emotionally manipulate your children with technology this holiday…

Judging by this product created by Australian retailer Myer, Aussie parents’ behavior might not be under the same microscope that American parents’ behavior is.

Nevertheless, the store created a connected ornament that changes color based on how “naughty” or “nice” the children in the home are being leading up to Christmas.

According to Myer, “The bauble pairs up with an app, so parents can change the colour to coerce their kids into good behaviour, or be faced with a stocking full of coal.” 

The retailer is even taking a page from Spotify’s book, and using the “data” to power billboards around Australia showing how “naughty” or “nice” children in different areas are:

Why it’s hot: 

I’m not sure it is. Technologically, it’s an interesting idea to create a bluetooth powered product symbolizing what will hopefully be a happy holiday for each child. But, while it would be magical for an unknowing children to see “proof” they’re being “nice”, and therefore they’re headed for the rewards they want this holiday, the opposite seems like it could be a bit extreme.

Breaking through the holiday clutter

KitKat’s Christmas Commercial Is 30 Seconds of Blankness, the Ultimate Ad Break A knowing antidote to holiday noise

It takes a lot to stand out among the glut of Christmas ads in Britain, where brands jockey like nowhere else to have a hit commercial. KitKat and J. Walter Thompson’s strategy this season is to cut through the clutter by uncluttering completely.

The Nestlé candy brand is breaking a 30-second spot on TV this weekend that features nothing but a completely blank screen—not even a logo at the end—and a voiceover that asks whether “just absolutely nothing” isn’t “nice for a change.”

Kit Kat Commercial

It’s witty and even sort of brave, though also, of course, a bit disingenuous. The ad isn’t “absolutely nothing.” It’s a meta exercise designed to command as much attention, if not more, than traditional spots. And the voiceover—smug, self-satisfied, more than a little judgmental, even humbug-ish—might be more irritating to some than watching a beautifully made, if less authentic ad.

Still, it fit does the long-running brand promise, “Have a break. Have a Kit Kat,” pretty perfectly. And that makes it more palatable as a stunt.

Why it’s hot: In this content cluttered world, its hard to stand out. This commercial shows how sometimes the best way to stand out is to take a step back and just say nothing. Interesting approach, curious to see how it performs!

Stella Artois: Giving Spirit

In its latest holiday T.V. spot, Stella Artois, decided to give its consumers an unexpected gift, props from its commercials. This is part of a larger campaign that the brand implements each holiday season, “Give Beautifully.”

The “Give Beautifully” short films features props from their commercials such as a piano, film and holiday lights, traveling to recipients around the world. Once the gift reaches the lucky recipient, the brand highlights the emotional aspect of gift giving. Real people as opposed to actors are used.


Why It’s Hot: Novelty and relevance to the brand. Stella Artois was originally created around the holiday season and was promoted as a gift to the people of Belgium. Each year the brand reinvents the wheel to think of a different way to stand apart in the crowded holiday space.

Read more here.

Apple Debuts New Holiday Ad

Apple once again shows it can do touching holiday ads with the best of them in this beautifully understated spot created out of TBWA/Media Arts Lab and directed by Park Pictures’ Lance Acord. It’s all about a girl creating a gift for her grandmother, using Apple technology to turn an old tune, “Our Love Is Here to Stay,” into a duet. As her grandmother listens to the song at the breakfast table on an iPad Mini while looking at the old photographs her granddaughter has collected, it’s difficult to stay dry-eyed.

Why It’s Hot 

The spot was released on Sunday and has already garnered attention from trades like Adage and Adweek. In my opinion, ads are always more impactful when they can touch people’s emotions, especially during the gift gifting season. While it’s different from Apple’s traditional ads that are very product focused, I hope that they continues on this trend because it creates a more positive “brand personality” for the company and can continue to set them apart from their competitors.