Christmas adverts 2013: the art of oneupmanship

It’s that time of the year again when watching the adverts on TV is something you genuinely look forward to.

The battle between brands to create the most engaging and captivating Christmas advert is on but we at BEAR have asked ourselves if this year the brands have lost it a little. There is an argument that in order to ‘outdo’ last year’s advert and remain at the top of the food chain, brands are pumping millions into focusing on this. But, is this the way to go?

We have seen three very different approaches this year. John Lewis spent £7 million on their Disney animation of ‘The Bear & The Hare’ and Sainsbury’s created ‘Christmas in a Day’; a homemade video of real people and real-life scenarios at Christmas. By taking this different approach, Sainsbury’s have escaped the endless cycle of trying too hard to outshine other brands; and in our opinion have created a more emotional attachment to the experience of Christmas.

However, for us at BEAR, the most striking Christmas advert this year is Harvey Nichols with their ‘Sorry, I spent it on myself’ campaign. The advert does two things to show them off in the best light; it is full of humour, and by suggesting the temptation to buy for yourself rather than others when Christmas shopping in Harvey Nichols, it shows the true quality of their products.

The campaign is extended through other channels like social media (via the #SpentItOnMyself hashtag) and in-store promotions. But what caught our eye is by actually creating the range to sell in stores they have sustained the humour of the campaign up until Christmas day when people, just like in the advert, will open their ‘gifts’.

With John Lewis getting 5 million more views on YouTube for their advert than ever before, we hope that brands don’t get too lost in pumping money into winning the battle of the Christmas adverts. It is the simplest of things that make us laugh and cry and these ideas don’t need to cost millions!


16 Dec 2013



Posted by

India Warman