What would you say that Christmas is about? Is it sitting down for a meal with family? Is it opening up presents first thing in the morning? Is it visiting your family and friends?
You could say that it is all of these things, but there is only one thing that they all have in common: Christmas Spirit. It is about having a joyous occasion with family and friends and giving to those who you love.
Whilst the Christmas spirit is truly well and alive each year, there is still more giving to be done, especially with regards to people in need and our planet.
Since the pandemic, society, in general, has become kinder, more conscious of our planet and more community-focused. And whilst some brands have been expressing these passions for years, there are more conscious brands coming forward showing their Christmas spirit.
This is especially prominent following the COP26 conference, which took place in October 2021, when a focal point of the event was that stakeholders and influencers in our society need to express more passion and commitment towards a sustainable future.
We decided to do our research and find those conscious brands who are committed to giving back this Christmas, using their brand and voice to make a difference.
The #BelieveInTomorrow Christmas campaign, run by the German retail banking brand Erste Group, tells the story of a dad-to-be who is trying to make the world a better place for his daughter.
In the advert, it shows how the soon-to-be father can help reduce his impact on the planet by turning off the tap when brushing his teeth, recycling, cycling instead of driving, switching off unnecessary household lights and reducing the amount of plastic bags used for shopping.
This Christmas advert is not the first by Erste Group to leave a tear in your eye, following on from their successful campaigns in past years, such as Edgars Christmas and Little Hedgehog. However, it is the first Christmas campaign to run with the message of promoting a sustainable world.
This short animation, written and created by Lush x Feral Child) (an animation and illustration agency based in London), is somewhat of a different twist on your “traditional” Christmas advertisements. The premise of ‘The Snow Fairy’ animation is to promote their new Christmas product.
However, the animation tells a story about a young person named Aki in an enchanted world and embodying kindness, confidence, and bravery in your journey of self-discovery and acceptance of one’s true self.
“Seeing ‘The Snow Fair’ evolve from a pink bubblegum shower gel into a character that brings confidence, courage, and kindness embraces our ‘all are welcome, always’ ethos.”
Jack Constantine, Chief Digital Officer at Lush
We have been raving about how much we love Patagonia for years. We’ve even done a case study in our founder’s Mitchel Whites book. Whilst this conscious clothing brand may not have a Christmas advert, they are certainly doing their part to give back this Christmas. Patagonia’s ‘Give a Damn’ Christmas campaign represents their brand in the truest form, promoting sustainability and re-usability with their clothing items.
The successful outdoor clothing brand has created a guide for their shoppers this holiday season, focusing on giving the gift that will last a lifetime.
Patagonia is infamous for their durable outdoor gear, designed to be environmentally friendly, which they are focusing even more so on this Christmas.
One conscious brand that is really thinking outside the box this year is Co-Op, which decided that instead of a traditional Christmas advert, they would host the UK’s first live TV advert.
The advert was created to help highlight community solutions to food waste, partnering up with environmental charity Hubbub to double the network of Community Fridges available.
Co-Op and Hubbub’s aim of the live TV advert is to increase awareness of Community Fridges to highlight food shortages, to reduce food waste and help more people to get a meal which they deserve at Christmas.
For the 6th year in a row, Stella Artois has partnered with Water.org to fund the ‘Give the Gift of Time’ project, which focuses on raising funds for safe water at Christmas. Since women spend 200 million hours every day collecting water, it was found that this takes time away from work, school and caring for their family.
This creative video from Stella Artois, featuring actor Matt Damon, showcases how one 12 pack of Stella Artois equates to 1 year of safe water access for families. This lasting access to safe water will allow for women, and their families, to have more time together, and for women to be able to learn, earn and create in their own time.
BuyMeOnce is taking Christmas by the reins with this year’s Christmas campaign. Their ‘Ten Things that Last’ campaign focuses on discounting the ten most voted-for products by their customers. This in turn promotes seasonal selling with intent.
Instead of putting a vast array of their products on sale for the Christmas period, they have decided that they will only discount select items, minimising impulse buys and focusing on what customers actually need/want.
By doing this, they are helping to reduce buyer mistakes, reduce product waste and increase the overall satisfaction of customers by giving them the selection of 10 gifts at a discounted price that they specifically asked for.
The Body Shop
One approach to creating a more conscious planet that cosmetics brand The Body Shop has taken is producing an eco-friendly gifts guide for their customers. This guide features a wide array of products, from vegan to nature-inspired gifts, which can be repurposed and recycled.
Alongside this, The Body Shop is supporting ‘Selfless Love’ this Christmas - a campaign that is running to support unpaid carers and volunteers across the globe. Through buying their products online, customers are helping to fund £500,000 which The Body Shop will distribute to charitable organisations across the world.
This Christmas gift guide helps to raise awareness to the consumer base of the popular cosmetic brand by showcasing alternatives to beauty and wellness products, as well as supporting The Body Shop in removing plastic packaging and supporting their Community Fair Trade programme.
Papa John’s is another brand, similar to Stella Artois, that is choosing to partner anew with a charitable organisation. Following on from 2020, they are partnering with UK charity Crisis, in the hopes of raising awareness and funds to end homelessness in the UK.
Their animated video represents bringing people (or more specifically a snow yeti, a penguin and a snowman) together through Papa John’s pizza, spending the Christmas season with the company of others, rather than in solitude.
Whilst it may not tackle issues with the environment, it certainly speaks to social responsibilities and addressing homelessness in the UK.
One conscious brand that always seems to take the UK by storm with its iconic Tweets and unique Christmas adverts is the discount supermarket Aldi. And this year is no exception. ‘A Christmas Carrot by Charles Chickens’ is a revised version of the classic book, telling the story of a disgruntled banana, Ebanana Scrooge, and the spirit of Christmas, Kevin the Carrot.
Featuring a cameo from the famous footballer “Marcus Radishford”, Aldi’s Christmas advert this year focuses on giving back to the community, supporting Neighbourly by donating 1.8 million meals to families in need this Christmas.
The nod to Marcus Rashford comes from his showering support during the lockdown when he partnered with food distribution charity FareShare, which helped to cover some of the free school meal deficit, raising £20 million in total to tackle food poverty.
Even though this is technically not a Christmas advert, we will include this here as an honourable mention, considering it was released at the beginning of November.
‘Let’s not waste our wonderful world’, a TV advert brought to you by OLIO, is impactful in sending a message to the seriousness of the issues with waste in the UK. Showcasing one of the UK’s largest landfill’s, the advert features a chorus of children singing a haunting rendition of Louis Armstrong’s ‘What a Wonderful World’.
This sober advert leaves an impactful message to viewers, showcasing the issue with waste, iterating OLIO’s mission of “Share More. Waste Less”.
OLIO is a free sharing app, available on Apple and Android, which allows users to find millions of people giving away food and older household items to their neighbours, for free, in the fight to save the plant and reduce waste.
Whilst it may not be a Christmas advert, it certainly does send a message to Christmas shoppers on the issues with waste in the UK, giving food for thought this season for gifts and celebrations.
Conscious Brands = Conscious Consumers
Whether you are looking to have an eco-friendly Christmas or perhaps give back to your community this year, all that matters is by supporting conscious brands, you are doing exactly that.
By choosing to purchase your Christmas gifts from smaller brands or brands that are promoting sustainability, you are making a conscious choice to make a difference in the world and community around you.
And whilst Christmas is the perfect time to show selfless love and kindness, brands going forward should implement conscious thinking and processes into their business, making sure that giving back to the community is not just a one-time thing to exploit once a year. By showing support for your local charities and community all year round, conscious brands are showcasing their passion and support towards a more sustainable future.