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Top five Christmas consumer PR campaigns of all time

In the build up to Christmas our consumer spending goes through the roof and one of the biggest challenges for PR agencies is getting clients noticed in the midst of such fierce competition.

Planning for festive PR campaigns can start months, sometimes years, before the actual event. Some work brilliantly and  engage millions, while others fall flat and simply cost millions.

With just a few days to go before Xmas gets into full swing, we thought we’d look at some of the best Christmas PR campaigns of all Time…

If you like this post why not read our Best Ways to Utilise Christmas as part of a consumer PR campaign post, written by PHA chairman Phil Hall exclusively for PR Week.

Top 5 Christmas consumer PR campaigns of all time

1. #HolidaysAreComing

Image Courtesy of Khedara,

Image Courtesy of Khedara,

The iconic Coca-Cola ‘Holidays Are Coming’ advert, launched in 1995, and has since signified to many that the festive season has officially begun. Not only is this a great advertisement for the brand, it also kickstarts their Christmas PR campaign.

Every year the Christmas truck in the advert goes on tour delivering festive treats (cans of Coca-Cola and Diet Coke) to consumers across Great Britain. Although the company have been running this campaign for 19 years, Coca-Cola has continued to keep it exciting each time. Last year a staggering 200,000 fans had their photo taken with the Christmas truck thanks to the perfectly coined hashtag #holidaysarecoming. This hashtag allowed consumers to engage with the campaign, find out where the truck would be stopping and were encouraged to tweet their photo and videos using the hashtag.

This year the truck is making 45 stops to surprise consumers from 28th November to 23rd December 2014, and due to its success last year, Coca-Cola is continuing to encourage consumers to utilise the #holidaysarecoming hashtag.

A memorable and well-thought-out hashtag like this one can really help consumer PR campaigns excel. If you are looking to create a good hashtag it is important to make sure that it isn’t too long (remember you can only have 140 characters in a tweet), that it can be used in many ways and that it links with your brand. This formula will help keep your company at the forefront of people’s minds.

2. Monty The Penguin


Over the last five years, John Lewis has made a name for themselves when it comes to Christmas campaigns.

After the success of the2012’s loveable snowmen and last year’s rabbit and bear friendship, who knew that this Christmas John Lewis would choose everyone’s favourite Christmas animal, the penguin?! Each and every year John Lewis create a heart-warming story that touches everyone and this year was no different.

John Lewis’s greatly anticipated advert for 2014 saw the story of a young boy, his friend Monty and Monty’s new companion Mable. Creating these endearing characters and giving them their own love story with a happy ending has really made this Christmas PR campaign stand out by touching the public’s hearts.

Tapping into consumers emotions by using stories of love and friendship is a technique that John Lewis has been perfecting over the years.  This year’s campaign advert has been viewed 20,661,251 times on YouTube.

When implemented correctly, these emotive stories can help consumers establish a relationship with brand and using a 360 integrated approach across social media, and retail items will entice consumers further. John Lewis utilised success of Monty’s and Mable’s characters and created their own Twitter accounts and sold soft toy replicas which sold out within 24 hours.

3. Save the Children in Christmas Jumpers

Top 5 Christmas Consumer PR Campaigns Save The Children

We all love wearing our favourite, slightly uncool, disgustingly festive Christmas Jumpers for an extremely worthy cause and this year was no different. Only in its third year, Christmas Jumper Day in aid of Save the Children has already raised over £1million. A fun excuse to dress down on a Friday in the office and be silly whilst helping children is sure to be a fantastic PR hit. Save the Children have managed to take something once thought to be very untrendy and have made it cool whilst giving us the chance to save children’s lives by texting a donation.

This charming campaign encourages Christmas Jumper wearers to share images/videos of them in their jumpers across social media channels, as well as donating at least £2 each to Save the Children, another fantastic and engaging campaign that PHA Media were happy to get involved in too, take a look here.

4. Spread some magic and sparkle


This year Marks and Spencer have ditched their celebrity faces for a competition-style tactic that has far more ‘Magic and Sparkle’. The two fairies that feature in the advert have their own twitter account and already have 42,500 followers. @TheTwoFairies encourage consumers to tweet them using the #FollowTheFairies and in turn the fairies will spread festive cheer to consumers by carrying out random acts of kindness.

Competitions are always extremely popular on twitter and Marks and Spencer have really maximised on this. Conversations with the two fairies are encouraged firstly in order to receive ‘an act of kindness’ and then conversations are continued after the ‘act of kindness’ has been granted giving double the engagement. As Christmas is the season of giving, this campaign was sure to be a hit.


5. A Dog is for life…

The words ‘A Dog is for life, not just for Christmas’ has seen several alternatives but the original statement actually dates back to 1978 when the former head of PR and Chief Executive of Dogs Trust, Clarissa Baldwin, created the phrase to help reduce the number of dogs which are abandoned as unwanted. The slogan has now been around for 36 years and has been imitated by major consumer brands such as Asda and Ann Summers. The use of similar slogans by other brands proves that the Dogs Trust PR campaign has really stuck in people’s minds and keeps it relevant today.

Image Courtesy of id iom,

Image Courtesy of id iom,

When you are trying to think of a slogan for your brand’s PR campaign; something simple, memorable and easily customisable such as this, will be sure to make an impact.

Agree with our list?

Let us know your thoughts and leave a comment. Alternatively if you are interested in consumer PR campaigns or are looking to run one, please get in touch with us by click the link below.

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