Good-giving is my 2014 Christmas telly ad theme

At Christmas, two of my passions come together in advertising and PR. Throughout the year, I enjoy watching adverts and enjoy trying to figure out the meaning of them. I enjoy considering whether a brand or business is trying to sell a product that benefits the consumer or instead, makes profit margins healthier.

By understanding a little about how business works through developing a specialist online recruitment agency in January 2013, I understand a brand has to sell itself. Advertising on television is a great way of doing this and whether a corporate approach in ‘Face’ from British Airways or a consumer-led approach in Stork S.B. Margarine’s long-running taste test campaign is used, respect builds trust.

As I seek to get my foot in the PR door in 2015, I’d love to be creative and honest in writing for brands who put consumers first. After watching many television adverts shown in the run-up to Christmas 2014 in Great Britain, I want to celebrate the work of The Coca-Cola Company, John Lewis and Waitrose. They show how it is good to give to those you love, rather than just receive. I believe they show how consumers can give to each other where I believe Sainsbury’s have shown how creating a profit happens through buying a range of products in-store while buying one chocolate bar that gives proceeds to The Royal British Legion. This is bad giving but I feel they’re bucking the trend:

3. The Coca-Cola Company – ‘Give a Little Happiness’

Image credit - The Coca-Cola Company.

Image credit – The Coca-Cola Company.

Gestures don’t have to be grand. Giving a little can give a lot.

In producing Give a Little Happiness, Coca-Cola believe it “inspires those happy feelings associated with the festive period” and that “it shows people carrying out simple acts of kindness for the ones they love to share what they have, when they can”.

Having launched their iconic ‘Holidays are Coming’ advert in November 1995, Give a Little Happiness shares a message Coca-Cola spread themselves through the Coca-Cola Christmas truck tour. They say they want to give “a little happiness to as many people as possible” and while I understand this could form a connection that could ultimately increase profit, I believe showing kindness and offering kindness are great marketing tools.

Through the Share a Coke campaign and the thoughtfulness in Give a Little Happiness, Coca-Cola understand how emotive personal touches can fuel success.

2. John Lewis – ‘#MontyThePenguin’

Image credit - John Lewis.

Image credit – John Lewis.

Similar to how Sainsbury’s are selling Belgian chocolate as a result of the Christmas Truce, John Lewis may revel in the success of #MontyThePenguin through a range of products featuring Monty and Mabel, his new friend. They may revel in Monty’s Den, a digital experience being shared in 43 John Lewis stores, but I believe the story of Sam and Monty with an interaction for consumers offers more in good giving while also giving John Lewis an advantage as a business.

Described by John Lewis as “genuinely exciting technology firsts”, they hope “customers will love Monty and Mabel”. They hope the “uplifting tale of Sam’s love for his friend Monty will remind people of the magic of Christmas through a child’s eyes and inspire them to think how they can make the festive season extra special for their friends and loved ones”.

Following ‘For gifts you can’t wait to give’, ‘The Journey’ and ‘The Bear and The Hare’, I’ve started to look forward to the John Lewis Christmas advert. For four years now, stories of kindness and joy have touched me as they have touched a wide audience. This may now mean profit but it is earned through creativity.

1. Waitrose – ‘The Gingerbread Stall’

Image credit - Waitrose.

Image credit – Waitrose.

The Gingerbread Stall stands out for me as a special and unique idea. In being creative by sharing Ellie’s experience of being asked to bake gingerbread for her school’s Christmas Fair, a process showing her blossoming in confidence, while failing to give a lot of exposure to any particular products, it brings across thoughtful sentiment.

Bringing together voices of Waitrose customers through the Donate Your Voice campaign, an initiative launched in October 2014 that enables contributors to also decide whether they would like to donate proceeds from the sales of their rendition of Dolly Parton’s Try as featured in the advert to either Age UK, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity or The Trussell Trust, Waitrose say “the campaign line running through the advertising is “When you own something, you care a little more. Everyone who works at Waitrose owns Waitrose, so they care a little more.”” Casting Adejumoke Sanusi, a Waitrose employee, as the Waitrose employee assisting Ellie extends this message while also showing honesty in showing Sanusi in her genuine role.

I can relate to Ellie. I was a shy teenager but by getting involved in a variety of media forms as I’ve grown older, I have become confident. The Gingerbread Stall always makes me smile.