Top Tips from FOTW’s Queen of Christmas!!

Dec 16, 2020 / Industry Insights / FOTW

This article was written by Laice Gregory Lead producer @ FOTW

Holy Moly!! Can you believe it’s December already!! Eh???!! What a crazy year its been! As we’re leading up to the big day, and with more and more ads popping up I thought, as the self proclaimed Christmas queen at FOTW, would spread some joy by listing out my key advice for Christmas ads!! PLUS, i’ll be sharing my personal favourite Xmas ads of 2020…

Top 3 Tips for Christmas ads

1. Nostalgia

We love our traditions and making memories, so why not use sprinkles of that to make people connect to your ad. Use snippets from a home movie, characters / animations from films your audience grew up with like Sky did in their last years TV advert using ET to make people instantly connect!

I know there’s been a bit of controversy around Sainsburys ad this year, but I think people are really missing the point (or i’m just looking at it through sparkly tinted glasses) that it’s about home, it’s about traditions, about memories, and after everything that’s happened this year Sainsburys ad made me think about my own traditions and my own memories. They didn’t need to add a product – we all know who they are and what you can get from their shops, nothing more was needed. I think they did something really special and simplistic. Well done Sainsbury’s.

Sainsburys – Gravy song

2. Be relevant

Talk about what’s relevant now, use products you will actually sell or people really need or want. I think the reason why I no longer get excited about the premier of the John Lewis ad is because I just don’t feel they are relevant to the time or people. Every year they make an epic TV ad and has a product attached that you probably don’t need or would buy like a teddy bear or clock, but that will only make you think of the brand if you have the TV ad on, post Christmas it’s just another product.

HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the ads and my personal favourite Xmas ads over the years are…

John Lewis – Dragon

John Lewis – The bear and the hare

3. Have Fun

You can never have too much sparkle, Christmas is a time of joy and happiness. Break the rules and have fun, be tongue in cheek, crack a joke or two OR three!! It is Christmas after all!!

It’s an old one but a right Christmas cracker!! – I still crack up at this Xmas ad for boxers…

Kmart – Joe Boxer

And without further ado – the juicy bit…drum roll please!! For my top 5 Christmas ads of 2020…

…In at #5…Vodafone – The Magic of connection

I mean who doesn’t love a snow day! I just thought the ad was really sweet with the girl making sure the boy could experience it all – even with a broken leg. Who knows Christmas may be through VR headsets in future!

#4…Walkers – Sausage Rolls

I mean you can’t have a sausage roll without thinking of Ladbaby, it wouldn’t feel right without him! AND, is it even classed as a Christmas ad unless there’s some carol singers?

#3…Disney + – From our family to yours

I mean what can you say apart from WOW, i’m not crying…well, maybe, just a little tear :p!

It meets all of my 3 top tips. The story, the music, the style was just perfect for the brand, what a way to launch their first Christmas TV ad! In true Disney style!!

#2. Aldi – Kevin the carrot

Kevin had me at “I just pea’d myself” from a few years back.

I always eagerly await Kevin’s ads, and this year wouldn’t be any different. The Story telling is always sweet and fun! For me it’s not Christmas until you see the Aldi ad (Sorry Coco-Cola move over!)

And…this years winner!! #1. Tesco – No naughty list

For me personally Tesco won Christmas this year! It’s SOoo relevant to how people are feeling with items you want and will need to buy over the festive season, but puts a humorous spin on it and makes you smile. Best line is about Captain Tom.

However, i’m sure there are parents out there switching the audio off so their kids don’t think they can be naughty every year for Santa! ????

So there you have it, my 2020 run down on this years top Xmas ads and top tips.
Thanks for reading!! Enjoy your Christmas and take care everyone, here’s to a brighter 2021!!

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Author - Jamie Smith

Jamie Smith is the Co-Founder and Creative Director at Fall Off The Wall, a forward-thinking TV advertising & creative production agency in the UK. Jamie Smith is an experienced Creative Director with a demonstrated history of working in the DRTV marketing and advertising industry.