Great advertising is for life, not just for Christmas

The festive advertising season, the UK industry’s equivalent of the Super Bowl, successfully has the nation talking over their teacup. Yet the power of long-term marketing investment to build both brand and business momentum is not seasonal.

Dave Day has his say in this month’s BITE Big Question – ‘great advertising is for life, not just for Christmas’.

It is indeed, but then that statement assumes the Christmas advertising we’ve seen to date is by default, great? I’m going to go all ‘bah humbug’ here. While there are some lovely Xmas gems out there that surprise, delight and are what the very best advertising should be about (Ikea being one), there’s also a lot of big-budget, lazy, ‘meh’ work. Copycat emotional heartstrings stuff, with endless nostalgia layered over the top.

But OK, I digress. What is it about the very best Christmas ads that exemplifies the very best of advertising? First and foremost: differentiation. The reason I like the Ikea work? Because it’s not another poor man’s John Lewis. It’s distinctive, surprising and therefore memorable. Whether it’s a Christmas ad at all is debatable but it represents so much of what ‘Great’ advertising means. Above all it cuts through, and you don’t do that by replicating what’s been done a dozen times before. This time of year is rightly regarded as the UK’s Super Bowl, our opportunity to flex our creative muscles as an industry. Now imagine if that American ad break was littered back to back with this year’s Christmas offering and ask yourself, ‘what would I remember?’

This article was originally published on Creativebrief.