Written by guest blogger Ellie Selby
Yes, it’s that time of year again. And no, I’m not referring to the baubles and brightly coloured lights, Christmas cheer or carol singers. Nor am I talking about the endless videos on Facebook of our pets gradually disembowelling our slaved-over Christmas trees. What I’m referring to, is this particular blog – and just because I’m no longer in the MAXX offices doesn’t mean I don’t get to forcibly write this Christmas article for you all as per usual. (I am delighted to have been asked, Merry Christmas one and all)!
I hope this year has been a fantastic one for you - it certainly has been an interesting one for the rest of the world! Nevertheless, our favourite brands never fail to impress with their innovative, heart-wrenching Christmas campaigns. So – who has made the cut on MAXX’s (heavily influenced by Ellie) Christmas campaigns?
1. Kevin the Carrot
I may be biased, but the one thing the great British public wants to see more of, is adorable vegetables. Aldi, in this respect, does not disappoint. Aldi sets up an incredible smorgasbord of its own brand food, explored by a cute carrot; filled with curiosity and hope to meet Santa. After a stressful encounter with the grater, bucks fizz, and a mound of rolling potatoes, he takes forty winks and wakes up high in the sky, tied to Rudolph’s antlers (just out of his reach!), as an incentive to go faster. Aldi has outdone itself with this incredibly simple, well-animated little piece. It’s a rare Christmas advert that doesn’t pretend to do anything more than sell food in style.
Well done Aldi (although I am concerned for Kevin’s welfare and would like to know what happened to him after the reindeer incident!)
2. Santa forgot - Alzheimer's Research UK
On a more serious note, Alzheimer’s Research UK have truly outdone itself with a heart wrenching Christmas tale that will make you want to give the charity all of your pocket change now. It tells the story of a little girl called Freya who wants to know who Father Christmas is. Her Father explains that on one Christmas Eve things went wrong: Santa was mixing up presents and getting lost. ‘He seemed sad, distant and afraid. Year by year, things got steadily worse, until finally he stopped coming altogether.’
Freya, however, travels to the north pole to Santa’s workshop and visits the elves. She explains that if Santa just has a ‘broken mechanism’ – he might be able to be fixed. The elves get to work with new purpose and determination. It is a powerful, intelligent and truthful metaphor for an issue that effects many people around the world, and still manages to capture the Christmas message in a wonderfully illustrated animation.
Definitely one to watch.
3. Heathrow - #ComingHome
For once, it’s not the supermarkets that are stealing the limelight this year. There are plenty of brands that really stepped up their Christmas marketing, and Heathrow is no exception. Described by the Telegraph as the ‘advert to rival John Lewis’, its a simple idea – two adorable elderly bears going home through the airport for Christmas, presumably metaphors, as they then turn into grandparents greeting their adoring grandchildren with open arms. It’s a warm and jaunty Christmas ad that easily puts a smile on your face, and reminds you of the little quirks in life to appreciate. After a long year – what more could you ask for?
4. Apple - Frankie's Song
Although I love Apple products, I don’t always love their marketing campaigns. However, this year Apple has pulled it out of the bag with a different steer on Frankenstein’s monster. Poor Frankie trudges all the way to the town square – as he just wants to record a Christmas song on his iPod. However when he gets there, he is met with disgust. Shunned, it takes a wise little girl to start singing along with him before everyone joins in, creating a brilliant soundtrack to keep him warm all Christmas. It finishes with the message: ‘open your heart to everyone.’
Perhaps it’s not the first time something like this has been done – and maybe it’s not the most original concept. However, after a year full of debates, disarray and disputes, the end message and video clip is poignant. It’s heartening that big global brands are willing to shift their focus a little to spread some positivity and remind us about what’s important.
Last, but by no means least, is MAXX of course. It simply wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t finish this article by getting you all on board with the MAXX Christmas campaign this year! There may not be the budget for HD TV Adverts or animated carrots, but there is a fresh supply of majestic antlers in the MAXX office to be had. Upon receiving these antlers, consider it your Christmasley (it’s not a word, but we’re going with it) duty to take a selfie and post on our channels. For every selfie we get, we’ll donate more money to The Rosemary Appeal.
I hope you all have a great Christmas, and thank you for reading yet another one of these blogs,(just when you thought you were rid of me). If you have any thoughts, make sure you post them in the comments below – we’d love to read them!
A Merry Christmas to you all.
A big thank you to Ellie our guest blogger, who moved from MAXX after 4 years as our Social Media Manager, to run some innovative campaigns for Thames Valley Police. Here is one of her most successful: