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Fresh Picks: Secret Santa and Football Banter

16th December 2022


This month we’re covering Christmas marketing campaigns, to get in the festive spirit. Read on to find our favourites from this season.

Laura’s Pick: Cadbury’s ‘Secret Santa Postal Service’

Cadburys launched its Secret Santa campaign in November this year. The campaign encourages people to secretly send a chocolate bar to someone special during the festive period.

This year, alongside traditional adverts promoting Secret Santa, Cadburys launched a secret Santa postal service, which can be accessed by a series of digital out-of-home adverts. If you spot a Secret Santa Postal Service advert in the wild, you’re able to scan a QR code to send a free chocolate bar to someone special.

The digital adverts will be appearing at bus stops, shopping centres and in town centres across the UK. It’s a feel-good campaign that encourages audience participation and makes use of digital out-of-home screens across the UK.

Give it a watch.

Gemma’s Pick: Alternative John Lewis Advert ‘The GoKart’

My fresh pick this month is a slightly different kind of Christmas advert, that may not bring the usual cheer you would expect, but instead one that shares the reality of many people this Christmas, and one that may have gotten me a bit choked up.

It’s the alternative John Lewis’ advert titled ‘The GoKart’ made by Sam Teale Productions. The underlying message of this advert is an important one though, with the advert ending with the words “The magic of Christmas is made, not bought”. The story itself is both sad and beautiful, but really highlights the importance of family, sentiment and love at Christmas. A definite must-watch but maybe grab a tissue or two before you click play.

You can give it a watch it here.

Dan’s Pick: Sports Direct’s ‘Give Me Football’

With the timing of this year’s FIFA World Cup, it’s no surprise that this year’s Sports Direct Christmas campaign is football-focused. Give Me Football is based on a traditional Christmas advert, including family gatherings at home, with a football-related twist.

Featuring a host of football legends including Eric Cantona and Thierry Henry, Emma Hayes, and current World Cup stars Gabriel Jesus, Mason Mount and Declan Rice. The 3-part series of ads was created by Copa 90.

You can watch the campaign in full here.

Henry’s Pick: Barbour’s ‘One of a Kind-ness’

One Christmas ad that stood out to me this year is Barbour’s ‘One of a Kind-ness’ featuring the one and only Paddington Bear! The hand-drawn illustration cartoon is not only full of heart-warming nostalgia, but it’s also celebrating and encouraging acts of kindness. I think it’s also a subtle nod to the late, great Queen Elizabeth II.

We follow Paddington as he prepares a surprise gift for his scrooge-like neighbour. He searches high a low for the perfect present and we see him stumble across a Barbour shop to buy his neighbour a new pre-loved coat, that’s warmly received.

This ad felt less commercial compared to other ads you usually see around Christmas. I also love the ‘buy pre-loved’ and ‘small acts of kindness’ messages that flow throughout. It reminds you of what Christmas is all about and shows how much difference a generous act can make for someone.

You can check it out here.

Georgie’s Pick: GCHQ’s Christmas Challenge

Although not technically a marketing campaign, GCHQ’s Christmas Challenge has gained a lot of publicity in the last week or so (and any publicity is good publicity and basically free marketing, right?). The challenge is open to anyone, featuring seven difficult puzzles based on the seven disciplines of languages, engineering, codebreaking, analysis, maths, coding and cyber security (stay with me here).

The design is in the shape of a Christmas tree and once you solve all seven puzzles, you use the design on the front to figure out three separate what3words locations which you join together to reveal their festive answer. Although there’s no way I can complete it, I like the creative yet literal approach and who doesn’t want to feel like James Bond?