As the festive season begins to engulf the lives of shoppers and retailers, the airwaves are saturated with adverts showing how various brands can enhance their customers’ lives this Christmas. In terms of marketing, the winter months are the perfect opportunity for companies to welcome shoppers into their stores. And yet they also provide an excellent platform for retailers to display their abilities across The Six Pillars. Festive television commercials have become far less about bringing customers to the cash register, and more about conveying staunch human values, and evoking positive emotions. Indeed, some advertisements could arguably be described as artistic short films.
The retailer John Lewis, for example, has become famous for its heartfelt advertisements, which have become a staple of the festive period that customers actively anticipate many months before they debut. Likewise, the supermarket Asda has taken a more ‘human’ approach to this year’s Christmas advert, albeit in a more ‘energetic’ manner. The fast-paced commercial goes inside a number of family lives over the festive period, providing snapshots of people as they go about various activities, such as covering the car in garish lights, watching Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman on a continuous loop, and dressing the family dog up as a reindeer. The montage is accompanied by a thumping dance track, and ends with the caption, “Save money. Live better”, along with the social media hashtag “#becauseitschristmas.”
For Asda, one of the key pillars for this advertisement is that of Personalisation. This pillar represents the retailer’s ability to adapt the customer experience to each individual’s specific needs, and many needs are showcased over the course of the advert. A delivery man wants an excuse to wear reindeer antlers as he goes about his business, whereas a young couple seeks mistletoe so that they can enjoy a tender moment together in the midst of a wild Christmas party. As such, Asda is telling its customers that it has ‘covered all bases,’ and that it can help them to “live better” no matter what their needs or circumstances. It also invites them to go wild and have fun, using the hashtag “#becauseitschristmas” as an excuse to relax and unwind and ‘go a little bit crazy.’ This attitude demonstrates that Asda not only wants to welcome customers into its stores, but that it also cares about their overall happiness, and that it wants them to have a good time over the festive period.
The retailer Argos takes a similar stance, although it uses a different pillar as its main focus, namely that of Time and Effort. In demonstration of its concern for customers’ needs, the brand uses the hashtag “#justcantwait”, making reference to the growing excitement for December 25th, but also the need for a fast delivery service. The advertisement shows a number of skiers whizzing down a mountain, each laden with different Argos products such as widescreen TVs, Minion toys and Beats headphones. It is implied that they are delivering these items to customers, with the voice over artist proudly introducing the company’s “fastest service ever.” She says: “With new Argos Fast Track, get free same day delivery, or collect in-store in as little as 60 seconds.”
This approach highlights Argos’ concern for shoppers, only in a different manner to Asda. The brand understands that customers are time-deprived, and they probably “can’t wait for Christmas” because they already have so many things to do. As such, the retailer readies itself to fulfil this need for a seamless transaction, with the 60 second in-store collection service offering a sense of instant gratification, and therefore reduced stress levels.
These Christmas advertisements are not only entertaining, but the perfect opportunity for brands to touch their customers’ hearts. The Six Pillars is deeply rooted in shoppers’ thoughts, lifestyles and emotions, and this latest wave of festive offerings demonstrates just how invested the top UK brands are in their customers’ personalities. For companies such as Argos and Asda, there is a strong degree of selflessness on display, and this is a character trait that makes the brands appear more trustworthy, ultimately benefitting the customer experience. The bar has certainly been raised, and the race will be on in 2016 to see which companies can top these exceptionally high standards.
For more customer experience insight visit the KPMG Nunwood CEM blog.