Christmas retail ads – case study

24th December 2014

Christmas retail ads are a true festive tradition with advertisers battling it out to win consumer attention. Of course not all retail brands have the huge, huge budgets of the larger supermarket chains, but the festive season is a crucial time for retailers of all size. More than at any other time of year, they need to attract their target audience and cut through the seasonal noise, and video can help.

At Hurricane we like to get festive too, and for the past two years have worked for Telfords Shopping Centre with marketing agency, Seal, to bring Xmas to life. As we’ve worked with Telfords on two successful, but very different films, it’s a useful case study on Christmas ads.

The brief

Last year our brief for Telford Shopping Centre’s Christmas TV ad campaign was to engage with an audience looking for a Christmas shopping destination. Seal briefed us to develop a concept that showed a family enjoying themselves in the shopping centre. The video had to capture the essence of the season, and reflect the wide range of stores and brands available. We worked up an initial running order and then storyboards showing a relaxed family treating themselves to a day out.

This year, the brief was very different and they wanted an animated ad, which we could see working well for this brand. We drew on our experience, and discussed it with the clients. Telfords told us:

“I had my own thoughts on what I considered to be an animated ad, however, what Hurricane suggested was very different – after being talked through their proposals, their idea sounded really exciting and something very different to anything we had before, which is what I wanted.

The choice of music was made and the ad started to take shape. Over the next few weeks, there were discussions and meetings, although very few were needed as Hurricane knew exactly what would work. The meetings, whether face to face or via conference calls were very focussed.

Hurricane took on board our suggestions and created an ad which our staff, directors, managing agents and asset managers were all really pleased with. We have also received great, positive feedback from our retailers. Amazingly, this was all achieved within six weeks from start to finish, including approvals from Clearcast.”


As part of your editorial planning, it is important to schedule your Christmas retail ads, messages and assets as early as possible in the year. Then during the busy festive period you can capitalise on real-time marketing and seeding your film.

However sometimes production times are just tight, and the right video agency will help you to make it work. Last year, we had to wait for the shopping centre to be fitted with its Christmas decorations before filming, which left very limited time between production and transmission.

Festive filming

Ensure that your marketing agency helps you to get a Christmas feel to your video. For Telfords, we focused on warm lighting and seasonal trimmings and shot in a 2KHD to give us flexibility and great colours in the edit. It is also important to think about how you will position your film by creating seasonal landing pages, and an integrated social media campaign. For instance this year Telfords are using the hashtag #Discover which is promoted in the video.

Clearances and distribution

Remember to ask your agency about clearances for advertising and if they can help with distributing your film. Your audience can’t engage with your film, if they don’t see it. We’re all about making the production as easy as possible for the client, and so, as well as the filming and editing, we handled clearances through Clearcast and delivery to the TV network through Adstream.

If you would like to discuss how video could help your business, please get in touch using the contact details below:

– Call us: 01179 240773

– Send us an email:

– Tweet us: @hurricanemedia


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