Time to look at this year's best Christmas television spots.
My loyal Fred Moore or Less readers will recall that last year was a challenge. There were so many terrific tear-jerker spots that it was tough to reduce them to only three winners.
This year - a different story.
What happened Mercedes?, Budweiser?, Toyota?, Folgers Coffee?, Apple? These are just some of the brands that we look to year after year to provide us with those special, well-produced emotional stories that added a special glow to their brand and our holiday season.
It's like Television Santa didn't come this year. At least, not to the U.S.
Not that some of these companies didn't try. Both Toyota and Apple had entries - but, for me, they just didn't hit the mark. Over produced, and the stories were kind of... expected and a little hollow.
But, Santa DID show up in Europe. Yep, the Advertising Kris Kringle always does make the hop across the pond.
Somehow, the Europe brands really GET and totally take advantage of the awesome branding opportunity that this time of year provides. The European advertisers understand that this is not just a fun thing to do for their customers. Their goals are marketing specific - to elevate their brands to a higher level and make a really emotional connection with their audiences during the most opportune time of the year to do that - Christmas.
The equation is pretty simple. The best brands connect with their customers on an higher emotional level. And, this is the most emotional time of the year for customers. One plus one equals .... brand magic.
Take John Lewis.
John Lewis is a chain of high-end department stores operating throughout the United Kingdom. The John Lewis Christmas ad was first launched in 2007 and it has become something of an annual tradition in British culture. (What American brand would not want that?)
John Lewis each year tells a magical story and uses all the production elements possible to make sure it is top notch. An annual holiday gift to all of Britain. Here is the 2017 John Lewis Christmas card.....
Now I don't want to be a Scrooge here. There were some American holiday spots this year that I do believe need mentioning.
Amazon - the U.S. brand powerhouse - realizes that they have a holiday obligation, of sorts, to spread Christmas cheer to their legions of customers. (Since they pretty much live in our wallets for the month of December.)
Last year Amazon had a terrific spot that tied their dependable service beautifully into a holiday message ("The Priest and the Inmam"). This year, I found Amazon's spot to be innovative and creative and alluringly festive. They cleverly infused emotion and life into their most life-less of products - their boxes.
And Samsung. This year's Samsung holiday story genuinely captures the global caring message of inclusion in a heart-felt, but 'not in your face' way. Really nice.
So, if your brand provides any kind of services or products to families and homes - do not miss this opportunity next year. Give them a special story. Make your company more human. Have your customers emotionally 'bond' with you. And, do it year after year after year.
It will make you, and your employees feel great about their company. And customers.....they will eventually thank you at the cash register. Showing customers you care about them is always a good idea.
During the holiday season, we just can't get enough heart warming stories.