Campaigns That Show the Power of Festive Advertising; Christmas Shopping Is Big Business and You Only Have to Switch on Your TV to See the UK's Biggest Companies Competing for a Share of It. Here, Roger Pride, Chair of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) in Wales, Gives Us His Thoughts on the Best Christmas Advertising Campaigns of 2013
BRITAIN'S retailers are battling it out for their share of Christmas heart and pocket.
Actually they have been going toe to toe since early November.
In recent years the release of the festive advertising contributions from the likes of John Lewis, Marks and Spencer, Tesco and Sainsbury's signal the unofficial launch of the run-in to Christmas.
With huge production budgets, which are rarely seen these days and vast media spends, the stakes are high.
Sales over the Christmas period will go a long way to deciding whether our retail brands will be counting profits or losses at the end of the financial year.
According to Market Analyst Neilson, retailers will spend an estimated PS390m on advertising in the final three months of 2013.
We won't know the real winners and losers until January but the reaction in social media might give us an early clue.
In the early rounds there seemed to be some indication that M&S were out in front with 58.8 million mentions on Twitter compared to 49.2 million for Tesco and 45.9 million for John Lewis.
M&S and John Lewis are the only two of the major retailers to have created a designated hashtag for their ads - #magicandsparkle and #bearandhare respectively.
Here, John Lewis leads the way with their hashtag mentioned 28,000 times compared to just 3,500 for M&S. From a personal perspective, I prefer Bear and Hare to Magic and Sparkle.
I think the power of the idea "imagine as an adult you saw Christmas day for the first time" is huge. And it is executed brilliantly.
The Disney-inspired animation is perfectly crafted and with a soundtrack of Lily Allen's version of the Keane track Somewhere only we know, the film is high on emotion.
The fact that the track reached number one in the charts is also a major bonus for John Lewis.
These days the paid for TV exposure is designed to stimulate more personal and interactive consumer engagement through social and digital media.
Here again, with ideas such an e-Christmas card maker and a competition to sing the signature track, John Lewis seems to be hitting the right note.
It seems that a simple alarm clock can unlock everything that is good in us. In contrast M&S is much more overtly commercial. To me, it's more about money and spending than magic and sparkle.
I suppose this isn't surprising given the recent news about M&S's poor performance in their non food lines.
Although it offers high production values, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in silky underwear is certainly easy on the eye, I can't help but think that M&S is trying too hard. …