Creative Campaigns / 5 minute read

What makes a successful Christmas campaign?

Written by Alex Cottom

8 December 2021

It’s that time of year again.  

Ready the tissues – there’s an onset of emotional, Christmas-themed campaigns coming, and they’re here to pull at your heart strings.  

Tear-jerking adverts and subtle product placement have become almost synonymous with Christmas time. We’re in just as much anticipation for those memorable commercials as we are putting up our trees.  

But what makes these Christmas campaigns so successful? 

For some, campaigns such as John Lewis’ yearly heart-warming advert have become a ‘cultural event’, a ‘marker’ that the holiday season has truly begun.  

For others, the hallmarks of a good Christmas campaign means the chance to win something. 

The fact is that, either way, in the fast-paced modern day, capturing an audience’s attention is everything – so how do these companies achieve it? 

Below, we look at some of the key reasons campaigns are likely to succeed over the holiday period – generating views, clicks and, ultimately, revenue.  


Get cute with it 

According to some, the key to a great Christmas advert is by creating ‘an emotional connection with the audience’ 

This can be achieved through using cute animals, displays of affection, or dream-like words; attaching the brand to human qualities creates a customer bond. 

Getting yourself a mascot is a sure-fire way of getting cute with it – those such as Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot, or John Lewis’ Monty the Penguin, prove a hit with the Christmas crowds.  

Cuteness sells, and cuteness is memorable. These two combining factors will make for a successful 2021 Christmas campaign.  


Devise a memorable hashtag 

There’s no denying that social media plays a huge role in the success of any comms campaign. In fact, according to Social Media Week, figures have shown in previous years that up to 74% of shoppers make buying decisions based on social media. 

That’s a huge amount of us – and that’s only likely to have increased and continue to grow with things like government-enforced COVID-19 restrictions still being in place in parts of the world.  

Hashtags are an incredible way of bolstering your reach and your social media engagement. But, setting up a Christmas hashtag campaign is a little different from the humble hashtags typically used.  

When considering using a hashtag for your Christmas campaign, the more specific the better; it needs to become the centre of the campaign’s attention.  

According to Keyhole, the hashtag should be ‘short’ and ‘easy to spell’, something that has no previous posts behind it, but also include a keyword that is relevant to your brand or message. 

When we think hashtags for Christmas campaigns, we should think of contests or giveaways, or encouraging your audience to share their own holiday messages/ reactions to your campaign with you.  


Bring attention to worthy causes  

In 2015, John Lewis’ festive campaign advert, Man on the Moon, proved a massive hit with its audience and its message inspired many to help out a charity.  

Age UK, the UK’s largest charity for older people, said it directly benefited from the two-minute emotional masterclass. The charity said it received a ‘massive increase’ in enquiries for volunteering roles. 

The advert, which centred around loneliness, demonstrated how a big brand like John Lewis can attach themselves to a humane cause, shifting their social image in the process from a big and profitable business to a caring and considerate enterprise.  

Its success comes, in large parts, down to its relatability. Almost everyone who watched that advert had an elderly relative they immediately thought of.  

By drawing attention to the loneliness epidemic among the elderly, and using the strapline ‘Show someone they’re loved this Christmas’, the campaign was touching and called on its viewers to take action.  


If you’re looking to create a memorable Christmas campaign… 

…then we can help you! Here at DRPG, we have everything you need in-house to create an impactful Christmas message. Drop us a line: