We’re fast approaching Christmas, which means the age-old battle of the Christmas ads is in full swing. This year Waitrose, John Lewis, Sainsbury’s, Iceland, M&S and more are all battling it out, both in traditional media and on social media, to see who will be superior. We will, of course, all find out in the New Year when Christmas figures are released.

Christmas adverts no longer just extend to our TV’s, and thankfully more and more brands have utilised digital media this Christmas. In this blog, we will be exploring a very innovative campaign of the year and one of our personal favourite campaigns of the season.

Iceland – Say Hello to Rang-Tan

The premise of Iceland’s infamous ad is to raise awareness for the effect palm oil extraction has on forests, as well as the animals they inhabit. The ad shows an orangutan seeking refuge in a young girl’s bedroom after its home has been destroyed and has definitely got everyone talking after being banned on TV.

However, Iceland took to digital and the ad has now racked up over 5.5 million views on YouTube (as of this blog’s live date), and is a firm favourite for us at Climb Online. This ad really showcases the power of digital media.

Banned from TV

The brand kicked off their Christmas campaign with a single tweet quoting ‘You won’t see our Christmas advert on TV this year, because it was banned. But we want to share Rang-tan’s story with you… Will you help us share the story?’ With the YouTube link which is nearing 100k likes and retweets each. James Cordon is one of many celebrity names to have posted the video on their Twitter and his post alone has been viewed 18.6 million times.

They even developed a CGI orangatun and the story has received coverage by media outlets both online and in physical media too. It’s great to see how much the ad has resonated with the public too, a petition was started to un-ban the ad which has received hundreds of thousands of signatures!

Taking advantage

The brand has utilised the TV ban to their advantage, by creating a baby orangutan toy you can purchase and taking to social media by creating a #nopalmoilchritsmas hashtag and competition, where you simply comment your favourite non-palm-oil Christmas product to be in the chance of winning.

Iceland was also quick to jump on the John Lewis ad, by creating a spoof image which sees an orangutan playing the piano “How wonderful life is when you’re (still) in the world… #NoPalmOilChristmas #EltonJohnLewis”https://twitter.com/IcelandFoods/status/1063178577284423682

Many have seen this spoof as a dig at JLP, and a powerful one at that, we think it’s fair game, here’s how Twitter reacted…

These adverts show key examples of how emotion is has been utilised to sell a story or message rather than specific products. Did you know that John Lewis doesn’t even sell pianos (an area which many commenters have picked up on, missing the point of the ad) and Iceland don’t actually sell orangutans ;).

Be sure to let us know which ads have stuck out to you this year by tweeting us directly or using #climbonline!

Image Source; Iceland

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