The Drum Awards Festival - Digital Advertising

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By Rebecca Stewart | Trends Editor

November 2, 2018 | 3 min read

Asda wants to convince customers that it can help 'Bring Christmas Home' in its first festive campaign from recently-appointed creative agency AMV BBDO. The retailer's top marketer said the tone of the campaign gives a flavour of things to come from the agency.

The retailer's most senior marketer said the adrenalin-fuelled ad sought to "hone in on a universal feeling about Christmas that people could relate to" – the chaotic lead up and amount of preparation that goes into bringing friends and family together for the big day.

The spot kicks off with Santa Claus launching a flaming Christmas pud into the air, spurring into action an avalanche of dancing skiers, stunt-driving Yetis, and cowboys riding Christmas trees.

All of them are laden with hundreds of Asda products, including food and drink, as they descend down a snow-topped mountain to 'Bring Christmas Home' to an excited little girl.

Murray told The Drum that the ad hinted at a common "thread" that will run from the proposition into Asda's 2019 marketing strategy.

He added that his team and AMV kept coming back to "the sense of excitement that comes from preparing to bring your nearest and dearest together, how crazy and chaotic it can feel, but ultimately how all that effort results in something wonderful when you bring Christmas home."

The high-octane tone of the spot marks a pivot from last year's 'Best Christmas Ever'; Saatchi & Saatchi's Willy Wonka-esque ad which focused on Asda's range of "magical" treats, like gin-infused chocolate.

AMV's chief operating officer Chris Taggart explained that his team saw an opportunity for the grocer to launch the festive season with "an unashamedly joyful campaign."

The creative shop replaced Saatchi in April, appointing AMV BBDO to lead its new "advertising ecosystem" following a surprise review. At the time, Murray said the agency had given him confidence that it understood Asda and "how to connect with our value-seeking, busy customers."

In September, the supermarket became the last of Britain’s 'big four' to call time on its price guarantee pledge, choosing instead to allocate resources toward funding price cuts instead. At the time Murray said it had become "less and less relevant to customers" with less than 1% of them using it.

As for the Christmas campaign, Murray said customers were involved at every stage in the process from research to iteration.

The 60-second ad, which will launch on Channel 4's Googlebox on Friday, even features some Asda employees as part of the festive cavalcade. It will run online and in-print too, with three more 30-second iterations focused on food, gifting and party ideas set to launch in December.

Asda is in the midst of a proposed takeover by Sainsbury's, but the duo have yet to iron out the terms of the deal and how it will impact current staff.

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