U.S. Advertising: Holiday Season Stress Relief

While the notion of a perfect Christmas dances through our heads like sugar plum fairies, Christmas can often be a hectic time of stress and anxiety for consumers. The great philosopher Linus Van Pelt once said “Christmas is not only getting too commercial, it's getting too dangerous,” due to the obligations that come with the holiday season. Between the pressures of travel, decorating, and gifts, the holidays can become much more complicated than Norman Rockwell made it appear.

 

During the heavy holiday advertising season, some advertisers plan to warm the hearts of consumers with ads that recall images of Currier & Ives, but others have acknowledged the stressful components of the holidays, while offering some solace to consumers.

 

Our team of Advertising Analysts have reviewed hundreds of this season’s campaigns, and have chosen to feature ads that depart from visuals of yuletide bliss to depict some holiday problems.

 

Travel- H&M’s Holiday Train.

 

Long distance travel increases by 23% during the Christmas season, as people make the journey to reach their friends and family. Anyone who has traveled during this period has likely experienced the headache caused by traffic, delays, and inclement weather.

 

 

Following the lead of American Express and Prada, H&M utilized Director Wes Anderson’s iconic style, on a four-minute video called “Come Together” that has already received 8,746,195 views (at time of posting.)

Academy Award winning actor (and frequent Wes Anderson ensemble member) Adrien Brody appears as a train conductor with the unfortunate task of telling the passengers that they have fallen behind schedule, and won’t reach their destination for Christmas. In order to make the best of the situation, Brody and his colleague use some craft supplies to create a winter wonderland in the dining car.

Through Anderson’s magical style, H&M shows viewers the that holiday joy and comfort can be found among strangers in the most inconvenient situation if we take the time to “come together.”

 

Decorating- Temptations Distractions.
 

Many brands have shown the challenges of decorating for the holidays, but Temptations cat treats speaks directly to pet owners’ who struggle to keep their decorations in order. Everyone has heard the horror stories of cats knocking over trees or clawing open wrapping paper, which this ad depicts in the extreme.
 

 

The ad features a flawlessly constructed holiday scene, complete with a tree, lights, gifts, and a holiday banquet. A mob of cats are released into the room destroying everything in a matter of seconds. The tagline encourages cat owners to “keep them busy” this season by distracting them with Temptations treats.

The ad serves as a reminder to consumers that accidents happen, regardless of whether they have pets or not. Whether it’s a cat knocking over a tree or someone spilling wine on a festive table cloth, the holidays will go on.

 

Gifting- Chatbooks For The Family
 

The National Retail Federation predicts about $655.8 billion in sales during 2016 holiday season, up 3.6% from last year. With an increasing number of holiday shoppers in the retail space, Chatbooks recently debuted its holiday campaign geared towards this stressed demographic.
 

 

The brand ‘s new spokeswoman, Lisa Valentine Clark, plays a manic mother with no time. This latest ad explains that Chatbooks are the perfect solution for people with no time who have difficult family members to shop for. The easy-to-use app creates custom photobooks at the perfect price.

The frantic situations that the character is put through reminds consumers that they’ll have a much easier time getting gifts for their loved ones. Many people place themselves under more stress than they need to when trying to find the perfect gift. The brand lets viewers know that giving a meaningful gift, like pictures of the grand-kids, is a simple act that means a lot.

 

Time- Edeka Values Family
 

Lastly, the ad that encompasses all of these struggles best comes from the German grocery chain, Edeka.
 

 

The brand depicts a family caught up in the hustle of these activities which takes away from special qualities of the season. Sometimes the easiest way to relieve the stress of cooking a picturesque meal or finding the perfect gift is to simply step away for a moment and spend time with loved ones.
 

By the end of the ad, the family is shown playing board games and spending time together. The ad reflects the true meaning of the holiday which can be hidden by the distractions surrounding it. Advertisements like these are grounded in reality and serve as a reminder that the holidays may not be perfect, but they can still be exceptional. Brands like these put forth a message of truth and thankfulness that we can all look back on, should any holiday obstacles arise.

 

What holiday ad was your favorite? Comment below!

Interested in more advertising insights from our Advertising Intelligence team? Contact us at info.US@ebiquity.com

 
 
 
By Luke Sword
About the Author:

Luke Sword is an Advertising Analyst at Ebiquity, plc

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