Five Christmas campaigns we liked in 2018: vote for your favourite

Check out PRWeek UK's meticulously selected quintet of Christmas campaigns from 2018, and vote in the poll below for your favourite.

Too Good to Wait - Waitrose

The high-end supermarket this year opted for a series of short films in which characters hastily finish their Christmas rituals to tuck into tasty festive treats as quickly as possible.

The campaign is by Adam & Eve/DDB and was described by one member of PRWeek's Christmas panel as "pacey, fun, mouth-watering and with a surprising dose of humour". 

Waitrose added a further strand to the campaign, in which a family fast-forwards through partner John Lewis' Christmas advert so they can get to their treats sooner:

#NotARetailStore - Twitter

John Lewis - the American lecturer famed for being mistaken for the British retailer of the same name - finally got his moment in the sun as the star of a quirky campaign from Twitter UK.

The film, by The Romans, is shot on location at Lewis' home in Blacksburg, Virginia, and shows him doing what he does this time of year – dealing with wayward tweets aimed at the retailer. It pays homage to the tradition of the John Lewis Christmas advert with familiar nods to previous years, featuring the telescope, a miniature moon ornament, Monty the Penguin and Buster the Boxer.

"We’re very pleased to have been able to finally let John be the star of his own campaign," said Joe Mackay-Sinclair, founder and creative director at The Romans.

Rang-tan - Iceland

Iceland’s overtly cause-led Christmas campaign became a major talking point after it was 'banned' from TV broadcast for its political nature. The supermarket group partnered with Greenpeace for the animated film, which shows an orangutan causing havoc in a little girl’s bedroom, before it’s revealed that "Rang-tan" is taking refuge because her habitat is being destroyed in the pursuit of palm oil. Iceland had been working with Greenpeace on plans to remove palm oil from its own-label products by the end of this year.

The film, produced by Mother, has been has been viewed 65 million times across social media and Iceland’s owned channels to date, making it one of the most viewed Christmas campaigns of all time. Weber Shandwick Manchester handled the PR, while a second phase, created by Taylor Herring, saw an animatronic orangutan appear at different locations in London.

"Genius," one PRWeek panelist enthused. "Rip up those PRWeek Award entries, folks. Iceland has won it."

The Big Night – Sainsbury's

Despite being labelled as "eye-wateringly similar" to a John Lewis/Waitrose campaign from September, The Big Night, by Wieden & Kennedy London', slickly executed a simple formula: a school theatrical rendition of pop classic – in this case the New Radicals' You Get What You Give.

However, what elevated this campaign into our list was a (possibly unexpected) star who emerged from the film – the boy who launched himself into a socket to power the Christmas lights. 'The Plug' added an intangible element to the campaign and allowed Sainsbury's to maximise his popularity with some clever social media extensions.

The Boy and the Piano – John Lewis

This year's John Lewis blockbuster split PRWeek's Christmas panel, with opinions ranging from "a knockout, highly emotive" to "something anyone could have produced".

The campaign film (in case you hadn't noticed) stars British music and cultural icon Elton John, retracing the musical icon's 'incredible journey', stirring up emotion and nostalgia in a reverse biopic to the soundtrack of Your Song.

The campaign also included in-store experiences around the creative, a display of actual sets used in the film displayed in the flagship John Lewis store on Oxford Street, and regular light music shows beaming across the road outside.

All of PRWeek's Christmas campaign coverage can be found in one place – right here

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