The festive season is upon us, and we marketers are in the midst of a whirlwind of seasonal activity. Campaigns have been planned, copy written, and artwork designed and prepared. Over the past week or so the fruits of this collective labour are finally being revealed, as retailers unveil this year's Christmas campaigns.
I'm not going to lie, i'm a sucker for Christmas - what's not to love about having a few glorious days off work to spend with friends and loved ones? In my case, this largely involves me lying slumped in front of the Xbox for hours on end and gorging myself on Chocolate Oranges (the ones filled with popping candy totally rock!), but I digress.
As a marketer and web designer I love working with clients to plan their Christmas campaigns and design their artwork and web pages. As well as social media graphics and festive email campaigns i've also been creating landing pages packed full of all manner of pretty, desirable things.
It's been super interesting looking at the Christmas landing pages created by some of the big name retailers. Below I share a selection of my favourites, which I think capture the spirit of Christmas beautifully, as well as some that have failed to impress.
Not on the High Street
I love this website usually, but their Christmas landing page left me feeling cold. Very little effort seems to have gone into it and I don't find it eye catching or particularly appealing. A very disappointing effort; I can only hope the design is improved over the coming days, as this just feels devoid of personality and utterly bland.
I would expect a clean and modern design for the Heal's Christmas landing page, but I don't find this interesting or appealing. There is certainly nothing visually that excites or makes me want to stay around. i'd say my reaction to this is on the negative side of neutral - not a great response from someone who I am guessing is slap-bang in the middle of their target audience.
Firstly, I can't abide the Next website. The images are poor and often un-pinnable, and I don't like their navigation. That said, I don't usually mind Next as a brand with their safe, clean and modern design. Their Christmas landing page isn't particularly exciting to look at but it meets my expectations. Playing it safe is certainly not a bad thing and I think this page does a good, if restrained job at appearing festive. This page is pretty to look at and certainly wouldn't provoke any strong negative reactions; it reinforces the Next brand identity, making this a decent if uninspiring design.
As a brand, I love John Lewis and the clean design of their website is a study in usability. As with Next, this Christmas landing page plays it safe and is bang on-brand. No surprises here - this is a perfectly adequate, if slightly bland design.
Ka-pow! This landing page is no shrinking violet. It's bright and it's bold, which I just love. The design is very now, with its enticing product and lifestyle shots and blocks of vibrant colour. It's fun, gives me a positive vibe and draws me in: a pretty decent effort (let's not mention the typo in the men's gift section though).
Marks & Spencer
I love this effort from M&S, they've focused on using a few beautiful shots and kept the imagery big and bold. The design grabs my attention and makes me want to stay around - effectively engaging me because I find it visually appealing and intriguing. Spot on!
Wilkos is definitely not a cool or aspirational brand by any stretch of the imagination, but good design is good design and I particularly love the large hero image they've used. Nice job promoting gift vouchers right there on the landing page, but I do find dedicating such a big area of the page to promoting their blog a little bit much. Perhaps they've not got all of their Christmas range in yet, and that spot will be swapped out at a future date? This landing page goes to show how powerful a good piece of photography can be. Good job!
I love it! Do I have to say anything more? I suppose I should, but my instant reaction to seeing this page is that I can't wait to see more. The design is quirky and right on brand, and I find it thoroughly appealing. A hands down win in terms of generating a positive Christmas-hipster vibe.
I've saved my favourite until last, which is a very unexpected choice. As a brand, I have a pretty neutral opinion of BHS; that is to say, it's not somewhere I would usually shop, though their increasingly good homewares have been on my radar for a while. Whilst some may critisise this design as being too busy, I absolutely love it. It's attractive, interesting, clear and most importantly, it screams Christmas at me. Again, the current trend for large visual blocks of content is on display here and I just find this design utterly charming and heart-warming. Well done, BHS!
Think I'm insane and have appalling taste? Let me know which landing page you like best and why!