Christmas emails, TV adverts & Nostalgia

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80's Christmas

I have recently received two emails which have stood out from the rest because of their use of video. If  a picture paints a thousand words a video paints a few more than that.

Retail brands can spend millions on the creation of their TV adverts, not to mention the thousands spent on advertising slots between prime time TV programmes.  It therefore surprises me that more brands don’t make the most of these ads by sharing them with their email subscribers.

Below are the two emails that have used video to good effect:

1) Toys R Us

Toy R Us Email Marketing

Despite the layout of this email leaving a little to be desired, the email message itself did interest me. The main message highlighted that the much loved “Geoffrey Giraffe” TV advert will be shown again for the first time in over a decade. I didn’t think it had been that long?

Recipients are provided with a link to a landing page containing a selection of Toys R Us adverts from throughout the years. You can share the adverts via social networks and even become a fan of Geoffrey on facebook!

The Nostalgic feelings stirred up by these adverts will help remind recipients why they shop at Toys R Us and why they subscribed to their emails in the first place.

The purpose of the email is to create/grow a community around the Toys R Us brand using Geoffrey as the face man giraffe.

‘Warm and fuzzy’ brand building is not the only effective use of video within emails though, John Lewis (below) use video in a slick sales approach.

2) John Lewis


In this email a member of the John Lewis marketing team introduces the TV advert and the campaigns strapline – Remembering how Christmas used to feel.

What John Lewis do very well apart from further promoting their great advert in an inexpensive way, is that they also lists the products shown in the advert within the email itself. This reinforces the value of the email as a shop window and is a good example of integrated marketing communications.

Again this video as with the Toys R Us video evokes nostalgic feelings, feelings which at Christmas can be a very powerful marketing tool.

Videos are effective at getting a message across in the way it was intended, whether that be to remind recipients of a brand’s values, or to promote a companies products or services.

About Craig Loynes

Marketing Manager at Emailcenter, the UK's largest independent ESP. Connect with +Craig Loynes on Google+ or follow on for more email marketing insights.

  • Steve Saunders

    I remember the old Toys r us ads. I totally agree with you on the power of nostalgia in advertising.

    I like the John Lewis email. Although I can’t afford to get an advert made, I will look at including videos in my future emails.

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