Boots and VMLY&R deliver Christmas ‘Joy For All’

The Santa Glasses campaign delivers a rose-tinted view of Christmas, while recognising the cost of living crisis.

Nicola Kemp

Editorial Director Creativebrief


Boots expertly navigates the tightrope of the cost of living crisis and Christmas joy, with the launch of the festive ‘Joy For All’ campaign, starring actress Lydia West.

The uplifting film brings to life the what the  brand describes as it’s ‘most affordable Christmas ever’; with half of Boots’ Christmas gifts costing £10 or under. The upbeat campaign, set to the track of ‘You Make My Dreams (Come True)’ by Hall & Oates tells the story of a character called Holly, played by West. 

Holly discovers magical glasses which enable her to see the festive joy hidden in the people around her. From her colleague who enjoys indulging in bubble baths, to her cousin who basks in the glory of getting glam, to her Dad who finds joy in his beloved pet dog. Even her grey commute turns into technicolour festive fun when she puts the glasses on. 

The spot ends with Christmas morning where Holly looks on as her loved ones open the presents, underlining the Christmas gift of giving. At the end of the film the owner of the missing magic spectacles is finally revealed to be ‘S.C’.

Our customers have told us that they want Christmas to be about joyful time with loved ones and are also looking for brilliant value as the cost-of-living crisis is top of mind for them.

Pete Markey, Chief Marketing Officer at Boots UK

The most affordable Christmas ever

The joy filled spot combines the imperative of recognise and responding to the fact that consumers’ budgets are squeezed, without taking away from the joy of giving at Christmas. 

Pete Markey, Chief Marketing Officer at Boots UK, explained: “Our customers have told us that they want Christmas to be about joyful time with loved ones and are also looking for brilliant value as the cost-of-living crisis is top of mind for them.” 

The campaign launches today (4th November) with a 60-second TV edit during Gogglebox on Channel 4, before rolling out across online, social, TV, video on demand and cinema. The campaign will also feature activations across Radio, DOOH, Print, PR, CRM, loyalty, as well as across all Boots stores throughout the UK.

Boots will also  be the first brand in the UK to use the TikTok Story Selection format, allowing users to choose which version of the ‘Joy for All’ advert they see based on who they are shopping for. In addition the brand is  working with Meta to produce a bespoke AR filter to help people find that ever-elusive perfect gift for loved ones.

The mass market campaign is also doubling down on data. The retailer revealed that a 33% increase in first party data usage will also allow it to target new and existing audiences with more dynamic messaging.

The toughest brief of the year

The campaign rises to the challenge of the toughest brief of the year. As Laurent Simon, Chief Creative Officer, VMLY&R London, explains: “Whilst the tightening of belts and purse strings is a reality, we also know people still want to make Christmas magical and meaningful. Enter our extraordinary glasses - showing thoughtfulness starts with seeing someone, truly seeing them, and then showing how Boots can help create unique moments of joy for them”

Customers visiting Boots stores this festive season will be able to experience a slice of  ‘Joy for All’  for themselves, with magic 3D Christmas glasses available to purchase for £2, with 50p going to The Prince’s Trust.

The campaign will also be Boots’ most sustainable Christmas ever. 100% of its gifting range is free from secondary plastic again this year, saving over 2,000 tonnes of plastic. While all deliveries are plastic free, removing a further 157 tonnes of plastic per year from its supply chain.

To further support customers make more eco-friendly choices, Boots will also have its biggest ever range of vegan gifts and products that come in reusable, recyclable and multi-use packaging. For while the cost of living crisis continues to bite, progressive brands recognise that this does not mean the climate crisis is on hold. As the ‘Joy For All’ underlines great marketing is not an all or nothing pursuit; long-term brand building, innovation, creativity and price sensitivity are equally vital components of the marketing mix. A trend which will extend long beyond the festive season. 


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