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John Lewis Christmas Ad Sparks Another Annual Brand Race

The tradition of releasing the quirkiest, most moving and most celebrated festive ads on British TV has returned.

With so many retailers and brands vying for top spot, License Global looks at how the tradition of cutting-edge campaigns is adding to the consumer products craze of the festive holiday period.

John Lewis is renowned for its Christmas advertisements. In fact, the unofficial king of the Christmas ad dropped its latest campaign – in partnership with Waitrose & Partners – only today with “Excitable Edgar.” Already synonymous with the Christmas ad, John Lewis & Partners’ “Excitable Edgar” campaign launched on U.K. screens with consumer products already in place to back the launch.

"I'm delighted our two brands have come together for this year's Christmas campaign,” says Craig Inglis, director, partner, customer, John Lewis & Partners. “It started from a spark of an idea – a little dragon's excitement about Christmas – and became the story of how someone goes the extra mile for their best friend to give just the right gift. It's a funny, heart-warming story that will resonate with our customers as they seek out the perfect gifts for their loved ones this Christmas.”

Another example of brands backing their campaigns with consumer products is German retailer ALDI. ALDI’s latest addition to the British Christmas arms race offers a spoof of “Peaky Blinders” and “The Greatest Showman.” In the ad, the “Leafy Blinders” – a gang of disgruntled Brussel Sprouts – chase return character Kevin the Carrot. This campaign also spawned a series of plush “Leafy Blinders” brussel sprouts and Kevin the Carrot cuddly toys for in-store displays.

From product-enhanced ads to licensed campaigns and character appearances, U.K. retailer Joules teamed up with Aardman for a very “Wallace & Gromit” take on Christmas while “Frozen II” features heavily in the Christmas ad space this year with dedicated animated appearances in Iceland’s latest ads.

The Christmas ad race (spanning November through January) adds fuel to the festive fire for high-street brands looking to fight for brand awareness – with the ads themselves garnering huge conversation appeal across the country – but it is now allowing brands to build revenue through their own range of campaign-based IP and licensed products.

TAGS: John Lewis
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