The festive ad – priceless bauble or cracker filling?

If festive spending has left a Santa-sized dent in your finances, spare a thought for the poor old retail giants – they’ve splashed out a cool £6.8 billion collectively to bring their Christmas commercials to TV screens this year.

They spared no expense attempting to tug at viewers’ heartstrings, with Tesco ladling on the family nostalgia to some success and Waitrose’s Excitable Edgar cartoon dragon trying to reel in young families. Pop diva Mariah Carey took a sizeable chunk of the celebrity pie with her £9 million deal with Walkers crisps.

But the question has to be asked – did they get their money’s worth or will most of the ads be consigned to history as swiftly as the novelty socks, paper hats and festive good cheer come January?

The brand specialists certainly suggest that’s the case. They reckon nearly 90 per cent of ads are immediately forgotten, and point to the fact that television might not be the best platform to get maximum return on the multi-millions invested, with the biggest impact coming from online offerings.

No advert proves their point better than the festive YouTube short from Hafod Hardware store in Rhayader, Wales. The no-frills-all-heart festive advert follows two-year-old Arthur as he goes about the adult daily business of running a popular local hardware store, before morphing into his dad, shop owner Thomas Lewis Jones.

The message is simple – Be a kid this Christmas. Making it was simple too – the Lewis Jones family made the film for just £100 with the help of film-maker friend Josh Holdaway.

With 50,000 views within two days, plus blanket coverage from the national press, Hafod Hardware certainly got the most bang for their buck – and proved the adage that you can rarely second-guess the consumer market, especially at Christmas.

And on that note – The Right Agency would like to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful, prosperous New Year.

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