It’s not Christmas until…

We’re almost certain you’ve finished that sentence in your head, and unless you’re a Grinch-like individual who thinks it’s 00:01am on 25 December then your answer was probably influenced by the marketing efforts of businesses worldwide.

The official start of Christmas is different for everyone. But when you start feeling ‘Christmassy’ is often sub-consciously controlled by a team of marketing professionals who have worked hard to ensure it is they who have made you feel Christmassy as opposed to their rivals.

So what is the end of the sentence, “It’s not Christmas until…” for you? At Freshwater, we have put our heads together to find out what marketing campaigns mark the start of Christmas for us. Here’s what we found…

I’ve eaten…

Many of us associate the festive season with food, and it was certainly a common theme in the Freshwater team’s answers:

It’s not Christmas until…

  • I’ve eaten a Terry’s Chocolate Orange
  • I’ve eaten a Marks and Spencer mince pie
  • I’ve eaten a Ferrero Rocher
  • I’ve eaten a packet of Matchmakers
  • I’ve eaten day one of my Advent calendar
  • I’ve eaten a ‘Christmas sandwich meal deal’

Marketing efforts to promote these food products include seasonal packaging, price drops, and additional advertising spend (be it online, TV or print) during the run up to Christmas. It works year-on-year as many of these products are seen as “essentials” and it’s rare to find a home without a selection box or two over the Christmas period. Disagree? Run a Twitter search for any of these products on 01 December.

I’ve drunk…

Just like our love of festive foods, we love to drink over the Christmas period; soft drinks, hot drinks and (in moderation of course), alcoholic drinks. Here are some of the team’s favourite festive tipples:

It’s not Christmas until…

  • I’ve drunk from a Starbuck’s red cup
  • I’ve drunk a glass of Baileys
  • I’ve drunk a glass of Buck’s Fizz
  • I’ve drunk something cranberry, clementine or cinnamon flavoured
  • I’ve drunk a whisky with Dad, Gramp and Uncle…. (Insert family member here)

Again the packaging, advertising and other marketing efforts form a big part of the Christmas build up for many of these brands. Starbucks’ simple packaging change is often hotly anticipated through online countdowns, and Baileys Irish Cream will likely feature on almost every Christmas Special you see on TV. Coca-Cola has already maximised the success of its ‘Share a coke with…’ marketing campaign and you can now collect all of Santa’s reindeers’ personalised bottles.

I’ve seen:

Television is a vital part of Christmas; the family is together, the Radio Times is on the coffee table, it’s cold outside and The X Factor / Strictly / Home Alone is on the TV, but during the breaks we get to see what we are really looking out for – Christmas ads.

It’s not Christmas until…

  • I’ve seen the Coca-Cola truck
  • I’ve seen the John Lewis advert
  • I’ve seen Iceland’s party food advert
  • I’ve seen the Argos Aliens Christmas shopping
  • I’ve seen DFS urging me to order ‘in time for Christmas’
  • I’ve seen Jamie Oliver perform miracles with a Sainsbury’s turkey

We know just how important advertising is around Christmas…and if you can make somebody laugh or cry in just 30 seconds you’ve created ‘Christmas advertising gold’ (frankincense and myrrh).

So there you have it; just some of what makes the Freshwater team feel Christmassy thanks to some clever marketing. Find us on Twitter @FreshwaterUK and let us know what makes you feel Christmassy.

Could you be missing a trick in adding some Christmas cheer to help promote your product, company or campaign this season? Get in touch to see what we can do for you.