Harvey and Hugo

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Give you the feels

Every year we eagerly await their arrival – the one thing that is sure to give you the feels. Christmas adverts.

Taking peak advertising slots, sharing teasers on social media and sometimes even causing controversy (shout out to 2018, Iceland), there’s one reason why these adverts have become such an important part of the festive season: the way they make you feel.

As a North East marketing agency, we know the importance of your brand being seen, shared, clicked and heard, but to us it’s how your brand makes your audience feel that really makes a difference.

So how have the big brands done it? This year it’s been a bit hit and miss, but let’s look at the hits.



Crowned the ‘most effective Christmas ad of 2019’ by Kantar, the return of Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot (and family) scored very highly on emotional impact – but why?

Taking the lead from popular culture (Peaky Blinders and Greatest Showman in particular), thoughts of the lovable vegetable being threatened with gang violence or overcoming adversity clearly struck a chord with UK audiences!


Dogs Trust
Sam Smith’s dulcet tones hoping you have a merry little Christmas act as the soundtrack to a dog being abandoned with the Christmas rubbish, ultimately ending up at the Dogs Trust, shares a story that the charity knows all too well.

While the charity’s well-known slogan is often popularised, this advert aims to pull at the heartstrings of audiences, showing that a dog is a living being that provides love and company, and not something that should be easily discarded as callously as you would your cracker hat and wrapping paper.


John Lewis

Long regarded as the winner of festive adverts has this year created yet another character – Excitable Edgar, a dragon that spends most of his time ruining Christmas through his fiery breath.

But how can you feel emotional about a fictional character that doesn’t speak? It’s all in the eyes.

The most powerful facial feature for non-verbal communication, eyes can convey emotions perfectly – something to consider for both fictional characters and business meetings!


The age-old story of a surly teenage sibling refusing playtime, leaving the younger to have fun with the power of their own imagination before realising that actually they want to be involved. Many households can relate to that!

But what brings them back together as a loving sibling duo? McDonald’s Reindeer Treats (carrot sticks) of course!


Coca Cola
The holy grail of Christmas adverts.

One that doesn’t need to change and is hailed as “the official start of Christmas”. The famous illuminated red trucks make their way through a picturesque winter scene that we could only dream of, and despite announcing its arrival, the young boy who misses the cavalcade of lorries isn’t left empty handed and is magically given a bottle from the beaming Santa on the back of the final truck.

This message of inclusion is the epitome of “giving you the feels” – something you can experience for real in the now-annual UK truck tour. The brand literally brings that feeling to you, and people want to be part of it.


But remember, a feel-good brand is for life, not just for Christmas. So if you want to help your brand be seen, shared, clicked and felt, throw The Pack a bone at info@harveyandhugo.com

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