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My top 4 Christmas TV and viral video adverts of 2013

24 December, 2013

I have heard it said that the Christmas season hasn’t arrived until we hear the familiar Coca-Cola jingle ‘Holidays are Coming’ makes an appearance… And 2013 has not disappointed when it comes to the annual Christmas adverts and viral videos rolled out on television and via the internet.

Christmas is the time of the year when all the big players in retail unveil their visual delights and heart-warming soundtracks that are so readily taken into everyone’s hearts.

So what is it about these adverts that evoke such emotion and sentimentality? Just how do they engage with us and what makes them so good? That’s what I’ll be exploring in this Christmas eve blog – have a good one and enjoy!


1) John Lewis –The Bear and The Hare

Now this one is my personal favourite for not only the visual impact of the advert itself but the internet marketing and advertising that supports the ad. And – according to the stats on Viral Video Chart – with over 11 million views on YouTube, 993,000 shares on Facebook and almost 30,000 shares on Twitter, it would seem a lot of other people share the same view.

So what is it about this that makes us feel so warm and fuzzy and the content so shareable?

Firstly, the visual impact and storyline is ‘Disney tale’ worthy. This isn’t surprising when you consider talents such as Aaron Blaise and Dominic Carola (Lion King, Pocahontas, Brother Bear) and John Lee (Aliens, Fantastic Mr Fox) worked on it.

With a story that involves a hibernating bear and his lonely hare friend worried he might miss Christmas, the heart strings are bound to receive a tugging from the off – and appeal to all age groups.

Secondly, the sound track has a huge part to play. Lily Allen’s version of Keane’s ‘Somewhere only we know’ was the perfect backing and supported the storyline incredibly well. People flocked to buy the single, making it number one; highlighting the importance of getting the soundtrack right and the impact it can have with an entire nation influenced by the music of a TV ad.

And last but not least, John Lewis made sure they were integrated and highly visible on Twitter alongside the advert to really increase reach and shareability.

The creative team cleverly gave The Bear and The Hare their own Twitter accounts; providing a Christmas Card Maker which enables you to create a card to share on your own social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+. They also produced an interactive e-book and variety of other games to play on their own site. Every campaign, budget permitting, should be carefully thought out and backed up with integrated engagement like this.

2) WestJet Christmas Miracle

This Christmas, one video that deservedly went viral and is now sitting comfortably at 31 million views on YouTube is WestJet’s Christmas Miracle.

With the help of a virtual Santa Claus, the Canadian airline learned what passengers at the Toronto and Hamilton International Airports — who were waiting to board flights to Calgary — had on their Christmas wishlists this year.

More than 150 WestJet employees were behind the scenes taking notes and playing the part of Santa’s elves, rushing out to purchase the presents on the passengers’ wish list, wrapping them and dropping them off at Calgary airport. Upon arrival, the unsuspecting travellers received their very own Christmas miracle at the baggage reclaim.

As you’d imagine in any well-executed marketing campaign, the entire event was captured via hidden cameras before being turned into an extremely touching ad very similar to the commonly known poem, The Night Before Christmas.

Richard Bartrem, WestJet’s Vice-President of Communications and Community Relations, explains the process behind planning the Christmas extravaganza in this video:

 3) Marks and Spencer: Alice in Oz

Model/actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is at the centre of this mash up of Alice in Wonderland and the Wizard of Oz, which also features Helena Bonham Carter and David Gandy.

Draped in the latest and most glamorous offerings from M&S’s Christmas collection, the model is taken on a fairytale journey from the Mad Hatter’s table to a flight on a magic carpet in her underwear.

In the midst of the company’s flailing financial figures, this spectacular and extravagant advert brings the magic and sparkle associated with the festive season to life. A daring move, which the company ultimately hopes will boost sales.

Compared to WestJet and John Lewis, the M&S advert has a little way to go in terms of YouTube viewing figures (currently at just over one million), but is nevertheless certainly one to watch.

4) Grumpy Cat: Hard to be a Cat at Christmas

Last but not least and just for a bit of fun. The internet sensation that is Grumpy Cat stars alongside some of his celebrity feline friends including Hamilton the Hipster Cat (known for a white moustache), Nala Cat, Oskar the Blind Cat, and Colonel Meow, the Guinness World Record holder for longest cat hair (nine inches).

Purina are the company behind the music video, which stars YouTube cats and sets out to promote the cause of wet food for all feline friends. The campaign includes microsites and, encouraging charity support for shelter cats across the USA.

We all love a feel good viral video and with Purina committing to donating one can of Friskies wet food for every click received to five cat welfare organisations (chosen by the celebrity cat owners), you certainly can’t help but watch this one with a smile on your face. And due to the viral success of the music video, each charity will receive up to 100,000 cans of Friskies. Good stuff.

So what has been your favourite Christmas or viral video ad in 2013? What are you most looking forward to in 2014?

On that note I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and prosperous new year. I look forward to working with you and sharing ideas in 2014. Thank you to everyone who has taken time to post a comment in 2013.

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Take a look at a couple of my other blogs related to viral videos and social media:


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    1. […] Contact ← My top 4 Christmas TV and viral video adverts of 2013 […]

    2. […] doesn’t seem like five minutes ago that I was reviewing last year’s Christmas adverts and virals videos. This year everyone has raised their game, adding extra sparkle, love and laughter to their mini […]

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