The fourth day of Christmas is usually reserved for four calling birds. However, the times they are a changin’ and we’d like to update this gift into something a bit more modern. Twitter is a great way to follow/stalk your friends, celebrities and favourite companies. Since jumping on the bandwagon, companies have rather quickly become more than adequate when it comes to promoting their business through social media campaigns and viral videos. So instead of offering you Calling Birds, we’re offering you some of our favorite social media strategies. Tweet tweet.
John Lewis Penguin
Department store giants, John Lewis have a reputation for bringing a tear to those simply trying to watch TV. Last year they hit us with a blossoming friendship between a Bear and a Rabbit, whilst Lily Allen serenaded us with a tear jerking rendition of ‘Somewhere Only We Know’.
This year they hit us where it hurts, right in the Penguin. Monty the Penguin (or #MontyThePenguin as the Youtube title suggests) has already gained over 15 million views on YouTube since its release on 6th November and the video doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of slowing and securing its’ place as one of the biggest viral videos of 2014.
Sainsbury’s Christmas Truce
Whilst John Lewis is trying to bolster sales of anthropomorphic penguins, Sainsbury’s tugged at our heartstrings with an idea that would have left John Lewis’ marketing team kicking themselves. Inspired by this year marking the Centenary of World War 1, the advert recreates the Christmas time truce in 1914 where British and German soldiers put down their weapons and met in no mans land, engaging in a friendly game of football.
The video, which is currently close to breaking 10 million views, has been met with mixed responses with some describing the advert as brilliant whilst others believe that the advert is exploitative.
Sainsbury’s has also bolstered the adverts popularity by introducing the £1 chocolate bar featured in the advert. 100% of sales from this product will be donated to Royal British Legion.
M&S Pass the Parcel
In 2013, Marks & Spencers launched its’ first ever social media driven Christmas campaign. Among previewing their advert on Instagram and running a Twitter competition, M&S also took on Facebook.
Pass the Parcel was a feature only accessible to those who chose to ‘like’ the Facebook page and gave users another notification to spam alongside Farmville and Candy Crush whilst they frantically tried to find one of the 3000 prizes on offer.
The game was played by over 350,000 Facebookers and raised the ‘like’ count by over 70,000, making this a pretty successful first endeavour for the Marks & Spencers social media team.
#SpentItOnMyself (Harvey Nichols)
Harvey Nichols decided that whilst Christmas is a time for giving, you need to treat yourself. A viral video explained that by buying your friends and family members smaller gifts such as toothpicks, sink plugs or elastic bands (all from Harvey Nichols, of course) you could afford to treat yourself to something a bit more extravagant this year.
After all, the best gift to give this Christmas is the gift of looking fabulous at the family Christmas dinner.
Band Aid 30
Every once in a while, Bob Geldof returns to assemble a team of X-factor runner-ups, YouTube personalities and of course, the man who inserted himself into all of our iPhones; Bono. To celebrate the thirtieth anniversary since the first Band Aid, a new team has been gathered to question whether or not those in Africa know it’s Christmas time.
Released on the 17th November, the video gained over 800,000 views in a day, with proceeds from the sales going to fighting Ebola in Africa.
Share a Coke with Dancer, Prancer, Vixen and Rudolph
When Coca-Cola first unleashed their ‘Share a Coke’ campaign, sales went through the roof as fizzy drink fanatics searched endlessly for their names on a bottle of Coke. After seeing the success of this global campaign, the clever clogs in the Coca-Cola marketing department decided to drop the brand name once again to make things a bit more festive.
The Holidays are coming and whilst we wait for the usual festive adverts to crop up, Coca-Cola have decided to replace their brand name with Santa’s 9 reindeer. Not only is this a nice festive twist on a popular campaign, it also urges hipsters worldwide to collect all 9 so that they may be displayed as an alternative Christmas decoration.
Netflix – Fireplace For Your Home
Back in 2013, streaming subscription service Netflix released a trailer for a dramatic film that user Bertram Weeks described as “Guaranteed to get you to second base.” The Netflix created series was ‘Fireplace for you Home’ a three episode series that was literally watching a fireplace.
Fireplaces are a rare thing in the 21st century, so having one available at any time on your TV is perfect for any gatherings you plan on having. Netflix even created a behind the scenes video to show how these story-driven, emotional journeys were created.
Christmas may be a happy time for families around the globe, but for those who work in marketing (and retail, good luck) it brings great amounts of stress as they try to devise the best social media strategies and adverts to catapult their brand to internet fame. So when you’re tucking into your turkey, spare a thought for all the hard work that’s made the advert breaks really special this Christmas.