The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge Global Edition – M&S vs. Sainsbury’s
Some of the best consumer advertising in the world is broadcast during the holiday season. Many Americans, unfortunately, do not get to enjoy much of the marketing creativity around Christmas as the spots promote retail businesses in the U.K., Australia, Europe and elsewhere. RetailWire, in our own small way, will attempt to remedy that with the third annual global edition of our Christmas Commercial Challenge.
Week one is a rematch, of sorts, between Marks & Spencer (M&S) and Sainsbury’s. In our 2016, competition between the two British retailers, M&S’s “Mrs. Claus” spot took the week and eventually went on to be named the best international commercial of the season by RetailWire’s readers.
This year’s spot from M&S — “Paddington & The Christmas Visitor” — involves plenty of action as the famous bear goes on an unexpected ride. The chain has produced a book with the same title. Proceeds from sales will go to NSPCC, the leading children’s charity in the UK.
Sainsbury’s takes its “Every Bit of Christmas” commercial in a completely different direction with real people — aside from a brief cameo by Kermit the Frog — singing along to a song about all of the things to celebrate about the holiday. The retailer has a separate video posted on YouTube where viewers can sing along karaoke-style to the song on their own.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What is your critique of Marks & Spencer’s “Paddington & The Christmas Visitor” and Sainsbury’s “Every Bit of Christmas”? 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?