season gets into full swing, we take a look at how a number of brands around the world have generated a sense of joy, goodwill, wonder and delight – timeless emotions that connect, engage and move us all.
Some are classics, others more recent – but they’re all pretty awesome.
Make it heartwarming
Thanks to a friendship with the monster under the bed, a bouncing dog called Buster, a lonely old man on the moon, penguins, bears, hares and even lovestruck snowmen, the level of annual anticipation around the John Lewis Christmas advert has gone well beyond the UK borders. And it all started here.
Make it unexpected
We love that police forces around the world are challenging perceptions about how a public service engages a community. Whether it’s the NSW Police with their unique Social Media approach, NZ Cops looking for recruits in a fresh way or this unexpected festive delight in the tiny Michigan town of Lowell (population just 4000).
- Make it universal
Two cultures, separated by 6,000 miles, yet connected by a timeless bond – thanks to a high-tech vending machine, a sprinkling of winter and some seamless Christmas magic. Despite the challenges it faces, few brands tell the story of sharing like Coke.
- Make it personal
Christmas is a time for lists. Spotify’s lens on playlist histories shows that when data and creativity are packaged together in the right way, the ‘that’s awesome’ factor is right at the top.
- Make it authentic
Brands spend a great deal of time trying to communicate not just what makes them different, but do it in a way so authentic, no-one can copy them. From their funny safety videos to this distinctive take on Christmas, Air New Zealand are delightfully doing just that.
- Keep it authentic
When you genuinely know who you are, and have the confidence to embrace every aspect of what makes you unique, the emotional connection you can make is a gift that keeps on giving. #MirryChristmus #AirNewZuland
- Make it thoughtful
If you need to compete with the noise of Christmas, you don’t do it by adding more. When the TAC needed to remind people about the importance of road safety during the Festive Season, they did it by giving a whole new meaning to the idea of a white Christmas.
- Make it sing
Bring together a museum like the V&A, a world-class set designer who works with the Royal Opera House and Beyoncé and an interactive choir of human and synthesized voices and you’re guaranteed a Christmas tree like no other. The other installations in the exhibit are also worth a look.
- Make it brave
Positioning Christmas as a season for giving is hardly a revolutionary idea. But to reinterpret it as an integrated idea around the idea of selfishness and giving to yourself takes a leap of faith for agency and client alike. Harvey Nichols, we salute you.
- Make it weird
The old adage says that when you can’t outspend the opposition, outsmart them. This unusual festive feast from Game proves that one of the best ways to do that is to have an idea so wonderfully odd that the media (and your target audience) devour every bit of it.
- Make it bigger
Every brand wants to be part of a wider cultural conversation, not just a marketing one. How Cadbury manages to do just that – and add a little joy along the way – is a great example of a simple idea beautifully executed.
- Make it inviting
Christmas is magical but we love to peek behind the curtain and see how the magic is done. Seeing how something amazing has been achieved adds a richness and depth to the story and our sense of wonder. The artistry ever-present in Selfridges’ windows is no exception.
Not only do these examples leave us all feeling warm and fuzzy inside, they inspire and motivate us to create something just as wonderful for our clients. If you feel the same way, let’s unwrap what’s possible in 2018.
Drop us a line to talk about creating magical brand experiences with you.
By Paul Edwards
Posted December 12, 2017
Paul is Neonormal’s story-driver. He loves shaping brand experiences that make a difference and bringing our clients’ stories to life in genuinely exciting ways. He also fancies himself a bit of a wine connoisseur, and makes a formidable trivia teammate.