The Everyman beams bright amongst the twelve brand personality types, visibly pleased to be here. Emphatically welcoming, compulsively inclusive, the Everyman has been demoted from doorman twice; the consequence of too many overextended invites. Irresistibly likeable and with a gregarious generosity that is indifferent to its receiver, the Everyman stands for every man, and woman. And what you see here really is what you get, there’s an honesty, an innocence even, a distinct wholesomeness that still feels complete – whilst others orbit influencers and celebrities, the Everyman is stoic, unchanged, a constant reliable, as sure and certain as Christmas Day on December 25th.
So who better to christen as the namesake Everyman, than St. Nicholas himself? Universal and unanimous, the sleigh-travelling, red-suit-wearing, white-bearded Father of Christmas is the total epitome of love and acceptance through the ages. And despite legends of favourite reindeers, soot flumed chimneys and North Pole elves, the real magic of Father Christmas is found in united belief: that Christmas spirit doesn’t care about class, colour or creed.
It’s no surprise then that as the festive season breaks and brands release their yearly contribution to Christmas ad campaigns; many choose to align their entry to the Everyman. And this year, 2020 – what better way to crescendo a year of crisis than with care and kindness. It’s a feeling that seems to be catching, and one which seems to have spread through virtual boardrooms and Zoom-held storyboard sessions, with even the biggest global brands opting for a relaxed friendliness, a casual silliness, an ode to joy, goodwill and glad tidings.
McDonald’s #ReindeerReady campaign is one quintessentially Everyman. The animated picture looks as though it’s been pulled right from the latest Pixar release: brightly coloured bobble hats, candy striped tent stalls and glowing illuminations, all set behind the hue of a warm lens, creating a cosiness that is unmistakably Christmas. The clever narrative pays homage to the uncomplicated excitement of the season, to the nostalgia of childhood anticipation. It sees a teenage boy feeling too old to help his mum hang the baubles, and too cool to laugh at her impromptu reindeer impressions – yet his inner-child acts the opposite, animated onto the front of the boys chest, the alter-ego is carefree, he shrieks with joy, lolls his head back to laugh with an open mouth and claps with delight. And so how to reconnect the two? Well, you drive through.
Unfolding the brown paper bag, the boys’ demeanour softens and when his mum throws a snowball, this time he doesn’t pull up his hood, instead he lets go – connected again to the current of excited festive energy. The core of this campaign hinges on the brands’ age-old power as a great leveller, but it’s also product-led too. Reindeer treats – short stubby carrots – sold only at this time of year are the small packets of promise: they remind everyone, everywhere, of the childlike magic that happens only once a year. By marrying together the year-round brand identity with the specialness of the season, McDonalds deliver a message of simpler pleasures, of smiles and togetherness – something we can all relate to, particularly in 2020.
John Lewis is a name on the Christmas commercial bill as hotly anticipated as any, this year though they too have commissioned animated storytelling, this time in a style akin to a child’s school painting, married together with real footage. The idea is one of chain reaction, the power of spreading love with small acts of kindness. A girl passes a heart shaped small sticker to fix a broken pair of oval glasses, a snowman offers his upper cylinder to replace a tyre and a cracker, extended between the windows of two neighbours, delivers a joke that brings long lasting joy to a man who lives alone. The Everyman is founded in action without an agenda; it’s inclusive love and laughter, for the sake of love and laughter. Inspired by the huge wave of kindness that swept across the country during the outbreak of the pandemic, the team at John Lewis enlisted the help of different creatives, from talented illustrators, animators and makers, the group ranged from high-profile directors and puppeteers to university graduates. By consciously aligning their campaign to the climate, from end visuals to backstage production, John Lewis firmly positioned themselves as the Everyman: includer, listener, facilitator.
A brand perhaps less malleable to the macro-environment is Coca-cola. Their bulb-lit, token red truck set to the sound of their trademark jingle ‘holidays are coming’ has become the signal for generations that indeed, the holidays really are coming. So how does a brand with such deeply embedded emblems of identity, carry out a campaign with balance – with enough familiarity to avoid disappointing one audience demographic, and enough newness to excite another? Well, they stick to what they know, and stick to it with confidence. The Everyman isn’t swayed into doing things differently, and their consumers thank them for it. Instead they are a steadfast presence, important enough to become the cornerstones of marked occasions as significant as Christmas. Dusting off the same campaign hashtag every year would frighten some brands but when one becomes so indispensable to the season itself, it’s shared with all the pride of an election announcement: #HolidaysAreComing. The 2020 edition of this classic is one that crosses land and sea in the name of a special delivery. A letter to Santa Claus carried by a father all the way to the North Pole only to realise that written inside is a wish for a gift only he can give: ‘please bring Daddy home for Christmas’. In typical Everyman style, Coca-cola offers a universal message that transcends monetary value, ‘give something only you can.’
Enlisting the help of celebrities to promote brand proposition is often thought to jar against Everyman personalities, with authenticity a fundamental facet of their armoury. But Marks and Spencer have shown how to debunk fame; expose film stars to be just like us – and well, just like the Everyman. Using the voice of iconic British actors, the brand have created a Covid friendly Christmas campaign showing that celebs too have spent the year at home, nestled in front on the sofa watching the telly. And with charitable consciousness too, the famous narrators have pledged their fee for the advert to good causes. It’s a wholesome full circle of a campaign, featuring oozing chocolate soufflé and crisping pigs in blankets.
At Glorious, our skills as a creative design agency have helped clients hone their Everyman qualities. When the owners of Brewski – a Chorlton-based bar and restaurant inspired by the oak and pines of North America – approached us looking for a creative toolkit to be rolled out across their interiors, covering everything from beermats and menus, to brand iconography, we too we’re drawn to the outdoors for inspiration. After all, what’s more Everyman than toasting marshmallows on an open camping fire? We gave Brewski their own set of badges, akin to those stitched to the canvas backpacks of so many millions – talismans of conquered adventures – to be used across all their collateral. It’s a theme they continued throughout their interior, with exposed wood and a seven-foot wooden grizzly bear expertly carved by a chainsaw wielding Liverpudlian by the name of Simon Archer.
Broadband Genie was another client looking to connect with consumers over common ground. As a an independent UK comparison service for home broadband, the brand wanted to develop a campaign that clearly communicated the benefits of their product to all too many suffering with connectivity issues; out with the jargon, in with the clarity. Through consumer research and workshops, the experts at Glorious were able to identify search based pain points, such as ‘Why is my broadband so slow’, ‘Why is my broadband so expensive’. By pivoting this information into marketing messaging and in turn, creative assets, the outcomes were as intended: honest, transparent and relatable – inciting a trusting relationship between the consumer and an industry historically thought of as shady. What’s more, by displaying the campaign posters throughout the London underground, a placement secured by our partners at Rock Soup Media, the client was able to connect to the masses, the ultimate inclusivity.
And Fruit 2 You, the fruit distribution service geared towards subsidising the government’s ‘five a day’ initiative, they too wanted to bring to life a ‘does what it says on the tin’ approach to marketing and creative branding. With the development of no-nonsense messaging – think, ‘Tangerines not Toffees’ and ‘Grapes not Cakes’ – offset against a bold, tropical colour palette and fun illustration in the style of fruit shaped car air fresheners, the client was given a brand starter pack that delivered on the Everyman: open, inviting and to the point.
So if our run down on the most sharing and caring in the world of brand personalities has left you feeling the love, then here’s our top tips on how to bring out the Everyman in your next marketing campaign:
• Always pitch your brand ethos as authentic and genuine – without pretence or showmanship. The power of the Everyman brand is offering the relatable, and showing consumers how they can easily connect their world with yours. Without airs and graces, the Everyman should be salt of the earth, founded in what really matters – you’re not selling jewellery, you’re selling moments – you see?
• Use softer creative, from Tone of Voice and messaging, to animation and art direction, the overall visual of your campaigns shouldn’t be shouty or bossy, in fact the best Everyman marketing could almost be seen as passive. As a friend to your consumers you’re an advisor, offering a helping hand or a smile, not a director barking instruction.
• Storytelling is important in the narrative of these ad campaigns, fasten your product or proposition to a meaningful message, even if it’s as simple as giving a person more via the convenience of your time service.
• Remain steadfast, even if your product changes, your brand proposition shouldn’t. Loyal consumers don’t happen overnight, and they can take generations to develop, so be patient and trust in your offering.
• If in doubt, and you feel your focus wandering, remember the power of Christmas spirit, an ode to pure joy – something totally intangible but with a presence as galvanising as any.
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