Our favourite Christmas Marketing Campaigns of 2022

5th December 2022

This year, an unprecedented 16 Christmas ads achieved five-star scores. Ordinarily just 1% of ads in testing reach the top rank, and in 2021 only two Christmas ads made the cut: Aldi’s “A Christmas Carrot” and Coca-Cola’s annual “Holidays are Coming.”

Given the quality of this year’s ads, brands that usually score highly, including Coca-Cola, John Lewis, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, and M&S Food, have been pushed out of the top 12.

In this blog, we are going to explore some of the top-ranking Christmas ads and why we think they have done so well.

Cadburys Secret Santa Campaign

Cadbury's Christmas Campaign

This year’s Cadbury advertisement marks the return of its Secret Santa postal service for its fifth consecutive year, leading a campaign to give away 120,000 bars of chocolate over the six weeks to Christmas Eve. The 30-second spot, created with agency VCCP London, introduces viewers to the Cadbury postman as he packages up the chocolate and explains how they can secretly send a bar to a friend or family member.

Based on Marketing Week research over 3,750 consumers as well as facial recognition technology to assess people’s emotional responses to each Christmas ad this year, Cadbury’s stands out as a “brilliant all-around performer,” according to Marketing Week.

Why was Cadbury’s campaign so effective?

But why has the Cadbury Secret Santa ad resonated so well this year? Cadbury’s uses a storytelling technique that focuses on giving, both between the brand and its customers and among friends and family. This consistent message is tapping into the audience’s lives across multiple different touchpoints. Much like the Cola Cola van, the out-of-home marketing concept of billboard advertising paired with the TV ad allows the consumer to be engaged with the brand at different touch points, helping Cadbury remain at the top of the consumer’s mind.

This is a versatile tactic that can be easily implemented into different marketing strategies. Creating a customer journey across multiple different touchpoints with consistent messaging allows your brand to engage customers. Maintaining consistent messaging over an extended period increases the likelihood of converting awareness into actual sales.

Asda: Have your elf a Merry Christmas

Buddy the Elf is the perfect person to spread Christmas cheer. Asda’s 2022 Christmas campaign sees Will Ferrell’s character Buddy the Elf play out iconic scenes from the 2003 film Elf, set in an Asda store during a chaotic trial shift. The supermarket used the power of visual effects to transport the character directly out of scenes in the film and reinsert him in its 90-second spot.

Asda’s choice of the nostalgic Christmas film Elf is said to have been chosen to create joy and make the Asda brand more famous. It worked… “Have Your Elf a Merry Christmas” has ranked at the top of the list in Marketing Week’s research, achieving a top score for its potential to drive long-term brand impact.

Asda Elf Christmas Campaign

Why was Asda’s campaign so effective?

Asda has leveraged the audience reach, fame, and emotional connection that come along with the classic Elf film to their advantage. This is a tactic that is often implemented in smaller brand marketing strategies. Brands often partner with or leverage people of influence to collaborate on certain marketing tactics; the benefits include increased brand engagement and potential customers, brand trust and authority, or, in Asda’s case, fame.

Kevin the Carrot is Home Alone, Aldi

Last year, Marketing Week named Aldi’s Christmas campaign, “A Christmas Carrot,” a spin-off of Charles Darwin’s “A Christmas Carol,” the most effective. The brand was praised for using people of influence and storytelling, specifically England football player Marcus Rashford, to evoke emotions in customers. This year, Aldi appears to have attempted a similar strategy by being another brand on the list to incorporate a classic Christmas film into the advertisement. This year Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot is Home Alone, which follows Kevin’s family as they travel to Paris before realising on the plane that they’ve left Kevin home alone. The advert emphasises the importance of family being together to celebrate Christmas.

Why was Aldi’s campaign so effective?

Storytelling is an essential component of any good marketing campaign, and it’s something you’ll want to master if you want to grow your business. The use of Kevin the carrot is the first indication that Aldi has mastered the art of storytelling. This brand character first appeared in 2016 and has yet to leave. In an interview with Marketing Week, Giles Hurley, Aldi’s CEO, stated, “Kevin the Carrot reminds Aldi customers that you don’t have to be extravagant to be kind, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to treat your family to nice things. Aldi’s brand character first appeared in 2016 and has yet to leave. In an interview with Marketing Week, Giles Hurley, Aldi’s CEO, stated, “Kevin the Carrot reminds Aldi customers that you don’t have to be extravagant to be kind, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to treat your family to nice things.” Kevin the Carrot is relatable, which is why he has been such a success. The combination of using a brand character, storytelling through a classic, well-known Christmas film to send the message of the importance of family being together at Christmas, and the use of influential figures to evoke emotion is why Aldi’s Christmas campaign has done so well over the years. If something works, there is no need to change the strategy.

Brand storytelling is no longer nice to have. It is a requirement that will ultimately maximise your company’s visibility, profit, and impact. Treat it as a compass for your marketing strategy, and the result will be a brand that is as profitable as it is captivating.

Here at GottaBe!, we are loving all the Christmas marketing campaigns this year. It is not too late to put something together this holiday season to draw your audience in. Get in contact with us if you need some inspiration.