Forget the annual weep-fest that is the John Lewis ad, nothing else says Christmas (for those of us in the drinks trade at least) quite like a Baileys campaign and the catchy "holidays are coming" Coca-Cola truck ads, so Santa must be preparing the sleigh as both companies have just revealed details of this year's activities.
December is a key season for the Diageo-owned Baileys brand - 6.5m people indulged in one last December (Millward Brown Brand Track data, December 2014) – and the company is investing £4.3m in a campaign to boost consumption even further this year.
TV ads, posters and social media activity with the message "It's not Christmas without you" will run in the run-up to the festive season, alongside sampling events across the UK.
For the on-trade the company has created a new signature serve for this winter, the Flat White Martini, to help licensees tap into the growing trend for coffee cocktails, sparked by the fad for Espresso Martinis.
Flat White Martini recipe
• 50ml Baileys Original
• 25ml Smirnoff No 21
• 25ml espresso
• 3 coffee beans
Shake all of the liquid ingredients over ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the coffee beans.
"We know that the association between Baileys and Christmas is already well-established, therefore we're keen to work with licensees to help them unlock this huge sales opportunity," said brand director, Anna MacDonald. "We want to showcase the versatility of Baileys, from the classic over ice serve, with coffee, or even in an indulgent cocktail such as the Flat White Martini.
This year marks 20 years of the Coca-Cola truck ads in Britain, a televisual event which for many marks the start of the festive countdown.
The ad will air at the end of this month (November), helping "build excitement and helping licensees maximise sales in the run up to the big day," according to Caroline Cater, director of operational marketing at Coca-Cola Enterprises.
The ads will be backed with a nationwide tour for the truck itself, which will visit over 40 towns and cities across the UK in six weeks.
"Soft drinks are hugely important at this time of the year which is why we promote captivating campaigns to engage with consumers and help licensees to maximise their Christmas sales as footfall to pubs and bars increase over the festive period," Cater added.
"This year is no different. With this in mind we've continued to invest and build on the Christmas truck tour and 'Holidays are Coming' concepts that people have grown to know and love."