25 Days of Ausmas: Helen James, CheProximity on Mulberry's #WinChristmas

Every day an advertising creative from Australia and New Zealand will offer their own favourite Christmas campaign from over the years as we celebrate the best work from the festive period the world over and hear their views on what is best in class.

Since everyone talks about John Lewis when they think Christmas ad, I’m not going to.

The ad I’ve chosen as my fave Christmas ad of all time is Mulberry #WinChristmas. To be fair it was a tossup between this and Harvey Nic’s ‘walk of shame’ but that may come across as a little offensive now in 2019.

So, what makes #WinChristmas so appealing? Well for a start, it taps into two phenomenal insights. One is that every girl loves a handbag (especially a Mulberry one). The other is that Christmas can be such a competitive time of year when it comes to gifting. This ad taps into that and gently takes the rise out of it.

I just love that every member of the family is trying to outdo one another with the most extravagant gifts, from impeccable personalised portraits to waving puppies (genius) and even a unicorn.

The fact that it is set in an upper-class household makes it even funnier. After all, what do you get the girl who has everything?

The casting is fabulous from the dejected boyfriend ushering away his prize unicorn to the patient sassy granny who eventually wins Christmas. Given there is very little dialogue, their expressions have to work so hard.

For me, humour and true insight always work, and I think if you look back at some of the best ads ever made these two ingredients stand the test of time. I mean, this was made five years ago and the Harvey Nic’s one, eight years ago. That’s not to say these are the only ingredients that work, as many Christmas ads tap into more tear-jerking emotion but they’re certainly two that do.

Talking about ingredients (and I know I said I wasn’t going to talk about John Lewis, but hey it’s Christmas), since John Lewis started the formula of well-known soundtrack and emotive story, so many retailers are now following suit. Just an observation.

In terms of whether the Mulberry ad was successful or not, I really don’t know. But look, it’s five years on, I’ve just watched it again four times for the purposes of this article, and I’m now off to buy myself a well-deserved Mulberry Tote. Fabulous!

Helen James, executive creative director – retail, CHE Proximity

Check out the latest holiday ads from Australia and New Zealand here, and keep an eye on The Drum's ongoing Christmas coverage.

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