The festive season is well underway, and the adverts used on TV are some of the most memorable things about the period. Find out why they work so well, right here.

One of the most memorable things about the Christmas period isn’t the food or the presents. No, it’s the adverts. In the past few years, Christmas adverts have taken over, and have become a staple of the beginning of the festive period. But what makes a good Christmas advert and how have some of the biggest brands (John Lewis, Iceland and Sainsbury’s) created such memorable adverts in the year 2018? Well, we investigate.

We’ve spoken to a leading digital marketing agency about the techniques that some of these companies use in their Christmas advertising, be it on or off the television. In this post, we’ll be looking at 3 different ads from this Christmas season and looking at the techniques they’ve used in their advertising. Find out why these ads are memorable and impactful, right here.

Emotional Marketing

One trait that almost all Christmas ads have is using emotional marketing and advertising messages in their adverts. Emotional marketing is a form of connecting with the audience on a personal level, evoking their feelings as opposed to advertising to the ‘logical need’ of the product. It’s an effective form of marketing that seems to be at the heart of most Christmas adverts, especially the 3 we’re going to look at below.

  • John Lewis

This year, John Lewis has recruited Elton John, for a sentimental advert about the history of his talent and career. You can see the advert, here:

What John Lewis’ advert does is choose to use an icon and one of his iconic songs, to establish an emotional connection with the audience. If you consider the demographics of John Lewis, they may be those that grew up listening to Sir Elton John. The message at the end of the advert is ‘some gifts are more than just a gift’ – which fits in with Elton’s talent as well as the giving of gifts in the festive period. This sentimental advert evokes a connection with the audience, inspiring them to give something to someone. This is just one example of emotional marketing.

  • Iceland

Whilst Iceland’s 2018 Christmas ads won’t be shown on telly, it has been shared by millions of users online. You can see Iceland’s advert below:

This advert chooses to highlight a social issue, as opposed to advertising their products in the festive period. This advert chooses to bravely draw attention to palm oil, forgoing the Christmas theme. Whilst it was deemed ‘too political’ by broadcasting standard companies, the advert has made the rounds on social media, receiving massive amounts of media coverage too. The advert is impactful because it highlights an environmental and animal issue at a time where concern for the environment has never been more prominent. Whilst it may not necessarily promote, it’s effective because it is excellent PR for Iceland as a company.

  • Sainsbury’s

Similarly to John Lewis’ advert, Sainsbury’s uses a classic song in their advert too. See the full ad, here:

The ‘Christmas play’ is something known throughout British schools, and this advert chooses to use a family song and a familiar event to create their advert. Again, it’s not an advert for their products rather it’s an emotional advert that focuses on inspiring the audience watching. This is another form of emotional marketing, making a connection with both parents and children alike.

Types of Emotional Marketing

Above you can see examples of how emotional marketing can be used. However, there’s a range of different feeling that adverts using emotional marketing can evoke in an audience. We talk about 5 of them, in the section below.

  1. The Local Angle

Whilst this may not apply for the bigger, national companies, (however it does for some, but we’ll get to that) it’s something that smaller businesses or local businesses can use. The local angle involves getting people to care about the local community by buying local. Whilst some smaller businesses may advertise that fact that buying local is better, larger chains use community projects to inspire people to buy from them. The Co-Op, for example, funds local projects where their shops are located. People tend to care about the area they live in, so a local angle is a good form of emotional marketing.

  1. The Milestone Angle

If a well-established business has hit a milestone, 50 years, for example, some businesses choose to use this in their advertising. The feeling evokes sentimentality in the audience, much like the John Lewis ad, by showing a progression through the years. It can be key for businesses to establish their longevity through their advertising, but it makes those who have used the brand for years feel a connection.

  1. The ‘Love’ Angle

The love angle is showing brands and businesses care for more than just profit. Through emotional marketing, the love angle can help humanize a brand making them appear as a caring business – as Iceland has with their Christmas ad this year. It’s about creating a link with the audience making them see the brand as more than just a business.

  1. The Aspirational Angle

Some adverts choose to provide consumers with something to aspire to. You’ll see this fairly often with mortgage companies, banks, and estate agents. It’s about giving people something to aspire to through their advertising.

  1. Inspirational Angle

Another emotional marketing technique used is the inspirational angle. Like Sainsbury’s ad, it inspires people to overcome fears. In general, it can be the inspiration to overcome adversity, challenged and more – Nike are experts of emotional advertising, especially using the inspirational angle.

These are all forms of emotional marketing that brands and businesses use all year round, not just at Christmas. Think about emotional marketing this Christmas and beyond, it’s a powerful method of marketing and advertising.

Author Bio:

Lloyd Parkinson is a Content Marketing Executive at Revive. Digital. Lloyd has experience writing content for the purpose of marketing on behalf of B2B and B2C organizations ranging from legal services, insurance brokers,  financial services, all the way to the music and entertainment industry. He conducts research and writes about an extensive number of topics. Lloyd aims to educate his readers through his creative writing by providing them with informative and valuable content. He seeks to simplify complex topics for general readers as well as writing technical content for the well informed