The Christmas advertising bunfight has kicked off in earnest today, with new campaigns featuring flamingos, bunnies, disco divas, and the usual of covey of celebrities as the battle for festive spend begins.
First up is online retailer Very, which aims to celebrate customers transforming everyday experiences – such as shopping for gifts – into “something wonderful”.
Developed by The Gate, the 60-second animated festive spot “Let’s Make It Sparkle” opens to a dull cityscape, where grey pigeons are going about their Christmas shopping. Suddenly the clouds open to reveal a flock of pink flamingos, carrying Very parcels.
As Girls Aloud’s version of Merry Christmas, Everybody plays, the flamingos deliver their festive parcels, much to the joy of recipients. The animation was produced by Nexus studios, with media planning and buying handled by Dentsu.
Also embracing an animated theme is Duracell, which is launching its first festive campaign featuring the rampant rabbit in five years, with “Bunny saves Christmas” by Wunderman Thompson UK.
The activity is led by a 30-second TV spot which shows Santa’s sleigh flying above a wintry forest until “Rudolf” loses power and goes crashing to the ground. Enter the Duracell Bunny, who speeds in and opens up the reindeer’s nose to reveal ordinary batteries – which he duly swops for Duracell Optimum, while a red-faced Santa looks on.
Once the sleigh is back on track, the Duracell Bunny adds a sack of batteries to Santa’s sleigh, noting that “the toys are going to need them too” before he continues his journey. The ad ends with the call to action: “Don’t risk it, choose Duracell”.
Meanwhile, Argos’ 30-second Christmas spot stars animated brand ambassadors “Connie and Trevor” as they dance to Le Freak by Chic, telling the nation that “This Christmas, There’s More To Argos”.
Developed by The & Partnership, the film shows Trevor filming Connie dancing across a table on Christmas Eve as she struggles to contain her excitement in anticipation of the big day, showcasing the range of gifts available at the retailer for this festive season as she goes.
However, it is then revealed that he’s been recording himself by mistake the whole time.
Argos head of campaigns Laura Boothby seems pretty chuffed with the outcome. She said: “There was no better way to show off what you can find at Argos this Christmas than bringing back our loveable and family-friendly characters Connie and Trevor.
“In a festive-themed adventure, the dynamic duo spotlight just a few of the incredible products our customers can buy this Christmas, and bring them to life in a witty and playful way – igniting the Christmas joy our customers can find at Argos.”
Marks & Spencer is also getting in early, released its celebrity fest Christmas clothing and home ad, “Love Thismas, Not Thatmas”, which focuses on celebrating the things consumers love about the season.
Featuring Hannah Waddingham, Zawe Ashton, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Tan France, the ad was created by newly-appointed agency Mother London and includes a cover of Meatloaf’s I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That) – re-recorded by artist and singer-songwriter Ray BLK.
The ad shows each star facing a classic Christmas dilemma, designed be a relatable reference to the pressures faced during the festive season. The campaign for M&S food is due to be released later this week.
Finally, Asda has confirmed that Michael Bublé will be the star of its 2023 Christmas show with a 60-second teaser ad.
Created by Havas London, the clip – longer than many full-length ads – shows Asda staff relaxing in a break room until they are disturbed by an unusual ‘gurgling’ sound as the clock ticks to midnight.
Journeying through a festive warehouse to find its source, they eventually reach a door marked “MB inside. Do not open ‘til 1.11.23”. As the door swings open, Bublé is shown in silhouette, before turning to the camera and breaking into the classic It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.
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