The festive marketing wins of 2023

The festive marketing wins of 2023

‘Tis the season for the food and drink sector to go head-to-head in the festive marketing battle. 


Each year, our favourite brands and retailers carefully curate Christmas campaigns that tug on the heart (and purse) strings of consumers around the country. From TV adverts to social media activations, this seasonal hook provides them with the opportunity to unlock consumer engagement and bolster sales during this pivotal time of year. 


As the nation dons its festive attire, brands and retailers leverage the emotional resonance of the season to not only showcase their products but also to create memorable connections with audiences, embodying the true essence of holiday cheer. 


In this delicate dance between commerce and sentiment, Christmas marketing has become one of the most important times in a marketer’s calendar. And this year is no different. Here we shine a spotlight on some of our favourite campaigns for 2023. 




Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot is back for the fifth year in a row. Inspired by the Charlie and The Chocolate Factory story (which ‘coincidentally’ has a Hollywood spin-off in the cinemas right now!) ‘Kevin and the Christmas Factory’ has topped the festive advert charts this year, for its gravy-filled wonderland. 


Putting fruit and veg centre stage (which we love!), the advert not only taps into a topical cultural phenomenon, but also champions the qualities that matter the most to its shoppers at this time of year – kindness and generosity. 


Kevin the Carrot merchandise can now be found in the Middle of Aldi aisle, proving that this festive root veg has really struck a chord with shoppers.   




Diageo has tapped into the growing trend for mindful drinking with their ‘Magic of Moderate Drinking’ campaign. 


The campaign shows multiple ways that consumers can employ responsible drinking tactics, from drinking water between alcoholic drinks to switching to a non-alcoholic option. 


As Diageo’s global society director, Kate Gibson, says, the campaign is challenging outdated perceptions about responsible drinking, demonstrating you can still have a great celebration.




M&S is renowned for its food and drink innovations, but at Christmas they really do go all out. Each year, their festive food advert is a majestic display of their quirky, innovative twists on Christmas classics.


This year, with a little help from the Christmas Fairy (Dawn French), the television advert showcases a range of new creations, such as Connect Four chocolates, triple chocolate panettone and the Christmas projector biscuit tin.


Each year, the M&S Christmas advert becomes even more synonymous with food and drink innovation, creating a festive buzz that consumers don’t want to miss out on.




No Christmas marketing list would be complete without Coca-Cola’s Big Red Truck. Launched in 1995, the advert has been running every year since, and has become so synonymous with the start of the festive season, that the brand barely has to reinvent the wheel and create new concept from scratch. 


For the past few years, the campaign has done more than sell Coca-Cola. It has supported FareShare, the UK’s biggest charity fighting hunger and food waste, by donating the equivalent of 100,000 meals to people in need during the festive season. 


We know first-hand from our work with Pink Lady® the impact that FareShare can have on food poverty so it’s fantastic to see Coca-Cola using their marketing for good too. 


Special occasion marketing is a tried and tested way to connect with consumers at an emotive time of year, encouraging them to trade up to higher quality produce, and bolstering sales at a key time in the retail calendar.


With UK shoppers predicted to spend a record £5bn on food this week, the retailers and brands that have invested in their festive marketing and created campaigns that truly resonate with consumers, are the ones who will come out on top.