The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge Global Edition – Week 1
The Super Bowl marks the biggest annual advertising event in the U.S. In the U.K. and some other countries, that distinction goes to Christmas. That has long been given as the reason why retailers in places like England and Germany produce some of the best spots advertising has to offer at this time of year.
In year two of RetailWire’s Christmas Commercial Challenge Global Edition, we’ll share with you some of the best spots produced outside of the U.S. and give you the opportunity to choose a winner. We begin this year’s contest with commercials from two of Britain’s most well known chains — Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s — that together have generated more than 19.5 million views and 45,000 likes on YouTube since being uploaded last month.
The Marks & Spencer ad contains a modern portrayal of Mrs. Claus. No longer the dowdy matron whose primary responsibility is to keep Santa supplied with a steady stream of cookies and milk, the Marks & Spencer version is a full partner with her husband. In the spot, it is Mrs. Claus who rescues Christmas for a young boy who demonstrates an understanding of the adage that it is better to give than to receive.
The Sainsbury’s spot is an animated musical featuring vocals by James Corden, actor and host of The Late Late Show, in which the main character, Dave, comes to understand that the greatest gift he can give his family for Christmas is himself.
“Christmas with love from Mrs. Claus” Marks & Spencer
“The Greatest Gift” Sainsbury’s
- Christmas with love from Mrs. Claus/Marks & Spencer – YouTube
- The Greatest Gift/Sainsbury’s – YouTube
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What is your critique of Marks & Spencer’s “Mrs. Claus” and Sainsbury’s “Greatest Gift”? Which do you think is the more effective of the two? Would these spots work for a U.S. retailer if presented to a U.S. audience?