Cannes Lions

All They Want for Chrismas Is You

SAATCHI & SAATCHI, London / VISA / 2019


1 Silver Cannes Lions
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The British High Street is struggling. 14 shops close every day and, in 2018 alone, 85,000 jobs were lost because of it. As we approached the crucial Christmas trading period, it was make or break for the retailers of the High Street. Many were in line to have a bad Christmas; shutting their doors come January 1st.


The challenge was clear; break-through the Christmas noise and deliver an unmissable creative campaign for Visa that got people back onto their local High Streets, and reappraised Visa in a positive light.


Drive both brand affinity and differentiation for Visa at a crucial time for their business whilst also driving visits to the High Street amongst Visa’s broad target audience of ‘Conscientious Consumers’.


Christmas is the most important time of the year for any independent retailer. So last Christmas, Visa partnered with hundreds of real shopkeepers up and down the country to help give them a voice. Our media became their media, and, for the first time ever, they got a chance to be seen on as many OOH, TV and mobile screens as any other big retailer in the UK.

To remind people why it counts to keep it local, we reached out directly to local communities with hyper local ads featuring only real merchants. We created hundreds of OOH and social posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and SnapChat to show consumers their closest independent High Street shop; reminding everyone that a local merchant was always near to help.


Our insight came from the negative news stories emanating from the High Street. Unable to keep up with online, smaller stores were closing across the country and the sense of community that they brought was breaking down. And the story wasn’t going away either.

During this insight phase we also came across an interesting juxtaposition. The public couldn’t countenance the idea of the High Street dying, yet they continued to support it less and less as the years went by.

How then to arrest this slide?

During the busy Christmas period when other brands were telling consumers what to buy and who to buy it for, we did something different. We reminded people to focus on the where instead.

Whether you were scrolling Instagram, leafing through the Sunday papers or travelling to work, we created an unmissable campaign that gave people a reason to support their local High Street again.


In order to truly celebrate the heroes of the High Street we needed to put them front and centre. We made them the stars of our campaign by showing what made High Streets truly special at Christmas; the friendliness, knowledge and personal touch of shop owners across the country.

To do this we created a geo-targeted campaign on social, TV, OLV, VOD and OOH so that across the country, consumers got served local retailers that they could actually visit for all their Christmas needs.

Over 300 social assets were targeted by postcode and nearly 200 individual OOH visuals were executed so that each retailer received a site within 3 miles of their store. We amplified this further by partnering with ITV weather, using their trusted local weather forecasters to bring the message of the High Street into everyone’s living room.


Overall the campaign received 1.2 billion impressions and reached 95% of the target audience. Crucially, 42% those surveyed claimed that they were more likely to shop local.

Across our business metrics we saw positive results. Brand affinity rose by 3.2% whilst advocacy, reputation and prominence shifted positively by 1.6%, 6.1% and 4.3%.

The campaign also clearly resonated with the public. It was in the top 3 most engaging Christmas ads of 2018 with High Streets across the country going as far to create their own copycat versions for their own areas.

And finally, despite all UK retailers struggling last Christmas, small retailers saw a higher YOY transaction growth than larger retailers.

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