There are now two Christmas ads from UK retailers that are shooting the lights out online, the most recent one being the new Sainsbury’s Christmas 2014 ad sharing the story of the famous WW1 Christmas truce.

Last week it was John Lewis’ #MontythePenguin who was taking names and helping to shed tears with a vulnerable tale of imagination. Both are completely different, but both make use of an emotionally charged narrative to share with the audience the essence of what makes Christmas, Christmas. Giving.

Which one do you prefer more?


Our opinion:

We’ve watched full length movies that don’t come anywhere near the quality of storytelling that the Sainsbury’s ad achieves in 3 minutes. The production values of this epic are unbelievably good and what they must have spent on just making it will make a producer’s eyes water.

The John Lewis campaign is genius in how they extended the layers of the creative idea to other in-store and digital interactive elements. The story is vulnerable and memorable. It allows you to really feel the emotion of it.

If we were forced to choose between the two – we would give the golden ticket to John Lewis based merely on the fact that it drove that spear of feeling a little deeper for us, but both are outstanding examples of using a strong narrative to connect with an audience.

The lesson:

The lesson here is that it is worth investing a big budget in the production of an ad campaign clearly destined for online greatness. Digital channels may look cheaper media wise, but if you want real results – you have to spend real money. Online is not the poor man’s option if you want it to be effective. Spend the money, make magic and if you’re lucky…you may strike a cord with some.