A quick glance though the media will show that many UK retailers are now in full Christmas mode and drip feeding details of those all important festive ads to a hungry public, ahead of their official launch.
We now know that M&S are flavouring their promotional campaign with their usual sprinkling of celebrities. Details of the John Lewis advert and its tune – quickly becoming as hotly anticipated as the Christmas number one – were leaked earlier this month, further adding to the build up ahead of its TV premiere.
The key challenge for retailers, regardless of the season, is how to achieve stand out. Innovation plays a big part in this. The past year has seen many innovations in ad land. Who can forget the ad break ‘a la francais’ on Channel 4? Viewers of the hit French drama ‘The Returned’, screened this summer, could stretch their language skills during the ad breaks for the first episode – which were all in French. This is the first time a UK broadcaster has broadcast an entire break of non-English language ads.
Likewise, the Territorial Army broke new ground earlier in the year with a series of live adverts as part of its recruitment drive. These innovative adverts were broadcast live and featured real life members of the British TA based in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. As part of the TA Live campaign, 18 ITN Productions-produced commercials were broadcast live from Camp Bastion. They captured TA soldiers going about their everyday duties as Reservists in Afghanistan alongside their regular counterparts. With each advert running for approximately one minute, the viewer was transported directly to the front line. It was a resounding success, winning the prestigious Grand Prix at the Media Week Awards, and many brands are now planning similar campaigns.
So far, so innovative. The questions remains, what promotional innovations will 2014 bring?