A Lesson In Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is: Christmas Ads

It’s that time when huge businesses start revealing their Christmas ads for the year.

Over the past 10 years the Christmas advert game has gone from strength to strength!

However, they have also gone on a rollercoaster ride in the public eye, from acceptance to hatred in recent years… and not just for the content in them!

Let’s take a dive, and find out what business owners can learn about how important it is to put your money where your mouth is.

Christmas Ads: The Talk Of The Nation

The Christmas Advert bandwagon really got going in 2011, with John Lewis quickly emerging as a frontrunner in impressive, high quality, Christmas adverts.

The Coca-Cola truck advert from years prior had been the only one to really capture people’s hearts.

Everyone talked about the message in the John Lewis Christmas adverts. They were praised for speaking of big truths about how the world should be, rather than producing an advert offering their products.

These adverts were emotional, they told a compelling story that would tug on every heartstring… and they worked!

As more and more businesses caught onto the success, every company began telling a stories of togetherness, isolation, love and hope at Christmas time.

These adverts bridged the gap between business and consumer in a way we have never seen before. They were all about life values, rather than the products they were selling.

Opinions Begin To Change

However it didn’t take long for opinions to change. In the past few years, some of the prices of these commercials were revealed.

It wouldn’t be surprising to see a commercial hit at least £1million pounds, and the public were in outrage.

Questions were being asked as to why these businesses were spending such huge amounts on deep adverts that spoke of wonderful life lessons (reaching out to the elderly in isolation for example…  instead of actually trying to help solve the problem.

Rather than donating the money to people and families who go without during Christmas, they were essentially lining their pockets by tugging on heartstrings.

The John Lewis advert from 2018 featuring Elton John particularly received strong backlash. The message didn’t resonate, and consumers couldn’t understand why that sort of money to create the advert wouldn’t be put to better use in the world.

The singer later revealed that he had donated some of his earnings to the Elton John Charitable Trust.

A Lesson In Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

The kicker was this: If you as a business really care about togetherness, and looking out for others at Christmas: why don’t you put your money where your mouth is, rather than towards an advert?

It’s important for businesses, no matter the size, to know that if they want to advertise their values as a company to better connect with consumers, it had better be authentic.

Money talks, and it did not take long for businesses to keep pumping more money into the commercials, creating bigger spectacles every year, and watching the money come in through sales.

Each business began to focus on the battle of the Christmas ads, rather than getting behind the values that they were communicating in the adverts.

And this caught them out…

All of this goes to show that customers really get behind messages, and life values, rather than what you are selling…

What they really value is authenticity, and seeing your business clearly live out the values that it claims to have.


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