If M&S’ success with Paddington didn’t tell you already, Brits Love Bears. Which means Heathrow have a hit on their hands for the second year running with their “Christmas homecoming” campaign. Last year the story of the two ex-pat bears coming home for Christmas scored a worthy 3-Star rating, but this year Heathrow go one better and manage a high 4-Stars to become one of the best ads of Christmas 2017. What makes this one work better? It’s longer, but that’s not always a recipe for success. It’s got beautifully shot recreations of Heathrow in the 60s, 70s and 80s. But most of all, it has the bears, and it’s people’s familiarity with them that helps push emotional response higher.
This is how Fluent Devices – recurring characters or slogans in an ad – work, with familiarity breeding contentment as people get an extra happiness boost from the return of a well-loved character. Heathrow and Havas have a hit on their hands with Mr and Mrs Bair, and should consider using them a great deal more.