Retail spending was expected to hit £775m over the Easter weekend, and brands were working hard to get the biggest possible share of that cash.
I thought I’d look at some of my favourite Easter campaigns from the past while also looking at some of the better ones from 2016 so far.
Pop-up chocolate ‘bar’ – Carlsberg
Yes, the kings of experiential marketing – and in fact marketing in general – have done it once again.
What right have they got to hijack an event that has absolutely nothing to do with beer? Oh wait, this is the UK and it’s a four-day weekend. It has everything to do with beer.
Carlsberg created a pop-up bar in which everything from the dartboard to the bar stools was made from actual, edible chocolate. The beer taps are real though, obviously.
#TheBeauBunny – Hotel Chocolat
Last year Hotel Chocolat had someone dress up as a particularly dapper-looking Easter bunny and tour around 39 of its shops across the country.
Hare-raising news – I’m in Tunbridge Wells today! pic.twitter.com/NTL04RzxOK
— TheBeauBunny (@TheBeauBunny) April 1, 2015
Using the hashtag #TheBeauBunny, people were urged to take a selfie with the fashionable rabbit and share it on Tiwtter.
And guess what? He’s back this year!
— Sarah Button (@bootawn) March 23, 2016
#EggsEverywhere – Cadbury
Clearly trying to gloss over the fact it totally ruined Crème Eggs for everyone, Cadbury pulled out all the stops with this experiential campaign by dropping three giant branded eggs into Loch Ness.
The stunt was part of its #EggsEverywhere campaign, which also saw people finding chocolate treats hidden around the country and uploading pictures of them to Twitter.
Gorilla ad spoof – Aldi
— Attingham Park (@AttinghamParkNT) March 19, 2016
Aldi is building a reputation for taking the piss out of popular TV ads in a hilarious way – you may have seen its take on John Lewis’ ‘Man on the Moon’ ad back in November.
This video ad mocks the classic Cadbury clip in which a gorilla-suited man drums along to Phil Collins’ In the Air Tonight, but in this version the gorilla plays the drums exceptionally badly after seeing the price difference between Lindt and Aldi’s chocolate bunnies.
Good Eggs – The Co-operative Food
In this video ad, The Co-operative Food dressed a man up in double-arm plaster casts and had him try to eat a sandwich on a public bench.
Secret cameras recorded whether anyone would help the poor guy eat his lunch. Anyone that did offer to help received an Easter egg for their troubles.
Chocolate bunnies – Reese’s
Perhaps I included this example because I have an unhealthy obsession with peanut butter, or perhaps I just thought it was a funny and clever bit of advertising. You decide…
#CraftyEggs Vine competition – Mashable
More user-generated content here. Mashable invited people to upload Vines of their decorative egg-creation skills under the hashtag #CraftyEggs.
Some of the entries were actually pretty impressive, such as this shaving foam (or whipped cream?) and paint number.
Chick-Cam – Happy Egg Co
This brand is – as you would hope by its name – all about treating egg-laying chickens as humanely as possible.
Happy Egg Co launched a live ‘Chick-Cam’, via which people could following the life of an egg, from incubation to the moment the fluffy little yellow things emerged.
Viewers were invited to name each of the 17 eggs involved, and on the final day Happy Egg Co snuck in a golden egg, with the first five spotting it and writing in winning a prize.
Lunch for the price of an Easter egg – Aldi
Aldi and its main competitor Lidl have undoubtedly shaken up the UK grocery market by offering decent food at much lower prices than the mainstream supermarkets.
This campaign from the former plays upon that selling point by offering people a full Easter lunch for ‘the price of an Easter egg’ – calculated to be £3.80 in this case, or £15.19 for a family of four.
The lunch includes:
- Whole Leg of Fresh British Lamb (£3.79 per kilogram).
- Maris Piper potatoes (£1.89, 2.5kg).
- garden peas (69p, 907g).
- fresh carrots (45p, 1kg).
- Bramwell’s Mint Sauce (39p, 180g).
- New Zealand Pinot Noir (£6.99, 75cl).
- Specially Selected Hot Cross Buns (99p, 4 pack).
#GiantHen – Asda
Many sci-fi writers of old turned out to be alarmingly prophetic, but we can only hope that isn’t the case with creators of Asda’s latest Easter video ad.
That said, some people may relish the idea of being pecked to death by a 30-foot chicken made entirely of chocolate, provided they could bite a few chunks out of the beast on the way out.