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By Hannah Bowler, Senior reporter

November 4, 2022 | 6 min read

The high street beauty retailer has upped its use of first-party data by 33% for festive campaign.

Boots’ ’Joy For All’ campaign by VMLY&R follows Holly, played by It’s a Sin actor Lydia West, who finds a pair of magic glasses on the bus that let her see the hidden ’joy’ all around her.

The 60-second spot drops tonight (November 4) during Channel 4’s Gogglebox and then rolls out across online, social, TV, VOD and cinema.

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Hall & Oates track You Make my Dreams (Come True) backs the ad, which was directed by Si&Ad through Academy Films.

To ensure the ad hit the right notes, Boots worked with marketing research company System 1 to test the creative with customers from storyboard to the edit. Chief marketing officer Peter Markey says being able to show how its customers reacted to the campaign throughout the creative process made a big difference when presenting internally.

“It’s a really different conversation – as opposed to asking if someone likes it, I can show you how people think and feel watching it,“ he says. “It has made it a richer conversation to bring more science and data about the creative.“

Markey’s team has leveraged 33% more first-party data than its previous Christmas campaign to reach existing customers and ’lookalike’ customers. This means the Boots ad will run across radio, digital and out-of-home to target where customers are and when they shop.

“We’ve got more confidence than ever that we are reaching the right people at the right time,“ says Markey.

Boots expects to reach 99% of UK adults 17 times across its media plan, which also includes print, PR, CRM, loyalty and in-store.

The beauty retailer will use the TikTok Story Selection format (a first for a UK retailer), which allows TikTok users to pick which version of the ad they see based on who they are shopping for and their nearest stores.

“It [TikTok Story Selection] gives you a creative that is more tailored to the things you want to see and the thing you want to shop and it really draws you in,“ says Markey. It works by using a snippet from the TV cutdown that pans down to different products split between frames, so that the user can then pick the product and get shown the final frame.

Scenes you can select include a colleague in the bath using Boots’ own brand Soap & Glory, her drag queen cousin using a Dyson blow dryer and her dad’s personalized dog pillows. Boots has also tied with Meta to create AR filters to help with gift-giving inspiration.

Boots clickable ad

QR codes will feature for a second year running after Boots saw a 52% uplift in people scanning the ‘shop the ad’ page in its Christmas 2021 campaign. Clickable ads will also run-on video on demand platforms, where customers can shop directly from the ad.

Last year’s ’Bags of Joy’ campaign delivered a £4 ROI for every £1 spent and captured new audiences, with 45% of Christmas shoppers either new to Boots stores or new to

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Marketing director: Helen Jeremiah

Marketing manager: Rebecca Vittles

Creative and media specialist: Cara McNaughton

Omni-media director: Ollie Shayer

Head of media strategy and planning: Amy Caven


Chief creative officer: Laurent Simon

Executive creative director: Sara Rose

Creative director: Lee Hanson and Mark Prime

Executive producer: Maja McIntosh

Producer: Eleanor Hardcastle

Client partner: Sam Phillips-Grey

Business director: Sian Richards

Account director: Zoë Venning

Program director: Sophie Beaumont

Strategy director: Mark Linford

Strategy director: Anastasia Besson

Managing partner, media: Gareth Allen

Business director, media: Arabella Blaikie

Senior associate director: Rachael Alston

Production: Academy

Directors: Si&Ad

Exec producer: Simon Cooper

Producer: Georgina Smith

Post-production: Final Cut

Editor: Joe Guest

Producer: Nikki Porter

Edit assistant: Leah Burton

VFX and grade: Electric Theatre Collective

Producer: Alasdair Patrick

VFX supervisor: Giles Cheetham

2D lead: Scott Ryan

Colorist: Jason Wallis

Hero casting: Talent Republic

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