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‘Tis the Season for the Big Advert Battle, by Gemma Wilson

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Christmas, a time of goodwill and great advertising, is here again and for retailers across the UK it’s time to unleash the year’s biggest media spend.

Like the glow of twinkling lights and the first chill in the air, awaiting the launch of John Lewis’ campaign has become synonymous with the start of the festive season. But have this year’s biggest retailers left us feeling merry enough to march straight to the nearest till register?

The answer – most likely yes, but campaigns for Christmas 2017 have not been without controversy. From racist remarks in response to Tesco’s ad to Amazon’s attempt to steal Santa’s limelight, it’s been a bumpy ride for brands facing up to the often angry mob that resides on social media.

My personal favourite ad features the lovable Paddington Bear. Thank you, Marks and Spencer, for giving us bags of Christmas cheer. Move over Moz the Monster, for me Christmas this year is entwined with the marmalade-loving movie legend, as he helps to deliver a sack of stolen presents.

But far from the silver screen, or even TV sets, for brands and their borrowed film stars, scoring PR success comes from making an impact digitally and racking up views on mobile devices. PR Week reported the Marks and Spencer film had an impressive two million views in just four hours on the brand’s Facebook page. The campaign has been supported with a #LoveTheBear hashtag complete with a unique paw print emoji and social media monitoring tool Brandwatch reported 97 per cent of social media mentions were positive.

To date, one week after its first release, the ad has achieved more than 5.6 million views on its YouTube channel.

Treat yourself to a little seasonal magic, courtesy of Marks and Spencer:

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