‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍Everyone has different opinions of how soon is “too soon” when it comes to Christmas. Some people start to get excited for the run up to Christmas as soon as autumn arrives, whereas others don’t even want to think about the big “C” word until December comes around.

Regardless of where you stand with it, one thing we all may be starting to notice are the Christmas adverts that are beginning to grace our TV screens. One advert that has caught our eye in particular is M&S’s Paddington and the Christmas visitor.‍‍‍

There is no doubt that Paddington Bear is the nation’s favourite bear. A fictional character created by Michael Bond back in 1958, Paddington is well known for his signature hat, suitcase, duffle coat and love of marmalade.

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The advert begins with Paddington dreaming about asking Santa for more marmalade before being abruptly woken up.  Looking out of his window he sees a man who he thinks is Santa on his roof but in fact he is actually a robber stealing Christmas presents from the neighbourhood!

Before the robber has chance to say much, Paddington is up and out of his house helping ‘Santa’ deliver (or should we say return) the presents to his neighbours.

Along the way we see the humorous side of them taking the decorative sleigh around the town and being caught on camera as well as the advert ending with a heartfelt gesture.

Paddington gives one of his favourite marmalade sandwiches to the robber - wishing a Merry Christmas to ‘Mr Claus’. The robber responds by giving Paddington a hug and was left with tears in his eyes seeing the children open their presents the next morning.

The experience the robber had with Paddington changed his perspective on what he set out to do at the beginning of the night and reminded him it was the season of good will.

Making that emotional connection

In marketing, Christmas is a great opportunity to spark that emotional connection with your audience and M&S have done exactly that with their latest commercial – Paddington and The Christmas Visitor.

The response from the advert across Twitter and YouTube has been phenomenal. #LoveTheBear was trending on Twitter and the video had received 1.9 million views in just 1 day!

The idea of using Paddington for their Christmas advert coincides with the release of the new Paddington 2 film.  No coincidence there – just a very well thought through and executed marketing campaign.  And, surprise, surprise - M&S have even brought out a range of Paddington gifts including slippers, soft toys, pyjamas and children’s clothing

So why is Paddington such a success?

He is known for being the nation’s favourite bear. He has also been around for generations within families. Paddington brings a sense of nostalgia. Everyone loves the sentimental value and memories that something like Paddington can evoke.  It that’s emotion that makes a direct personal connection with the audience.

Christmas can be a little overwhelming…

There is no doubt that there is a lot of competition when it comes to marketing around Christmas! A number of the big retailers Christmas adverts are eagerly anticipated, and not just by us “marketing types”.  Expectations are high.

M&S are not the only company to have brought out a great Christmas advert so far this year. When we think about what Christmas is really like, we know full well it isn’t always perfectly executed Christmas dinners!  Bringing all the family together can be anything but a blissful, fulfilling experience.

Tesco highlighted that preparing the Christmas dinner isn’t always plain sailing with their Turkey Tale‍‍‍ ‍‍‍and the message that there is a turkey out there for everyone. This depiction of how Christmas probably is for many of us resonates the way we strive to achieve perfection and the reality of trying to cook an amazing feast in a normal sized kitchen with one standard sized double oven!  

‍‍‍Vodaphone have created a love story series which starts out on a train platform. The ad is designed to capture our imagination and have us looking out for the next instalment.  Similarly, Debenhams have come up with their own Christmas fairy tale series. Who doesn’t love a bit of romance or a fairy tale at Christmas?

‍‍‍‍‍‍The advert of all Christmas adverts

It goes without saying that the title of best Christmas advert will be hard to wrestle from the “ninja” of Christmas ads – John Lewis!

John Lewis has a history of producing great Christmas adverts and we can only imagine the pressure their creative agency is under to top the advert from the previous year.

In 2016 we saw #BusterTheBoxer trying out his owner’s brand new trampoline. Overnight Buster was watching various woodland creatures sneak onto the trampoline, growling in disapproval. When Christmas morning dawned, before the young girl could even reach her new trampoline, Buster came bounding past her an‍‍‍d got there for the first bounce!

Not only did the advert leave the nation laughing, across social media people were also filming their own pet’s humorous reaction to seeing Buster on TV.  Cute furry woodland animals, a Boxer dog and a child – a winning combination for a memorable advert and a high level of engagement.  It received 25 million views on YouTube!  #GiftsThatEveryOneWillLove

Create your own emotional connection

When it comes to your own marketing how much of an emotional connection do you make with your audience?  Do you have them laughing, crying happy tears or are their eyes simply glazed over with boredom?

By approaching marketing from a strategic perspective you can get to grips with the all-important basics - defining your target audience and developing a compelling marketing message.

You need to have a real understanding of your audience and what message will they be most receptive to in order to connect with them at an emotional level.

The time frame to capture the attention of our audience is ever diminishing.  It is a saturated market place and it takes something different to gain and maintain interest.

When you are creating your own marketing keep in mind the Christmas ads that are attracting so much attention. Watch and learn.  Analyse just how they create that emotional connection and then apply the same process to your marketing.

Need some inspiration?

Whether you are lost for direction with your marketing or you feel as if you previous activities have not achieved the desired results, we can help. We offer a number of strategic and outsourced marketing services to help your business make that lasting impression all year round. To find out more call us today on 01440 710158

Paddington - The Power of Emotion in Marketing