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Christmas has started with Penguins and Fairies

Christmas has started with penguins and Fairies


When exactly did the premiere of an advert become as heralded as the new series of a favourite programme? I suppose those masters of marketing Coca Cola lead the way with the arrival each year of their Christmas lorry. Now it seems that the John Lewis and Marks and Spencer Christmas adverts are as heralded as the programmes in whose ad breaks they are shown.

All of these companies have several inbuilt advantages before they even start their marketing campaigns. Coca Cola is perhaps the most recognised brand in the World. In the UK Marks and Spencer is probably the most well-known retailer and both them and John Lewis benefit from a very strong customer loyalty. However there are methods that they use that even the smallest business can work into their marketing plan.

One of the most striking things about both the Marks and Spencer and John Lewis adverts is that they are selling a brand not a particular product, apart from a stuffed penguin, and even that is subtle. (I’m not sure whether I would pay £95 for a soft toy no matter how indulgent I was feeling) So the ads convey a story that features some of the products available but are not specifically featured perhaps the way they would have been a few years ago.

The most obvious way a small business can take this approach is using Social Media. Many businesses use their Social Media solely to promote their own goods or services. The more successful businesses will use their Social Media to engage with their audience. They post content that shows members of the company and share content that fits in with values and focus of the brand. Their audience gets to know them and their company and begins to form a relationship with them in a similar way to the way they do with the bigger brands.

Small businesses can also learn from the way that John Lewis and Marks and Spencer have used Social Media to promote the TV ad. Both companies released the ad on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and via an email newsletter ahead of the first screening of the advert. So the initial views were from people who already had a relationship with the brands, either because they have Liked the Facebook page, followed on Twitter or receive emails because they have bought something from the John Lewis or Marks and Spencer (or lots in my case) This creates a feeling of exclusivity, that John Lewis and Marks and Spencer value their customers so much that they want to share important information with them first. Then of course people shared the ad - a marketer's dream.

Again this is so easy for small businesses to replicate. Are you running an advert in the local paper or on local radio? Have you got a new product?  Share that news with your existing customers via social media or your newsletter and let them know how important they are to you.

We would love to share more ideas with you of how to integrate your social media into your marketing campaign or sending email newsletters. Why not call us on 01491 524002 to find out more.

Gillian Chappell
November 12,2014 02:30 pm
It's an extension of the adage "People buy people" Social media allows businesses to communicate with their customers and potential customers. Big organistations can't do that so well so introducing penguins and fairies is a good idea. We don't mention Penguiin either.

Alice Elliott
November 12,2014 10:55 am
They've cottoned onto the real reason why social media works: with an icon or personality. To the majority of the populations penguins are really cute, waddling along in their tuxedos. (Unfortunately digital marketers cringe when Penguin is mentioned, but that's another story.) As I said, using a personality works. Facebook pages and Twitter accounts based on a cute penguin will have far more followers and impact than the official online representation of the company. It is something people can relate to, and that is important to both parties concerned.

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