The Drum Awards Festival - Official Deadline

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By Micah Walker

November 26, 2019 | 3 min read

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.

Spent on self

It’s always easier to swim with the current. And most brands do, especially during Christmas.

Sharing. Giving. Heartfelt warmsies. It’s that time of year the industry sheds a collective tear for nostalgic tales and stories of kindness. Whether it’s the cherub cheeked little orphan on crutches who gets the family he’s always wanted or the old scrooge that finds and opens a surprise gift (the guilty neighbour watches him open it, from the window across the street), we know what’s coming each November. Familiar ingredients, slightly rearranged, make for each holiday season’s advertising sweets. Don’t get me wrong, some of them are lovely pieces of work, but you have to admit, it does get a bit repetitive.

Which is why my favourite Christmas work ever has to be the Harvey Nichol’s “Sorry, I spent it on myself” campaign. Forget the ubiquitous narratives of holiday generosity, this tongue in cheek campaign from adam&eveDDB perfectly reminded us all that Harvey Nichols has been, and always will be, about self-reward and indulgence.

It was a great idea with equally brilliant follow through - from the paired back art direction and packaging, to the money saving gems like the online cheap card printer, the bag of “Authentic Lincolnshire Gravel” and the “Christmas Lunch in a Can” (with most of the trimmings) for £1.89. All real items in store, along with doorstops, paperclips, and I’m pretty sure, a drain plug. There were other basic items I can’t quite remember, but the idea of course, was that you could save a bit of cash on them as gifts for your friends and family, so there’d be money left over to get that Burberry bag, all for yourself.

So good.

It’s a great example of a brand staying true to itself and of an agency making great work with less than expected ingredients.

Micah Walker, co-founder and chief creative officer, Bear Meets Eagle on Fire

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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