By Christiana Brockbank
Unless you’ve been hibernating away in a cave somewhere (pleased that you didn’t bother to set an alarm) you’ve probably heard all about the competition between the big Christmas advertisements this year.
And you’ve probably noticed that the advert’s that tend to have a real impact are the ones that tell a story, however simple.
But the one that seems to have got everybody’s attention is John Lewis’ The Bear and The Hare. The advert centres on the somewhat suspicious friendship between a big grizzly bear and (lean and tasty) hare.
The M&S advert, not quite content with just one story, takes elements from many a fairytale in an extravagant mash-up of The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Aladdin and Hansel and Gretal.
Tesco go for a story about a couple from their first Christmas together to today as they celebrate with their children and grandchildren.
One unlikely brand to lodge itself firmly and forever in the collective Christmas consciousness is Coca Cola. Year after year, people await the ‘Holidays are Coming’ jingle and the trussed up red truck as confirmation that, yes, Christmas is definitely on its way. And I don’t know about you, but Coca Cola is rarely my tipple of choice around Christmas, yet there’s something inherently Christmassy about the brand. Just like John Lewis’ festive offerings of late, Coca Cola’s adverts are less about flogging a product and more about connecting with the audience through story.
And why? Because people love stories. There probably isn’t a day that goes by where we don’t hear, read or see one – whether in the newspaper, on film, in a book or, indeed, in the ad breaks.
Storytelling engages, it gets people on your side and keeps them there. It’s why so many of our animated business ecards tell a story, because online marketing works best when you’ve got people’s attention.
When you send an ecard to customers or businesses partners, it works because there’s no ulterior motive. You’re not selling a product – just like John Lewis wasn’t really trying to sell alarm clocks – you’re saying Merry Christmas or Happy New Year and sharing a story. A story that they’ll connect with, from a sender they’ll remember.