WHEN CHRISTMAS GETS EXPERIENTIAL...

JL Snowman

iD

Gone are the days of a standard print or TV ad selling your wares! The big brands have cottoned on to the fact that their consumers need something more than a pretty product picture in order to buy.

This Christmas has seen a whole host of brands trying something a bit different to interact with their consumers, in the hope of building longer term relationships with them. Much has already been discussed about this years (eagerly awaited) John Lewis festive offering. This was of course amplified by the success of their 2011 Xmas campaign which won a whole host of awards.

Following their recent strategy of building an emotional connection with their consumers via their TV adverts John Lewis have once again hit the nail on the head with their 2012 Snowman Journey campaign; which doesn’t actually showcase any products. However this year the retail giant has taken their ad one step further, bringing it to life in an experiential way.

THE SNOWMAN TOUR

The Snowman has even made it onto a Facebook game where fans of the John Lewis page can guess where he is in a picture covered in mist and snow in order to win a prize. More of the picture is then revealed when you share the app on Facebook giving the brand even further reach.

The high street giant has even found a way to make money out of the Snowman Journey campaign by selling a Knit Your Own Snowman kit – an ideal stocking filler for Granny surely?!

LOVE IT OR HATE IT– START INTERACTING

In addition to the John Lewis offering, Unilever owned brand Marmite has stolen the show in Oxford Street (the West-End’s premier retail environment). They are not just sponsoring the Christmas lights this year but have turned them into an experiential installation. Consumers are able to upload pictures of themselves after choosing whether they love or hate Marmite via Facebook. The best images then appear in the lights above Oxford St… literally putting the consumer at the very centre of the brand – even those that “hate” the product!

A traditional print, TV or online advert – even a bog standard sponsorship deal could never produce an immersive experience quite like this.

It really does feel this Christmas as if advertisers are really thinking about their consumers; giving them the opportunity to interact with their brands in ways we just haven’t seen before. Perhaps the scaremongering that retail sales will be down this festive period due to the economic situation has led Marketers to think about their communication strategies in a more creative way?

Whatever the reason, with competition for sales at an all-time high marketing budgets don’t seem to be waning; instead brands are getting smart as to the ways in which they spend it to get the most bang for their buck… And long may it continue. After all experiential isn’t just for Christmas!

Claire Hutchings
Marketing Manager
iD

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