When it comes to Christmas PR campaigns, there is always a race to see who can get to the public’s hearts first, and this year is no exception! Our Junior Account Manager Abigail shares her favourite campaigns of the 2021 festive season.

All I want for Christmas is the John Lewis ad

Any review of the year’s Christmas campaigns would be incomplete without mentioning the king of Christmas adverts, John Lewis and its yearly efforts to bring the festive feeling to shoppers across the world.

I must say, whether or not you enjoy the brand’s yearly adverts, the John Lewis marketing team does a fantastic job at creating the most anticipated Christmas advert each year. Upon writing, the Unexpected Guest campaign video has received over 2.5 million views on YouTube, and that’s not including TV views, numerous clips and adapted versions that have been shared on social media.

It has to be Heinz

When it comes to bizarre and eye-catching Christmas PR campaigns, I am giving first prize to Heinz’s festive collaboration with Terry’s Chocolate Orange. Scrolling along on social media one day, I was instantly drawn in by the post claiming to announce Chocolate Orange Mayonnaise…

While I’m not sure the sauce will be featured on my Christmas table this year, this curious Christmas marketing campaign is a winner.

It has received widespread media attention with coverage in the Independent Delish and Prima to name a few, as well as masses of attention and engagement on social media.

#FreeCuthbert

If you don’t know about the Cuthbert vs Collin war that dominated our feeds earlier this year then the subtle hints in Aldi’s Christmas ad may have gone over your head, but eagle-eyed viewers spotted this hilarious nod to a previous PR stunt in the brand’s festive offering.

Cuthbert the Caterpillar, who made headlines back in April as M&S claimed that Aldi had ripped off their popular Collin the Caterpillar cakes, can be seen being arrested in the snowy scene by two sour lemons.

While many brands would want the accusations to go away, Aldi has given the scandal a nod in its Christmas marketing efforts and managed to successfully flip the narrative on a serious PR disaster to come out on top, repeatedly revisiting the scandal, to the public’s delight. Seems like no publicity is bad publicity for the supermarket giant…

Money really can grow on trees

Now here is a campaign that I can get behind, Metro Bank launched its Magic Christmas Money Tree campaign with the aim of fundraising through golden coins for local charities.

Each of the bank’s 77 branches will host a Magic Money Tree until 3 January 2022 where visitors and staff can donate by scanning a QR code on the golden coins. A truly magical way to give back this winter, hats off to the team at Metro Bank.

As well as doing something amazing for a worthy cause, this Christmas PR campaign has received great targeted regional media coverage for locations with a Metro Bank.

Christmas PR campaigns
Credit Metro Bank

A Feast of Festive Fashion

Growing up, my mum would reminisce that Christmas jumpers used to be tacky and unpopular but in more recent years they have become a staple, with fashion icons like Kylie Jenner and Shay Mitchell donning them in the run-up to 25 December.

Brands both big and small are getting in on the action. Aldi has struck again with the launch of its second clothing collection, featuring a number of festive pieces. They launched the Winter Collection in a fantastic way, styling the shoot in a very editorial, high-fashion manner despite the accessible price points. Another win on the books for Aldi’s marketing team!

Christmas PR campaigns
Credit Aldi

Brands are also taking inspiration from our favourite festive tipples and launching booze inspired knitwear, with Aperol launching a limited-edition Christmas jumper for the season. Quite stylish if you ask me!

Christmas PR campaigns
Credit Aperol Spritz UK

There are always many weird and wonderful Christmas PR campaigns (anyone fancy a calendar of Jack Grealish’s calves in their stocking this year?) and it is the perfect time to launch a campaign, but brands should be mindful of the diluted space over the holiday period and ensure that they have a strong and unique offering to cut through the noise.

However, campaigns aren’t just for Christmas marketing strategies, if you want some help getting your 2022 campaign plans of the ground, our team is here to help, check out our advice on how to plan and deliver a perfect PR campaign

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Abigail