Love it or hate it, we are deep in the trenches of “holiday season” which means we’re up to our eyeballs in holiday-themed branded content. It's that time of year where every brand feels obligated to produce something in a red/green/white color palette to let you know that they, more than anyone else, understand the spirit of the season.
All snark aside, it’s fun to see what brands come up with each year and hence, here is our own holiday season tie-in with our “Best Of” roundup for 2018 holiday branded content.
If you'd like the video version of this round up, you're in luck:
ALDI: Santa Crashes Christmas
Here Aldi tells the story of a Santa who has crashed his sleigh in the middle of the Australian outback and is taken in by the welcoming locals. It all ends in a heartwarming Aussie feast and fixed sleigh for Santa.
It’s a refreshing take on Australian Christmas visuals where the story is typically all beaches, prawns and cold beer. How often does the outback get some love this time of year? Bonus for the great sound design that brings the landscape to life.
RED CROSS: The one gift Santa can’t deliver
Red Cross released a video with its own interpretation of where Santa finds himself. This time it’s in an unnamed, somewhat apocalyptic location where Santa searches for a young girl in an abandoned building, apparently separated from her family. The message: Give something meaningful. Give to Red Cross. Give to separated families to help them reunite.
In a season in which we’re inundated with messages about how and why to become a bigger and better consumer, I love that Red Cross gives another option and does so by taking this whimsical holiday figure and injecting him into a tone and landscape that is anything but.
BURBERRY: Close Your Eyes and Think of Christmas
Speaking of consuming, Burberry wants you to close your eyes and think of you giving them all your money. But listen, Matt Smith wants this as well. So… where do I send my bank deets?
In this eerie, somewhat strange, but dramatically beautiful piece of content, the holiday themes are alive and well, but with dark twists a la creative cinematography and unforgettable cameos. Call me nontrad, but not everyone wants smiling snowflakes shoved up their ass, and this content is for us.
H&M: Hotel Mauritz
Still consuming! This time we’re with a more budget-friendly brand and Aubrey Plaza (of Parks & Rec) at Hotel Mauritz, the fantasy location in this episodic series from H&M.
Plaza provides a levity to this ethereal, mysterious place, and though I’m not entirely sure what is going on in these micro-narratives, I love the quirks and oddities and it’s certainly a fresh take on the look book genre.
POSTNORD: Christmas Rush
Well, apparently it’s universal for consumers to not love their postal service. And Sweden's Postal Service is giving their not-so-loving audience something to think about over the holidays with this video and that is: “It could be worse!”
In a story about Santa (yep, another Santa story) being given the task to deliver presents every single day of the year (versus just the one Christmas Day). Chaos ensues. Boxes are everywhere, or nowhere, people are pissed and Santa transforms into a sad and hated man.
The piece is a hilarious response to a not so friendly audience and while I don’t know how effective it will be in gaining positive brand sentiment with the Swedes, it certainly made me love them. Check the link here as it's not on Youtube yet.
WAITROSE: Fast Forward
If you can't beat them, lampoon them. Waitrose remains the underdog next to its glitzy cousin John Lewis (both are owned by the same umbrella company) and uses that status to comic effect in this funny series riffing on the recent John Lewi & Elton John hook up. Proving that even in the holiday season, you don't always have to be first to market to make an impact.
APPLE: Share your Gifts
Lastly, we have Apple with this tender animated short film about a different kind of gift. With original music by Billie Eilish, the film captures the spirit of Christmas giving from the perspective of a closet creative reluctant to share her gifts with the world. A clever tie back to Mac's role in creativity and a real heart warmer to finish off our list.
All for now! Thanks so much for sharing in this holiday tradition with us! We hope you have some lovely time off and see you in the new year!