Love is a Gift... The Christmas Advert that has the Internet Sobbing

Nov 29, 2018

There are so many lessons to learn from this video that has just taken the Internet by storm, despite that it was originally released in 2014 by British filmmaker Phil Beastall. Watch the video here.

We watched it, we cried and then we stopped and pondered on its newly found success. Here’s what we learned:

1) Authenticity: No need to go over the top to stir emotion in people. It’s never been truer than here: Content IS King! In this advert, the narrative is at the core of it all.

2) Context: Though originally released in 2014, this video didn’t have the same impact on people back then. Fast-forward 4 years and cue in a looming economic crisis and a need for something more genuine in an increasingly commercialized season (and world), this video could not have hit the bullseye more.

3) Timing: Phil Beastall did a coup when he re-shared his video right after John Lewis’s annual Christmas advert was released (starring Elton John no less). The clash of styles AND of course production budgets hit a nerve with people who are going through tough financial times (or anticipating them). Beastall’s advert in the face of Lewis’s is merely a reminder of what is truly important in life and during the holiday season.

Though each of these factors contributed to the success of the video, we firmly believe that it’s their combination that drove it to become a viral phenomenon. Otherwise, it would have reached such heights back in 2014.

So marketers, as you are putting the finishing touches on the season’s campaigns, remember these 3 factors: Authenticity, Context & Timing. Or at least, two out of three!

Enjoy the holidays.