Outwrite’s very own Christmas elf Aaron Haley takes a look at his favourite seasonal campaigns of 2013.

John Lewis – The Bear & The Hare

Undoubtedly the biggest hitter of the festive season.

The John Lewis ad, about a hare ensuring his grizzly bear best friend doesn’t miss another Christmas, got misty-eyed viewers into the festive spirit with a primetime Saturday night launch on ITV.

The saccharin-sweet ad cost £7m to produce, but was money well spent for the most talked about video of the season, raking in an incredible 10.5 million views on YouTube.

Subsequent press coverage behind the phenomenal video reinforced John Lewis’ “best of British” brand values.

Before we had even opened the first door of our advent calendars, the high-end retailer had already sold out of bear and hare toys, including the advert’s centrepiece alarm clock, leading to some savvy shoppers raking in more than double their value through inflated eBay prices.

If you’re still in doubt over whether this was the number one advert of the festive period, the fact that Lily Allen’s rendition of Keane’s “Somewhere only we know” – the theme from the advert – is the fourth highest ranked Christmas video of 2013, should end any lingering doubts.

Harvey Nichols – #SpentItOnMyself



At the other end of the spectrum is Harvey Nichols’ thrifty #SpentItOnMyself campaign.

The low-budget ad encourages shoppers to be just as thrifty by spending less on presents this year – instead splurging on gifts “from me, to me”.

The campaign advertises a range of what could be viewed as either fun or tight, depending on your generosity, gifts available in store, including an 81p “Non-Swiss biro pen” sink plug and a top-ticket price salt cellar (£1.73).

The page of “for them” gifts links to a more luxurious catalogue of items you would more readily associate with Harvey Nichols, advertised as the perfect gifts for the self-indulgent Christmas shopper.

It’s not just the cheapo gifts that have saved cash though – the advert is only available online, saving on pricey festive airtime ratecard costs, but went down a storm with curmudgeonly social media users – the campaign’s hashtag trended for two days after its launch.

The campaign continues the department store’s festive tradition of quirky seasonal offerings, following on from 2011’s walk of shame and a same-dress-shootout in 2012.

NBA – Jingle Hoops



A seasonal serving from across the pond, while basketball may not be the British audience’s cup of tea, this viral hit is a fantastic example of the power of video.

Showcasing special Christmas Day versions of NBA jerseys, Jingle Hoops was second only to John Lewis for festive hits – drawing a staggering 9 million views from around the globe.

At 35 seconds long, it’s the perfect example of cashing in on the festive season in a credible, fun way.

WestJet – WestJet Christmas Miracle

The viral hit of Christmas 2013, the low-budget Canadian airline scored a massive 19 million views in five days with its generous give away.

By making a plane full of passengers’ Christmas dreams come true, WestJet reached out to millions of new customers across the globe.