The Top Five Christmas Campaigns for 2014

Every year around early November, the internet starts to come alive with the excitement for the upcoming ad bonanza that is Christmas time. So in spirit of Christmas, here are our top 5 Christmas campaigns for 2014!

5) Sainsbury’s – Christmas Is For Sharing, made in partnership with The Royal British Legion. [Warning – turn your speakers down]

Talk about pulling on the old heartstrings! The famous war story of The Christmas Truce has been brought to life in this ad which at publishing date has had over 14 million hits. Sainsbury’s took a big risk with this one.  War isn’t a topic to be taken lightly. However if we look past the fact that in essence, the supermarket is using war to advertise their company, what we have is a beautiful representation of the spirit of Christmas. (Sorry for the saccharine, but if we can’t at Christmas then when can we?) What makes the campaign more palatable is the fact its promoting a chocolate bar of which all profits will be donated to the Royal British Legion.  A brilliant message indeed.

4) Tesco’s Wigan Light Show

Once upon a time, retailers would release one wizz bang Christmas ad and that was enough. Not anymore. UK Retailer Tesco has released a fun, sweet Christmas ad campaign which at face value is fine. But it’s not the official ad that we love. In 2013, Tesco customer Claire Hannah tweeted that her local Tesco wasn’t displaying the iconic ‘Tesco hat’. Instead of a miserly, boring response tweet, Tesco threw plenty of energy (and plenty of dollars) at a response (seen here) this year that’s already getting them plenty of free publicity. Not only did they respond to the tweet, but they added to their Christmas message this year in a spectacular, explosive fashion. It looks like the proof is already in the pudding in terms of free exposure thanks to Christmas-themed content.

3) David Jones – The Things We Do For Love

Speaking of saccharine! We’re proud to announce that Aussie retailer David Jones has jumped on the Christmas bandwagon and offered up a classic Aussie Christmas problem in their sentimental Christmas ad! Here in the wide, brown land, we’re not famous for our inclusion of chimneys in our architecture. This ad plays delightfully on this notion and reminds us why we celebrate Christmas at all. Because it makes the people we love happy. While this ad’s not racing up the viral stakes yet, we’re expecting a Christmas miracle!

2) Aldi – Aussie Christmas

Australians enjoy a fairly unique Christmas. While the romance of a white Christmas isn’t lost on us – most of us spend December 25 sweltering in the heat wishing we’d let the whole ‘hot food’ thing go. Aldi has jumped on this idea and offered a delightful mash-up of the traditional white Christmas and the quintessential Aussie Christmas. While the advertising elements of this ad might be a little overt, we’re willing to forgive it just to watch those zany Europeans having a crack at the slip n’ slide on the snow! And keep an eye out for the budgie smugglers – we didn’t know they existed outside Australia!

1) John Lewis – Monty The Penguin

And finally, it wouldn’t be a modern Christmas without a visit from Monty The Penguin. John Lewis must be rubbing their hands together in the lead up to Christmas now, knowing they’re days away from an absurd amount of free publicity. Before it was even released, the Twittersphere was abuzz with excitement. And, as expected, this year’s Monty The Penguin ad notched up 12 million views in the first week it was released. John Lewis pre-empted the insane response to the ad with more content marketing than you can poke a stick at including  a website where you can explore Monty’s world, a storytelling app, Monty’s Den in each of their stores and Monty the Penguin adoption toys which raise money for the WWF. Oh and Monty the Penguin has over 35,000 followers on Twitter. Not bad for a penguin. John Lewis spent £1 million on the Monty the Penguin ads but when you look at the YouTube shares, the interactive content and phenomenal free publicity this little guy has earned the retailer, it’s a small price to pay.

– Sophie

LED Light District

Seven weeks to Christmas and I’m in full “Christmas Lights” mode. The 2010 display will be the nation’s biggest and best home lighting extravaganza, but more on that in just a moment…

Last year generous visitors and Messages On Hold clients gave $27,000 to the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation. I’m hoping to raise $30,000 this year. That shouldn’t be too hard considering this year’s setup will showcase several never-before-seen attractions and 20% more cabling than 2009.

I can’t tell you all the exciting new things that will make this year’s lighting show a ripper because that would ruin the surprise, but I can give you a small taste of what to expect. Firstly, the music we’ll be using to sync the lights up is from The Groove Gallery – a license-free music company I launched back in September with Shane Warne. We’ve had 2 of our past videos booted off Youtube because we used commercial music so that won’t happen this year.

Starburst has agreed to supply thousands of their “in-demand” lollipops for us to give away. I’m super excited about my four green ‘VU Metres’ and magical ‘floating’ stars, all new for this year.

I’m also doing a short video diary/podcast each week taking viewers behind the scenes of what it takes to assemble a monumental project like this. I’ve already uploaded the first which you can watch on our Youtube Channel,Facebook Fan Page and very shortly – iTunes.

Please befriend Messages On Hold on Facebook, join The World’s Best Christmas Lights group or subscribe to our Youtube Channel. And remember to share it with your friends too! You can also view the video and forward it to your friends and family by visiting the homepage here!

Flashing For A Good Cause

It’s that time of year again… Christmas lights time of year that is! This is my second most favourite time of the year; there’s cheer in the air, everyone’s spirits are high, cricket is on the telly and I get to dress the house up like a Las Vegas casino.

For the last two years I’ve doused the front yard with thousands of LEDs to create a little bit of magic in my neighbourhood. It’s no cake walk either, when you consider that last year’s effort comprised more than 5kms of cabling, 40,000 environmentally-friendly LEDs, 176 channels of synchronised music and Australias largest privately-owned illuminated Christmas tree.

So why do I do it? The simple answer is because its fun. The complex answer is its a creative outlet that provides funds for a good cause. It’s not just our place that gets into the spirit either, our neighbours join in too. And in the true spirit of Christmas, we were able to give something back to people who need it most. In 2007 we raised $12,000 for the Princess Margaret Childrens Foundation, and then in 2008 we doubled that figure!

If you’ve not seen the footage from last year, view it here. Over the past 2 years, these videos have been viewed more than 400,000 times. It’s even better when you drive past and tune your car radio in to our special FM frequency.

Sure, it would be easier not to spend 500 hours on the Christmas Lights. But when I step back and view the light show and watch the endless stream of neighbours, young and old, wander down to our home, I forget about the effort required. Oh, and I reckon the Perth’s Children’s Hopsital can bank on $30k from those to drop by this year.