Albert Einstein once said that “the human spirit must prevail over technology” – a prophetic warning to keep front of mind as tech continues to embed itself almost seamlessly into our everyday, and every minute, existence.
In the case of brands in 2015, everything was riding on the Christmas spirit prevailing over technology. Last year advertisers started investing heavily online and in social with the result that Facebook’s revenue shot up 45% while Twitter’s rose 60%.
The big battle for festive eyeballs played online and over social media as John Lewis, Sainsbury’s and other retailers went head to head during what the Marks & Spencer marketing director Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne described as the “most digital Christmas ever”.
John Lewis ran its long-awaited Christmas offering, #ManOnTheMoon, across its Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts, clocking up nearly 23 million views. Sainsbury’s ‘Mog the Cat’ ultimately won the battle with a massive 26 million views. Asda launched its first significant presence on Instagram, showcasing different products from its Christmas food range each day. Notonthehighstreet created a Twitter-powered vending machine which invited passers by on the street to tweet the brand with one of five hashtags, including #Foodie and #PetLover, in return for a free gift related to that personality type.
Retailers weren’t the only advertisers to focus their efforts on wooing customers across all devices. Hallmark, which has traditionally advertised on TV in the US, brought out its first ever digital-only campaign “#KeepsakeIt Together”. Meanwhile, TGI Friday’s offered its customers the chance to go on an immersive 360-degree sled ride through Lapland via a virtual reality headset.
Walkers worked with us at Blippar to make packets of its Sensations range come to life. We made the packets blippable so that people could scan them with their phones to reveal and share magical augmented reality festive content. Fans who interacted with the packets were able to access a ‘3D Winter World’ where they could take part in fun interactive experiences, such as taking a shareable photo in the style of a Christmas card. In this way, Walkers was able to give customers a uniquely personal and memorable experience.
Marketers have become increasingly attuned to using digital content as well as new technology to supplement the festivities for consumers. As time runs out for the 30-second TV spot, you don’t have to be Einstein to work out that there will be nothing traditional about Christmas advertising in 2016.
Omaid Hiwaizi is the President of Global Marketing for Blippar. Before joining Blippar Hiwaizi was chief strategy officer at Geometry Global, part of the world’s largest activation network. He also worked as Planning Director at both SapientNitro and Chemistry and was a Founder and Planning Partner at Crayon.