Christmas – a season of firsts

As a marketer, timing can be everything to a campaign and being ‘first’ out with something new can harness great rewards especially in the countdown to Christmas.

Yes, we’re all guilty of counting them: the first mince pie, the first Christmas card received, the first TV campaign watched. But in 2017 the marketing world witnessed another first: the first time an aubergine (or ‘eggplant’ if you shop in Waitrose…) was used in a Christmas retail campaign.

Paperchase’s target audience of kitsch-crazy millennials have come to expect nothing less from the high-street retailer. It has created a convention of being unconventional, taking OTT Christmas products, branding and in-store comms to the sincerity weary consumer.

The retailer’s 2017 approach didn’t disappoint. Using bold colours, bold offer statements and bold use of aubergines, unicorns and dinosaurs really hit home. Charisma worked for other brands too. Cards Against Humanity launched their own tongue-in-cheek campaign, offering a free patch of land – positioned on the border with Mexico – to stop Trump from building his border wall.


What will 2018 bring?

As retail marketing experts, we’ll be giving big but simple recommendations to our clients for how to make 2018 festive period an absolute cracker. And in the spirit of sharing, here they are:

  • Santa won’t save you – if what your brand offers isn’t clear to consumers before Christmas, it won’t be afterwards
  • Too much of something is bad enough – Define which Christmas conventions your brand can harness, and those it can break. Deciding how different your brand should be- and being able to justify it – will make all the difference
  • The Christmas do – Think less about traditional comms, and more about brand behaviours, it’s a special time of year, so offer special gestures, generosity and goodwill that your customers – loyal and new- deserve

Brands have the opportunity to be bold, brave and offer a first: if you can sell a glittery aubergine bauble at Christmas, you can sell anything.

Check out our one-stop-shop retail insight report; a review of the high street’s execution of Christmas 2017 in a (download here