In the pantheon of great vintage Christmas ads, there’s a wide range of approaches a brand can take when connecting with consumers. However, there do tend to be a few through lines that elevate a run-of-the-mill holiday advert and launch it into the status of greatness, becoming as synonymous with the season as saying, “Merry Christmas.”
Part of that experience is paying attention to what customers want. “Christmas has been an iconic moment for Coca-Cola since 1931,” says Raluca Vlad, Marketing Director of Coca-Cola Italy and Albania. “Every year, we’re trying to bring more freshness, while keeping the iconicity of some key assets while trying to reinvent ourselves.” Whether that’s converting the classic Coca-Cola truck into an electric vehicle or partnering with Christmas markets, Coca-Cola focuses on embracing tradition while also meeting customers where they are.
With the holiday season often tied with emotion, the Christmas advertising season is an opportunity for your brand to demonstrate its emotional range and its values. When we’re talking about Sainsbury’s or Campbell’s or Folgers, all three brands have established a sense of emotional connection with their audience, welcoming them into the holiday season while also making sure to highlight their products.
On the other end of the spectrum, John Lewis & Partners has created a holiday expectation that they will tell a story, eventually tying the narrative to a product you can find within their stores—whether that’s Elton John’s first piano or an alarm clock that wakes up a bear just in time for Christmas. And with Coca-Cola, the brand has managed to integrate their own imagery into the culture of the holiday season. By consistently leveraging the snowy polar bear popping a bubbly, cold Coke, Coca-Cola has made their brand story a piece of Christmas canon.