I love nothing more than seeing the influence of different Marketing campaigns, especially around Christmas. Ads from the likes of Coca Cola and John Lewis have huge hype surrounding them, leaving Twitter to go crazy from their first air date in November through to the end of the festive period.
Don’t get me wrong, I adore (almost) everything about Christmas, I’ve already finished my Christmas shopping & desperately want to put my tree up. But I cringe when people are posting online that ‘it’s officially Christmas when… they see the Coca Cola polar bear/Christmas van or John Lewis ad.’ No, that isn’t when it’s officially Christmas at all and I although I think the power of marketing is amazing in these instances, it’s all constructed to make you buy, not to simply make you feel as if Christmas is here and give you a little cry because the penguin is ‘so cute’.
Have you seen how much that penguin teddy is selling for? £95! Yes they may have sent loads over to WWF in a hope to boost adoption figures but £95 to buy one from them!? They claim the advert increases the awareness of the need to adopt penguins, but does it? I haven’t seen one post on social media suggesting anyone has received that message. Whilst a report from the Telegraph suggests that adoptions of penguins have increased on last year, the numbers are ridiculously low in comparison to the number of people who have seen the advert. OK, so John Lewis are doing their bit and donating money from the sale of their CD to the Adopt a Penguin Programme, just how many people are going to buy the CD? Most likely a very small number in comparison to the cuddly toys sold at John Lewis, which have already sold out and attracting bids of up to £150 on eBay! I understand it works for John Lewis, there are numerous reports online suggesting profits are up since it first aired, but it just doesn’t sit comfortably with me.
This is where I can quite happily welcome the new Sainsburys Christmas ad. Yes, I know this is created for the same reasons as above, but everything about it oozes sincerity. If you haven’t seen it, I’m sure less people have as it doesn’t feature a cute child or animal, click here. Sainsburys have teamed up with the Royal British Legion to create an advert fitting for the 100th anniversary of the start of WW1. The video features the rare truce of Christmas 1914, where both British and German soldiers ventured into No Man’s Land to greet one another, exchange gifts and even have a game of football.
Whilst some may see this collaboration as a little bizarre, I think it’s genius. The ad features a chocolate bar sent to the British soldier who then gives this to a young German. The chocolate bar will be sold in Sainsburys stores and all profits will go to the Royal British Legion, isn’t that what Christmas is about?
OK, Sainsburys will receive a lot of positive PR for this, enhancing the brand and hopefully they’ll see consumers associating themselves with the holiday and purchasing with them. But I as a consumer am satisfied that we aren’t being exploited in paying £95 for a penguin and seeing John Lewis pocket it all. I’ll very happily part with my hard earned cash to see it go to a cause as great at the Royal British Legion.
Marketing is proven to be such a powerful thing, with consumers not even thinking about Christmas until certain ads hit the TV. Why not use this tool for mutual gain like Sainburys have?
I’d love your opinions on this, I’m definitely not a party pooper when it comes to Christmas, but £95 FOR A PENGUIN TOY?