While many see the launch of the annual John Lewis ad as the sign that Christmas can truly begin, there’s nothing more iconic than Coke’s Holidays Are Coming spot.
A few weeks ago, the brand's annual Christmas Truck Tour set off to tee up the launch of the classic ad that will follow and the activation marks the start of its biggest festive marketing campaign to date.
This year, the work aims to not only spread the usual festive cheer to consumers, but also connect a new audience to the brand. The truck tour launched on Friday 15 November and will visit 19 locations across the country in the run-up to Christmas.
Coca-Cola has also partnered with Crisis, the national homelessness charity, and will donate 10p for every can sampled and recycled throughout the campaign tour.
Holidays Are Coming released in 1995
Its Holidays Are Coming TV spot from McCann aired for the first time over the weekend (23/24 November) and features the same nostalgic music and visuals that people know and love, as well as a few new magical scenes returning from the original.
A new global ad from the brand also launched, which aims to remind people that there’s more that unites us than divides us. It will air in the UK in December.
To bring the campaign to life, London buses will be decked out in Holidays Are Coming lights and a lenticular visual of Santa. This year’s media plan will be the biggest yet and will feature TV, out-of-home and takeovers of digital screens and spaces in travel hubs around the country, including major train stations.
There will also be a number of Piccadilly lights takeovers throughout November and December to host surprise Christmas karaoke moments for London’s Christmas shoppers. With the aim to bring fans and visitors together to enjoy a moment of festive singing, the screen will live stream some of the nation’s favourite Christmas songs for 90 minutes each time and be accompanied by a choir who will encourage a festive singalong.
The ad reworked for 2009
A bespoke Snapchat lens will drive social engagement, while a partnership with navigation app Waze will engage people in their cars, adding surprise and delight with the voice of Santa to direct them and help navigate them to the closest place to purchase a Coca-Cola product on the go.
Coca-Cola zero sugar Cinnamon has also returned for the second year. The flavour will be brought to life by an innovative media buy, which sees Oxford Circus Tube Station become cinnamon scented, reminding commuters of Christmas from the moment they step inside.
To complement the activity, Coca-Cola will also be teaming up with London’s Winterland to create a cinnamon inspired igloo experience, bookable for a limited time on 9 December.
“For many people, the Coca-Cola Holidays Are Coming campaign signals the start of the festive season,” said Kris Robbens, marketing director at Coca-Cola Great Britain and Ireland.
“This year, we’ve taken the iconic and much-loved campaign and made it the biggest yet by bringing back the elements people love and adding new partnerships, activity and special moments to bring it to life in even more ways that we hope our existing fans and new ones will love.”