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Unwrapping the best Christmas campaigns

What’s jingling our bells?

The festive season has become synonymous with some of the best advertising of the year. But what makes a great campaign, and how can finance brands jump on the bandwagon? We take a look at some of our favourite Christmas campaigns and offer some takeaways for year-round finance marketing. 

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John Lewis – #EltonJohnLewis

Oh John Lewis, you never disappoint. Year on year, the population of the UK wait with bated breath for the next campaign. From boxer dogs to penguins, adverts for this department store are guaranteed to make an impact – usually bringing audiences to tears. This year’s campaign, leveraging the star power of the great Elton John, tells the story of how giving a gift can change a life.

Finance brands should consider if this values-driven approach to marketing might make an impact with their audiences.

What can we learn?
John Lewis knows how to work with emotion. Exceptional production quality, impactful soundtracks and heartfelt stories grab the audience’s attention in a way that sticks. Finance brands should consider if this values-driven approach to marketing might make an impact with their audiences – brands like Westpac are already venturing into this space with long-form video campaigns like ‘Help. It’s what Australians do.’

St George – Festive Finances

St George has taken a more humorous approach with its Festive Finances ad. With a clear product plug and a cheeky jibe at New Zealanders, the campaign shows Santa worrying over his finances. Thanks to the St George dragon and his Spend Tracker, there’s enough money for Christmas presents all round.

What can we learn?
Only 30 seconds long, this campaign steers away from the cinematic ad style, making the most of audience attention by providing them with a quick chuckle. What’s especially effective is the clear call to action at the end of the advert as viewers are encouraged to search for ‘festive finances’ to find out more. This advert provides finance marketers with an alternative option to the ‘brand building’ style of the John Lewis ad and shows how Christmas campaigns can be used to effectively promote products as well as increase brand awareness.

NRMA – Don’t drive naughty drive nice

With almost 42,000 fines issued to drivers over the festive season last year, this Christmas campaign from NRMA attempts to change behaviour by encouraging motorists not to use their mobile phone behind the wheel. Featuring a little girl and her animated toy rabbit, the advert sees a family driving home for Christmas and learning an important lesson along the way.

What can we learn?
This ad uses creativity and emotion to try to change behaviour. Finance brands should consider how behavioural change campaigns could contribute to their overall marketing mix. Not every piece of communication needs to be product specific. Think about how changing your audience’s attitudes towards finance could help the greater brand cause.

For more tips on the different types of campaign video you can create and how to distribute them, check out our blog on video formats.

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Image: John Lewis

Rachel Lobley
A specialist in marketing strategy, Rachel has worked on consultancy, content and PR projects for a number of international finance and insurance brands out of London. Now in Australia, Rachel enjoys producing strategic content for the Aussie market and getting to know her new surroundings. When not at work, she's out enjoying restaurants and attempting to do some exercise.