Here’s how to build your Christmas campaign for 2019

When did you start your Christmas preparations this year? No matter if you were the early bird or chancing it at the last-minute, brands have been hard at work in their grottos all year.

For many brands, planning a Christmas campaign is a 12-month marathon. A year of multiple agencies and marketers plotting, strategising, ideating, developing and producing. This year, the effort was more herculean than ever. The last quarter’s advertising spend is expected to hit £6.4 billion in the UK alone.

This spend has extra impact in today’s world, as it’s consumed over and over again on YouTube and commented on Twitter. One such example is Iceland’s clever use of the Greenpeace Ran Tan tearjerker stirring up a social media frenzy and pipping John Lewis to the post on earned media value. As TV viewing is in decline, it’s only going to be more important to emphasise earned media value moving forward. Which got me thinking…

For next Christmas, is there another way?

At Carat, we are already thinking about how you build brands without TV. Not only because we are focussed on innovating the way that brands are built, but also because many of our clients are now having to wrestle with a potential future without TV due to the new HFSS rulings.

In this new world brands must think beyond projecting out to their audience. Instead, the challenge is how to draw the audience towards your brand. What role can your brand play in your consumers’ lives?

Is there a cause your brand can champion?
Feminine hygiene products brand Bodyform mastered this with their Blood Normal campaign: removing the shame of periods.

Is there an every-day problem the brand could solve?
Like Oral B and the Disney Magic Timer app — helping kids to brush for longer.

Or is there a cultural trend or phenomenon that your brand can take to the next level?
Just see Carling call-in. The digital platform by Carling beer and the football media brands COPA90 gives footie fans a unique voice by letting them share their opinions on their clubs.

Whatever route your brand chooses to take, it must be connected to what your brand is all about. Without that, the experience may well be valuable but the value to the brand could be lost. Just like male suicide prevention campaign Project 84.

This utterly amazing campaign that brought male mental health to the absolute top of the cultural agenda. Major kudos to the charity CALM, but did you know that the razor company Harry’s sponsored it?

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