christmas campaigns

6 British Christmas Campaigns that Nailed it in 2018

Launchmetrics Content Team

Christmas campaigns may be festive and fun, but for retail brands they’re serious business. Consumer spending is at a high during holiday season, and Christmas ads are an important factor in where people choose to drop their dollars. So how can retailers and fashion brands make their Christmas campaigns as effective as possible?

Firstly, by using different channels and types of content to amplify their reach. A killer TV spot is great, for example, but on it’s own it’s not enough. For maximum impact it should be cross-promoted on other channels like social media. Another important factor is engaging with the right influencers. Depending on the brand and campaign, that might mean celebrities, micro influencers, or anything in between.

These factors in mind, let’s take a look at six of the top British Christmas campaigns for 2018 — and why these brands have nailed it.

Top 6 British Christmas Campaigns of 2018

PLT (Pretty Little Thing) 

A celebrity, sparkling imagery, and multi-channel approach: PLT’s holiday promotional campaign was destined to be a winner. The campaign features Hailey Baldwin (now Hailey Rhode Bieber) — celebrity daughter, model in her own right, and wife of pop star Justin Bieber. Not only was the PLT campaign posted across the brand’s own website (with a dedicated campaign page) and social media (including Instagram content and behind-the-scenes videos on YouTube) but also on Mrs Bieber’s Instagram. That means they got to leverage her 16.5 million strong following.

One of PLT’s strengths is that they recognize the importance of working with influencers of varying levels. So while their main holiday marketing efforts centered around a celeb presence, they also engaged with Mid-Tier Influencers to generate haul videos on YouTube and expand awareness of the collection to different platforms.


Missguided relies heavily on social media influencers for its campaigns; a wise strategy for such a youthful brand. As part of their holiday advertising, Missguided sent a select group of influencers on a Christmas mini-break. The multi-day trip lined up an itinerary where guests would be showered with photo opportunities — all while completely dressed in Missguided outfits.

The brand chose guests ranging from Mid-Tier to Mega Influencers (roughly between 200k and 1 million followers on Instagram). This style of influencer campaign has several benefits:

  • Mid-Tier and Mega influencers may have a lower follower count than celebrities, but their followers tend to be highly engaged and very likely to trust recommendations.
  • Most of these influencers have a presence across multiple platforms, like Facebook, YouTube, personal blogs, etc, multiplying their reach.

Another way Missguided boosted their campaign was to engage with followers via a competition. To enter the giveaway, Instagram fans had to follow both Misguided and all of the influencer accounts. This served to drive traffic between all of the accounts and add value for the influencers themselves.


Luxury fashion requires a different approach to high street. Luxury consumers expect well-produced, beautiful Christmas marketing campaigns that capture their imagination. That’s exactly what Burberry’s 2018 Christmas campaign does. The first to be released under the helm of Riccardo Tisci, it’s a darker and more surreal vision than those of his predecessor. The campaign centers around a film titled “Close Your Eyes and Think of Christmas” — a frame-within-a-frame, inception-like look at the rituals of Christmas.

The film was directed by British artist and photographer Juno Calypso, aligning itself with cutting-edge cultural relevance and all the while capitalizing on Calypso’s 100k+ Instagram following. On top of that, it drew social media posts from some of its star-studded cast, including supermodel Naomi Campbell.


How do you simultaneously encourage social engagement and drive foot traffic into stores? Here’s Mulberry’s answer. For their 2018 holiday campaign, Mulberry decorated their store windows in lights, and plastered stickers, posters and projections around London, Manchester and Edinburgh. They then encouraged customers to share their #MulberryLights moments at these spots on social media for a chance to win a prize. The brilliant part? The prizes are collected in store from a smart vending machine that dishes out pretty Mulberry gift boxes. The machine is actually able to verify that social media shares have happened on Twitter or Instagram before it rewards people for taking part in the campaign.

In tandem with this clever holiday marketing strategy, Mulberry also released a campaign that appeals directly to the millennial crowd via meme-inspired videos and imagery.

John Lewis 

Some gifts are more than just a gift. That’s the message at the heart of the latest John Lewis Christmas campaign, which is always one of the most anticipated of the year. The heartwarming ad takes a look back through the career of Elton John before focusing on the moment he received his first piano for Christmas. There are no products in the ad, no direct connection to John Lewis stores. Rather it’s an ad that works via celebrity endorsement, emotional pull, and pure feel-good factor.

50s | Pinner | A thoughtful gift can lead to wonderful things #EltonJohnLewis 🎹

A post shared by John Lewis & Partners (@johnlewisandpartners) on

John Lewis didn’t confine the ad to TV. In the lead-up to the launch they released fake teaser ads, changed shop displays from “John Lewis” to simply “John” (later launching the hashtag #EltonJohnLewis) and even allowed their staff (the John Lewis “partners”) to be the first ones to post the ad on their own social media, generating excitement and buzz. So how did it do? The video racked up 11 million views on Facebook and YouTube within the first 24 hours alone. And no doubt having it posted on Elton John’s official Instagram has only increased visibility.

Marks & Spencer 

Simple and fun, Marks & Spencer’s #Christmasmusthaves campaign cost less to produce than last year’s emotionally-driven CGI Paddington Bear film. This year the retailer has instead invested more in media spend, and in separating their clothing and home category from food. Holly Willoughby and David Gandy lend celebrity clout to the campaign — an important element for the retailer given how much influence Willoughby has proven to have in the past. For example, when the “Holly’s Must-Haves” sections was launched at M&S in September, the items she’d selected reportedly sold at a rate of one every two seconds. Willoughby is also an All-Star social media Influencer. Posts of the M&S campaign by the two stars have amplified the reach of the ad by the millions.

New @marksandspencer Christmas advert. Hope you enjoy. #christmasmusthaves

A post shared by David Gandy (@davidgandy_official) on

Marks & Spencer are another brand who understand the importance of multi-channel marketing. “As well as the all-important TV ad, M&S will be using a variety of channels from shoppable Instagram, programmatic display and Google Shopping in this fully integrated campaign,” said the retailer in a media release. So far the #Christmasmusthaves campaign hasn’t come close to rivalling the Paddington campaign in numbers of views. But the real question is, does it translate to sales? That remains to be seen; but given the simplicity and star-power packed into the campaign, we suspect the answer will be yes.

Which campaign do you love most? Share your thoughts in the comments with us below 😉 .

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