The festive season begins when Christmas ads are released, and each year we share our thoughts on the John Lewis & Partners Christmas ad.

But this year is different, never before have brands and agencies been more challenged by variables such as audience state of mind, stage of lockdown, brutal trading conditions and not knowing if or how their audience come together this Christmas.

In the UK, they are going back into lockdown, with John Lewis & Partners having let go 1,500 staff and closed 8 stores.  It’s tough, and they needed to correctly read the community mood, as a misstep could have hurt their customers and damage their brand.

John Lewis & Partners have nailed it again.   Their ‘Give A Little Love’ campaign shows how important simple acts of kindness are, and they are encouraging everyone to undertake small acts of kindness to spread a little love across the UK.  In addition, the campaign aims to raise GDP 4 million for local charities FareShare and Home-Starts.

On the other side of the world Coca-Cola has delivered a highly emotional ad that will support their brand building strategy.   This ad says to its audience that Coca-Cola understands them, what’s important to them, and they have similar family values.

This emotional connection will rise above superficial pricing and convenience meaning customers stay loyal for the long haul and are less likely to defect to competitors.  But is it enough to offset the push against sugary drinks?   Well that remains to be seen.

These are two great Christmas ads with different goals and different audiences.   We hope you enjoy both of them.