‘Tis the season for holiday ads. I always look forward to the parade of new efforts that dot the marketing landscape this time of year.
I love that the annual holiday “adstravaganza” has been elevated to a cultural event in the UK. (And, I am intrigued by the fact that some British marketers now monetize their holiday ads through the sale of related merchandise!)
These holiday messages surely exist to build brand equity and make the register ring. But taken together, I think they can also serve as a nice mirror that reflects back important themes on our current cultural landscape.
This year, I am heartened to see several ads (and their omnichannel extensions of course) veer beyond the more expected holiday motifs to celebrate moments of connection and inclusivity across differences.
From British grocery retailer Tesco, we see a celebration of the ways families from different walks of life and religious traditions participate in the shared ritual of the turkey roast. The spot, titled “Turkey every which way,” closes with the affirmation “Everyone is Welcome” at Tesco.
From Lego Australia comes a story of what can happen when Santa and the Asian martial arts archetype Sensei Wu team up to save Christmas. In addition to reflecting the spirit of imagination foundational to the brand, the whimsical tale delivers the charming sentiment that we are better when we work across cultural perspectives to “build together.”
From Sonos, the lively message that a shared musical celebration is just what is needed to transform a dull holiday gathering into an epic, multicultural and multigenerational holiday dance party.
And, from Samsung a poignant statement about the universal power of gratitude compliments a diverse group of building tenants who come together to thank the doorman who has gone the extra mile to make each of their holiday celebrations– from Diwali, to Christmas, to Chinese New Year –extra special.
In a year when the news headlines have been dominated by the many issues that divide us, it is refreshing to see marketers choose to hold up a cultural mirror that celebrates the potential for connection across boundaries, be they ethnic, religious, generational or otherwise.
Around the globe, our cities are diverse and becoming more so every day. Millennial consumers are particularly comfortable in this heterogeneous world and deserve credit for encouraging companies to stand up for inclusivity. Cheers to these advertisers who have taken note of this cultural shift and chosen to emphasize what unites rather than what divides this holiday season.
Happy holidays, and may each of you enjoy your own simple moments of simple connection amidst the year-end bustle.