Asda will look to steal a march on its rivals when it kicks off the Christmas advert season on Sunday as the supermarket opts for an early start to the festive TV ad craze.
The company’s 60 second ad is the first in a series meant to give viewers a glimpse into the grocery chain’s imaginary festive workshop.
It follows a young girl and her grandfather who sneak into a factory to discover Asda’s Christmas ‘Imaginarium’, featuring a reindeer-powered food mixer for Christmas puddings, miniature people assembling canapes, and a Gin Room where a worker infuses truffles with an apparent gin laser.
It will air on Sunday November 5 during the first break of X Factor on ITV, making it the first major supermarket to unveil its holiday advert.
Asda said it will run four additional 30 second adverts over the holiday period.
Andy Murray, Asda’s chief customer officer, said: “The care and attention that has gone into listening to our customers and creating our Christmas range this year is really impressive and the Imaginarium is the perfect showcase for the excitement and ethos behind our products.
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“Whatever your age or budget, Christmas is the time of year when you’re open to a little bit of magic and wonderment and I’m really excited that we’ve been able to do our bit to provide that for our customers this year.”
James McGregor, a managing partner at consultancy Retail Remedy, says that while it is still unusual to run a Christmas advert this early, it is likely to give the brand a boost.
“They’re trying to get front of foot. And ultimately the wider free press they’re getting, the wider conversation they’re getting from that, ultimately will benefit them.”
While it is difficult to say whether adverts directly translate to sales, Mr McGregor said Christmas adverts were in no way a waste of money for retailers.
“It really puts a line in the sand in terms of how the retailers approach Christmas, what they represent, and ultimately where they get benefit is the wider social media, the wider social interaction.”
But retailers are working with a particular strategy in mind, creating a battle of narratives between big brands. It is no longer effective to tell consumers that you “sell mince pies and cashmere jumpers”, Mr McGregor explained.
“They’re trying to better engage with the consumer by telling a story. And it’s largely the person who tells the best story who gets the best coverage.”