12 November 2018

Iceland's Christmas advert

A screenshot from the ad.

This time of year means only one thing for the big retail brands: the big Christmas advert.

We’ve seen the ad from Sainsbury’s earlier today, Aldi is teasing a further development to the Kevin the Carrot campaign and Coca Cola rolled out their traditional Holidays are Coming Truck over the weekend.

Of course, we wait with bated breath for the launch of holiday heavyweight John Lewis and Partners too. But one ad seems to have caught a lot of attention of late – Iceland.

Over the past year the food retailer has made pledges to reduce its impact on the environment and change the way we consume the earth’s resources and limit the waste we produce. It was the first major UK supermarket to commit to removing palm oil from its own-brand products.

Palm oil is in everything from chocolate to shampoo. The production of the oil is one of the primary factors of deforestation and habitat destruction, particularly in Malaysia and Indonesia. This deforestation impacts local communities, climate change and destroys the homes of endangered and critically endangered animals including orangutans, tigers and rhinos.

Too political?

What does this have to do with a Christmas ad, I hear you ask. This year, if you haven’t seen it yet, Iceland chose to raise awareness of this issue rather than push festive sales. The ad, formerly a Greenpeace video, tells the story of an orangutan whose home has been destroyed.

However, the ad is yet to be played on TV having been banned for being too political. Not that that has stopped the message. Iceland and its campaign have been trending across social media since the launch on Friday. Celebrities, including Stephen Fry, Bill Bailey and James Corden, retweeted the ad and it has been viewed more than 3.2 million times on YouTube.

For me, it is educational, community-focussed marketing at its finest. The business and marketing worlds are no longer about pushing products. It’s about showing that you’re a business aligned to people’s values. That you’re here to make a positive impact on the world around you.

What do you think? Should the ad have been banned? Watch below:

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