Strap yourselves in…the Christmas ads have begun #MontageMashup

christmas ads blog header

Hello… welcome to the latest #MontageMashup, where each week we bring you the latest news and views from across the marketing industry. In this week’s mashup, we take a look at the start of this year’s Christmas adverts, a connected bottle from Malibu, a banned ad from car manufacturer Peugeot and more! So, let’s get started…

Christmas ads have begun for 2017!

No sooner than Halloween had finished and November began, the first of this year’s Christmas ads started to appear. There has been a number of large brands getting their Christmas ads in early this year, before the ever hotly anticipated John Lewis ad premieres. A few of the most high profile brands include Toys R Us, Lidl, Argos and Asda.

Toys R Us

Toys R Us’ festive campaign focuses on its brand ambassador Geoffrey the Giraffe, who, in a computer-generated ad, helps pull Santa’s sleigh. The infamous Toys R Us jingle is also featured in the ad with marketing and e-commerce director Mike Coogan saying that “it will continue to play a very important role in this new story.”


Lidl’s Christmas campaign is slightly different this year, as opposed to one feature advert it had opted for a series of shorter ads focusing on a range of different characters. Some of the characters include Mince Pie Maverick, Cavalier Carver and Double Dipper with each focusing on a different Christmas-based product. Lidl’s UK advertising and marketing director has said: “Our campaign ‘Every Lidle Thing For Christmas’ has been developed to showcase the fantastic breadth of food and drink we have for the UK customer at Lidl.”


Argos was one of the first brands to release its Christmas ad which tells the tale of elves helping Santa to deliver presents. In the ad, one of the elves finds a robotic puppy wandering down the aisles, they then scan it in at the elf station to reveal its intended recipient and their gift departure gate. This then leads to a chase across the distribution centre, with the elf pulling out all of the stops to make sure that the gift is delivered in time for the young recipient. The ad is also aimed to highlight Argos’ speedy delivery, which is super handy for Christmas gifts!


Asda has focused on a young girl and her grandad who stumble across a factory and decide to sneak in. The factory is, in fact, Asda’s Christmas workshop, or the Imaginarium as it is called. The girl and her grandad stumble across giant mixers powered by reindeers producing a Christmas pudding, a pop-up book kitchen cooking turkey and lasers filling truffles with gin in an adults-only room. Andy Murray, Asda’s chief customer officer has said: “Earlier in the year we held sessions with our customers to get feedback on our Christmas range. As we talked to them about Christmas we could see how much joy and happiness planning their Christmas brought them – we knew we wanted to reflect that in our ad.”


Marks & Spencer’s Christmas ad is to premiere tomorrow (7th November), however, a teaser has been released which features Paddington Bear. The teaser also stars former newsreader Angela Rippon and is styled as a breaking news clip with Rippon saying that Santa has been spotted in London “not with an elf but with a bear.” The end of the teaser video then shows Paddington Bear running across a roof. This ad also serves as a tool to promote the new Paddington 2 film which is released in the UK on the 10th November.

Malibu’s connected bottle

We’re moving away from Christmas now, to the news that Malibu is introducing a connected bottle to Gall & Gall stores across Amsterdam. The bottles incorporate NFC (near field communication) technology which is embedded into the sleeve to enhance the shopping experience for customers. Each bottle will feature a neck-hanger inviting people to tap the front of the bottle with their NFC-enabled smartphone, doing so will unlock three different digital experiences:

  • An interactive ‘Shake Your Coconuts’ game in which people can win Malibu prizes
  • New drink recipes with video guides on how to make them
  • Exclusive Malibu-related media

This move follows on from Malibu’s ‘Because Summer’ campaign in the UK last year in which 45,000 NFC-enabled bottles were available in major Tesco stores. The UK campaign proved to be a success, with mobile engagement rates of 2% (considerably higher than the average of 0.5%). Global vice president marketing, Malibu & Kahlua, Colin Kavanagh has said: “Following the success of our connected bottles trial in the UK last year we are committed to continue on this journey to connect with our consumers through our bottles using the Internet of Things.”

Peugeot ad banned

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has condemned car manufacturer Peugeot for a TV ad which showed a man reading a text message while driving. This is in breach of the legal requirements of the Highway Code according to the ASA. The ad initially aired in July and received 5 challenges from viewers as to whether it condoned or encouraged dangerous or irresponsible driving. Peugeot defended the claims by saying that ‘because the Highway Code permits a driver to adjust music or the radio, they believe the action of the driver in “momentarily” looking at the screen is no worse.’ The ASA said: “we considered that, to show a driver reading a text message (which, even at the eye level at which it was shown in the ad, would have inevitably diverted his attention from the road ahead) and then reacting to it, amounted to a distraction that would have prevented him being aware of, and/or being in control of, other actions that were necessary for safe driving.”

Emoji themed anti-litter campaigns

The British Plastics Federation (BDF) and PlasticsEurope have linked up with the Marine Conservation Society for a new drive called ‘Bincentives’. Under the Bincentives campaign, secondary schools in the UK can download six free emoji posters for their school assembly and are also actively encouraged to involve their green councils and environmental groups. Students will also be rewarded for ‘doing the right thing with their rubbish,’ the pupil or class with the most points will be awarded a prize. BPF sustainability issues executive Helen Jordan has said: “Bincentives is a great way for young people to become more aware of the issue of litter and how they can take action to ensure their waste is disposed of correctly.’

The issue with disposing of plastics and litter, in general, is becoming ever more important for companies as well as individuals. A great example of a business taking this issue seriously is with our client Brabantia and its link up with The Ocean Cleanup.

And finally…

We’re ending this week with a new interactive digital tool for retail displays. The new tool is designed to improve and expand the in-store shopping experience, by bringing online reviews and product information to stores. Those behind Converge have highlighted one of the biggest pitfalls of in-store shopping is the inability to look at customer reviews and full product descriptions like you can online, so they have designed the technology to allow this information to be available at the tap of a button whilst the shopper is still in-store and standing by the product. You can see the technology in action in the video below.

Don’t forget to check out next week’s #MontageMashup, right here on the blog!

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About the author

Nick Hill

Nick is our Senior Digital Marketing Executive. He is a Marketing Masters graduate with one of the most analytical minds we know! He’s a pro at content review and discoverability analysis, implementing Amazon content and platform marketing internationally for brands like Brabantia and Sphero. Nick helps clients take advantage of the 248m active customers worldwide on Amazon by optimising content to be discoverable and convert sales.