Channel 4

Coca-Cola reclaims Christmas with the help of our Goggleboxers

We used our BAFTA-award winning programme Gogglebox to breathe new life into the much-loved Coca-Cola ‘Holidays are Coming’ ad, for a nostalgic campaign that really resonated with viewers.

The Big Idea

Since its inception in 2013, Gogglebox has been a runaway hit with viewers up and down the nation and now in its 10th series, it’s still seeing an incredible growth of audiences year-on-year. People, it seems, love to watch other people watching TV, and especially our hilarious, real, Gogglebox families who are the stars of the show.
Coca-Cola’s ‘Holidays are Coming’ ad is undeniably a Christmas classic, one that evokes joy and excitement right from the visual creative right up to the soundtrack. For many, it’s the ad that signals the start of the festive season. It’s also 22 years old, and faced with the challenge of cutting through in the fiercely competitive world of Christmas advertisers, ‘Holidays are Coming’ doesn’t have the element of surprise or talkability that a new ad does. Or does it? Enter Gogglebox…

Coca-Cola has typically used big, flashy ad campaigns with big spends to promote the brand in the past, but its tried-and-tested classic weapon ‘Holidays are Coming’ is a definite stalwart of the Christmas season. Using our creative framework PL4Y, we wanted to play up to that aspect (pun intended) and tapped into the idea that viewers would only be all-too familiar with the excitement of seeing the Coca-Cola ad for the first time in the run up to Christmas, so it seemed only right that we would capture that unbridled, unscripted content gold by filming the reactions of our Goggleboxers seeing it for the first time that year too! The show was the perfect fit for the campaign as the visceral, relatable reactions of our Goggleboxers to the content they’re watching is, after all, what makes the show so successful and appealing to viewers.

Over the last 22 years, the iconic Holidays are Coming TV ad has helped establish the Coca-Cola brand as being synonymous with Christmas. However, in the face of an increasing trend for expensively produced, storytelling Christmas ads, we wanted to re-affirm this association, as well as our rightful position of marking the real start of Christmas! Teaming up to create a talent led reaction ad with Gogglebox, gave us a unique platform to generate this conversation in a way that felt authentic and relevant. And the outcome? We think we won Christmas! - Aedamar Howlett, GB&I Marketing Director, The Coca-Cola Company

Making it Happen

We approached Studio Lambert to create a piece of Christmas sparkle. We wanted to blur the lines between editorial and advertising and produce a piece of Gogglebox content as if it were from the show itself, but placed in the Ad break.

Working in close collaboration with Coca-Cola and Mediacom, Studio Lambert filmed our favourite Gogglebox characters watching the Coca-Cola advert for the first time that year. The resulting footage showed the excitement that the Coca Cola trucks, song and advert mean to them underpinned by their affectionate nostalgia to a Christmas icon.
The ‘Holidays are Coming’ ad launched on the 17th November, in Gogglebox, followed seamlessly by our Goggleboxers reaction - so just as millions of us around the U.K. were exclaiming our excitement at the Coke advert, the Goggleboxers were also celebrating the start of Christmas with us!

In addition to the 2 minute launch, a 30” version ran across Channel 4 and VOD up to Christmas Eve, extending our Coca-Cola Christmas partnership. Social clips were produced and shared through Gogglebox and Channel 4 social channels and all of the content was licensed for Coca-Cola’s platforms.
Our Goggleboxers contributors tweeted about the event and a Q&A session with Stephen and Chris was arranged for Metro and Mail Online.

Nearly half of Gogglebox viewers felt more positive towards the brand with a 76% uplift vs. the average population
Our twist on Coke's classic film outshone John Lewis, Vodafone and McDonald's in ads that evoked the most attention and emotion from viewers

The Results

Pairing our winning programme format with Coca-Cola’s much loved ‘Holidays are Coming’ ad proved to be a golden formula. Coca-Cola won Christmas.

Goggleboxers are just like me or you, and capturing their real reactions for something that was actually cleverly an ad created a relatability aspect which worked phenomenally well. And that wasn’t just our opinion. Independent research, using facial recognition data from Realeyes*, showed that our partnership was the UK’s most emotionally engaging Christmas ad of the season, and nearly half of Gogglebox viewers felt more positive towards the brand – a 76% uplift v the average population*.
The agency also tested 55 of the top Christmas ads to see which ones evoked the most attention – and more importantly – emotion from viewers. Our twist on Coke's classic film outshone everyone including John Lewis, Vodafone and McDonald's to claim the Christmas crown! We really achieved the objective of cut-through amongst
the rabble of brands, and truly used our content where it really shone.

*Source Realeyes emotional intelligence Xmas 2017; Core 4