Five tips for the perfect Christmas campaign

So PR week have analysed the top ten Christmas adverts based on YouTube analytics and you guessed it, John Lewis’ #ManOnTheMoon came out on top with 13million views, with Sainsbury’s Mog the Cat hot on its tail with a respectable 11 million.  While many organisations and businesses can’t boast John Lewis’ bank breaking £7m campaign budget, it is possible to create a meaningful Christmas campaign that is emotional, effective and gets the attention of your audience. Here are some elements you should consider if you want your business to enjoy a festive boost:

Tug at the heartstrings – the key to John Lewis’ magical advert was the emotional factor.  Even the most hardened viewer couldn’t ignore the poignancy of the lonely old man on the moon.  Linking it to a growing social issue – the ageing population and loneliness, meant that most people resonated with it in some way.  Whether it was a grandparent they sorely missed, or an elderly neighbour that lives alone, everyone knows a #ManOnTheMoon. Emotional case studies and human interest are key to getting your audience to take your campaign to their hearts.

Loop in a charity angle – Sainsbury’s boosted their CSR credentials with a charity angle on Mog’s campaign.  Author Judith Kerr penned a story about Mog the Cat, which is sold for £3 through Harper Collins.  All profits will go to Save the Children.  Partnering with a charity that has resonance with your company and campaign not only demonstrates your ability to give back, but also gives an additional PR boost as charity stories are of great media interest.

Do work with small children and animals – this is one of the few cases when this rule applies.  When HK Communications was launching a paediatric unit, it made natural sense to involve the young patients in the campaign (with their parents’ consent).  This was done through a Santa’s grotto themed event, which was great for the kids and produced the cutest pictures.  Children and animals produce an ‘awwww’ factor like nothing else, so include them in your Christmas campaign, and you’re onto a winner.

Get social – you simply cannot ignore social media when planning a Christmas campaign (in fact, it’s not to be ignored at the best of times).  It was the twitter metrics and YouTube views that cemented #ManOnTheMoon as the Christmas ad to watch, and the Facebook posts and comments gave the campaign further mileage.  Without social media, it would be interesting to see what traction the advert would have made on traditional media alone.  The great thing is that social media is largely free to use, so brands just need a clever marketing or PR plan to make the most of this medium over the festive period.

Seasonal specials – if you’re selling a product or consumable (i.e. a restaurant), why not create a seasonal special?  Christmas menus and special festive offers give you a talking point on social media as well as the press.  They also work as a great point of sale.  So make the best of seasonality, produce one-off specials and make the most of the season to be jolly.

What else do you think makes the perfect Christmas campaign?  Share your thoughts in a comment below.     

If you’d like to find out how to uncover a story in your business that journalists will love to cover, download our free storyfinding toolkit here.

Halima Khatun

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