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Our pick for Christmas Ad of the Year and some merrily interesting holiday marketing stats


Christmas Ad of the Year: Our Top Pick for 2018

When it comes to Christmas adverts, they’re essentially a national pastime. And while our article this week examines the more serious, marketing-centric side of the festive ads, we’re the first to admit that our heartstrings are all-too-readily pulled by them.


Our favourite this year? Well, although we wish we could count ourselves as all-too mature to get involved in the voting battle, we’re not. And Sainsbury’s glitteringly produced primary school play extravaganza, ‘The Big Night’ gets our vote this year. Given that the brand brought on The Greatest Showman’s Michael Gracey to direct the ad, it’s no surprise it’s a sparkling burst of broadway-esque feelings.


The supermarket’s ad sees eight-year-old Tia Isaac – clad in an over-sized, sparkling star costume – timidly take centre stage before she begins singing The Radical’s ‘You Get What You Give’. That is, until the state curtains open and the stage erupts with equally as cute children, all clad in everything-Christmas, from baubles to tinsel. In the middle, a towering, colourful Christmas tree.


It’s at this moment that little Tia finds her sureness, singing out confidently as all the children gather around the tree.


But it’s one moment in particular that stole the nation’s heart (at least according to Twitter): a little boy, who has affectionately been dubbed Plug Boy – mainly because he is quite literally dressed as a (tiny) human-sized plug – runs out on stage and buoyantly throws (see: plugs) himself into a socket.


The result? The entire Christmas tree and stage light up, and you can practically hear the UK collectively tear up with sentimental-filled joy.


The show ends with a standing ovation (from both the cast and us), with the words ‘We Give all we’ve got for the ones we love’ lighting up the screen. An unabashedly obvious nod to the notion of the Christmas spirit of giving? Check. Maximum ‘aaaw’ factor? Double check. 


Christmas magic really is possible. All you need is a little friendly competition tied up with a good sprinkling of emotive nostalgia and a not-too-shy marketing budget. 


Stats Corner: Christmas Marketing Stats that Matter 

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  • 8 in 10 holiday shoppers are influenced by the internet before making a purchase (with search engines being the most influential)
  • 64% of smartphone shoppers turn to mobile search before heading to the store
  • 76% of mobile shoppers change their mind about which retailer/brand to buy from after searching online
  • Bid prices can increase by 140% over their yearly average during the holidays
  • Retail e-commerce sales increased by over 15% during the 2017 holiday season and are only predicted to increase further this year