Our favourite winter campaigns of 2019

Our favourite winter campaigns of 2019

From a loveable orangutan pleading against palm oil to a bakery making waves with their recent sausage roll launch, we're taking a look at some of our favourite marketing campaigns over the Winter period.

Greggs - Vegan Sausage Roll

On 2nd January, UK bakery chain Greggs announced the launch of their vegan sausage roll in a very faux-Apple product launch. The launch video nailed the parodying of somewhat breath-taking smartphone launch and reached over 5.26m views on Twitter, 1.4m on Facebook and 54,000 on YouTube.

Talk of the all new meat-free pastry dominated the internet and sparked a vegan debate lasting several days, resulting in national coverage in the media.

Neil Knowels, Digital Brand Manager at Greggs, said the aim was to launch the product as 'premium and desirable' and timed perfectly with 'Veganuary' as consumers are setting their new dieting and eating resolutions.

The social media team behind the launch were on fire on the day of the announcement. Piers Morgan was quick to voice his opinion, where Greggs quickly responded.

Greggs were also quick to give witty responses to the disgruntled members of the public.

Some may say Greggs 'stirred the pot' following their marketing tactics of the vegan sausage roll. Many companies would be a nervous to tackle something like this, however Greggs pulled it off perfectly. Bravo, Greggs.

Iceland - Rang-tan

Supermarket chain Iceland pulled at everyone's heartstrings over the Christmas period with the release of their ani-palm oil campaign featuring a sweet baby orangutan. Iceland intended to air the ad on TV but it was 'banned' after Clearcast said it would be in breach of the BCAP Code on political advertising for being 'too political'.

The video above has reached over 17.2m views on Facebook and 5.8m YouTube. The impact of the campaign sparked a Change.org petition to help air the ad on TV which reached over 1m signatures.

Neil Hayes, Iceland's Marketing Director said: "It's been fantastic to see the story being widely shared and an overwhelmingly positive response for what is a really important message."

"We've been able to reach a huge number of customers without TV advertising, thanks to the level of support from campaigners, celebrities, the media and of course the public."

Comedian James Corden and presenter Julia Bradbury both shared their views on the subject, expressing the need for everyone to see it.

To help continue the battle against palm oil, Iceland are continuing to run a series of 10-second adverts that promote palm-oil free products. However, Iceland are still making waves in the press as there are still products that contain palm oil on their shelves due to remaining stock.

Twitter -#NotARetailStore

Each Christmas, when John Lewis reveals their much-anticipated Christmas advert, an American lecturer with the same name receives thousands of tweets intended for the department store.

After years of Christmas campaigns and watching John Lewis (the lecturer) grow into an internet sensation, Twitter celebrated his story in their recent Christmas campaign using his signature hashtag, #NotARetailStore. The campaign is shot at John's home in Blacksburg, Virginia, and features him dealing with tweets aimed at the retailer.

John said "I think it's hilarious that people mistake me for the UK store and I do my best to direct them to the right place. I see a massive spike in Tweets at this time of year and I always watch the John Lewis advert, especially as it becomes a huge part of my Twitter conversation."

The retail store John Lewis was quick to join in the conversation following the release of Twitter's short film.

John's work doesn't just last the Christmas period. Consumers throughout the year accidentally turn to @johnlewis for feedback on a daily basis. His responses have earnt him more followers than the retailer's customer service profile. In 2017, the retailer also sent John a collection of gifts to say thank you for dealing with wayward tweets.

HSBC - We are not an island

In 2018, Britain's largest bank introduced their new brand promise 'Together We Thrive'. HSBC recently published a very bold statement with their latest campaign, We Are Not An Island.

The campaign sees posters appear across the UK celebrating the parts of British life that come from the wider world.


The timing of the ad saw a lot of criticism on social media claiming the ad to be anti-Brexit. Following this, HSBC spoke out and said "This campaign is not about Brexit. It focuses on the importance of being open and connected to the world". The people behind the ad are asking the public to look beyond Brexit, and be remembered that as global citizens, we are part of something bigger.

Several cities including Birmingham, Leeds, London and Manchester, saw tailored ads to demonstrate that each city has international ties that help them thrive.


While we are, very much an island, we certainly are part of something bigger. The advert sparked a lot of discussion online and in the media, which is what campaigns are for. Right?

McDonald's - #ReindeerReady

This Christmas, we saw the return of #ReindeerReady with fast food chain McDonald's. The heart-warming campaign saw Santa eating his round of mince pies with his hungry reindeer looking on. McDonald's came to the rescue as Santa seeks for some 'reindeer treats'.

Alongside the video, McDonald's also launched a Snapchat lens and filter, an exclusive e-book, Christmas giveaways and festive branded carrots to help get the nation reindeer ready.

Ben Fox, Marketing Director at McDonald's said: "Our new 'Reindeer ready' campaign aims to remind customers that we are there when they need us at this time of year - from a Christmas shopping coffee break to a pre-party burger or even a mid-present delivery carrot stop."

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The Herd

The Herd

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