It's that time of year again when all the biggest brands are bringing out their Christmas TV adverts.
While the Covid-19 pandemic has brought with it plenty of uncertainty surrounding the holidays, the UK's biggest retailers haven't been discouraged.
But, as marketers, advertisers and business owners, when we watch the latest round of festive TV ads, it's time to sit up and pay attention: what lessons can we learn from these big-budget TV ads that apply to our own Christmas and New Year online advertising plans?
Stay on trend
Covid-19 has undoubtedly impacted everyone around the world in some way, and many marketing managers, including those at Tesco, are addressing this in their Christmas adverts.
The 2020 Tesco Christmas advert pokes fun at some of the more unusual aspects of the pandemic, including the 'Happy Birthday' handwashing rule and toilet roll panic buying. It's a likeable advert and one which doesn't ignore the elephant in the room but instead uses humour to make light of our current situation.
Humour won't work for all brands, but using relatable topics into your online advertising campaigns can be a good idea for your business.
Know your audience
Asda's ad this year is a great example of well-targeted advertising; it's clear from the ad itself that Asda is targeting young families, many of whom might be in charge of Christmas dinner for the first time ever this year and feeling nervous about finding a balance between extravagance and affordability.
The ad demonstrates how important it is to consider your target audience carefully before drawing up ad plans. This way, you can make sure your messaging is on point and resonating with the right demographic.
Stir the emotions
Christmas is an emotional time: a time to be with family, and a time to look back over the year that's past. It's worth tapping into that, which is something that both Coca-Cola and McDonald's have done this year.
This year's offering from Coca-Cola follows a father on a desperate trek to get his daughter's letter delivered to Santa, only to read that all she wants is for her father to be home for Christmas.
McDonald's 2020 festive advert focuses on a mother and her young adolescent who's outgrowing his childhood - or trying to - but he's never too old to share a McDonald's with Mum.
The advert homes in on a feeling we all know, and McDonald's are saying "we get you!" and providing a solution to all those Mums and kids out there feeling the same way: go to McDonald's.
Tapping into people's emotions is a great way to create a memorable advert.
What emotions can you stir up with your advertising?
Keep an eye on the competition
Finally, just like we're doing now: it's always important to keep one eye on the competition.
Lidl's animated Christmas advert, which contains the line 'we don't need cutesy characters when carrots taste this good', makes an inspired jab at competitor brand Aldi whose Kevin the Carrot character has been a staple of Aldi's Christmas marketing campaigns in recent years.
Of course, this doesn't mean you should be poking fun at your competitors - not everyone can get away with that. But being aware of your competition, and don't forget you're battling for advertising space and page rankings on Google with them, so keep monitoring your piece of the web traffic pie.
So there you have it a few good tips to get you thinking about your next online advertising campaign.