The quintessential Christmas advertisement has become as much a part of the festive ritual as a tree decorated in lights or a wreath hanging on the front door.
Each year without fail, the British public wait with baited breath for the John Lewis commercial to make its debut and more recently, football and other sporting clubs have hopped on the bandwagon, producing their own festive featurettes.
Insider Sport is looking back at past Christmas campaigns produced by football clubs to market the merchandise stores in the run up to the big day.
Everton FC’s ‘Wishing for a True Blue Christmas’ is the subject of the final edition of the festive feature series. In 2012, the Premier League club teamed up with web advertising firm, The Lift Agency, to create a festive video campaign which was released across its social media channels.
The video depicts a young Toffees mad supporter counting down the days until Christmas. Each day, he opens his advent calendar, longing for the 25 December, which can’t come soon enough for the adolescent.
However, boredom begins to set in as he stares at the clock and struggles to sleep in anticipation for Christmas day.
If he’s not watching football on the television with his dad, then he’s playing it in the back garden. He dribbles around the yard pretending he is Nikica Jelavić – his favourite player – dressed head to toe in Everton apparel, wearing a Toffees shirt with the Croatian’s name on the back.
Christmas Day finally comes around and the boy races down the stairs to find a large gift-wrapped box waiting for him in the lounge, with a bow on the top. His parents watch as he removes the wrapping and inside sits none other than Toffees star Jelavić!
The video finishes on a graphic, providing links for the club’s online retail outlets, which reads: ‘We can’t give you Jelavic, but for everything else…’
Everton’s 2012 Christmas campaign even received recognition from national media outlets, after the advertisement was aired on both Sky Sports and Soccer AM.
Everton merchandise is strategically dotted around, such as a cushion on the sofa or a Toffees poster on the wall, and although not all supporters can expect to find the star striker under the tree, they can pick up some of these items at the club shop.
The video – which was described as ‘a gem’ by one fan – shows what it means to be a ‘True Blue’ and started a trend among football clubs, producing festive campaigns to rival the conglomerates, and it will certainly be interesting to see how the tradition develops in the coming years!