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Sending Buddy Viral

ASDA had a problem:

Winning Christmas had never been so important, or so difficult for a supermarket brand. Post-Covid Christmas cancellations, 2022 was a big year for the festive season. Expectations were at an all-time high, and the role for brands during Christmas-ad season had grown to new heights in the John Lewis era of powerful and moving festive storytelling creating social media buzz and anticipation. Asda had a great ATL campaign idea – an ad featuring icon Buddy the Elf. But the success and failure of Christmas adverts rested on the social media campaign, because this was where the public reception and conversation took place. Asda was facing some big players and industry heavyweights, with big budgets and ambitious targets fuelling them. Asda needed a social campaign strategy to help send the ad viral, reaching 1-million views in the first 48-hours. We had our work cut out for us.

Asda Buddy The Elf  Creative Advertising Campaign Photography Product
Asda Buddy The Elf PromotionaL Social GIF meme  Creative Advertising Campaign Photography Product

We had an idea:

We knew that building intrigue and anticipation around the launch was crucial. With Buddy the Elf, a genuine Christmas icon, waiting in the wings, we had the perfect opportunity. We leant into our understanding of the social context and the tradition of growing industry gossip that surrounded Christmas advert releases. We amplified the notion that a big reveal was imminent and created channel-specific ways to do so, including an organic social whistle-blowing creative execution to paid executions teasing Buddy the Elf's famous 'uniform'. Our creative had to be best-in-class, and ended up winning the stamp of approval from Will Ferrell himself. The next part was to ensure maximum eyes would be on the correct link when the ad dropped. To this end, we used influencers to leverage and amplify our creative teasers and drive audiences to the YouTube link here a holding message confirmed the countdown was on and prepared people to return when the time came.

Asda Creative Christmas Campaign Teaser Campaign Newspaper Clipping
Asda Buddy The Elf Name Badge  Creative Advertising Campaign Photography Product
Asda Christmas Salmon Ad
Asda Christmas Mince Pie Ad

The Results:

Our social campaign contributed to a huge initial wave of viewers watching on Asda's YouTube channel. The advert reached not 1, but 3 million views in the first 48 hours, delivering an enormous +300% on the requested measurement.

THG Studios ASDA Social 2024


Growth on TikTok


Growth on ASDA's Social Community

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