15th November 2018

Iceland and the Power of Social Media

It’s the topic of conversation in every office, household and even shopping centre. The Iceland Christmas TV campaign – no turkey and tinsel but using the eagerly anticipated TV Christmas campaign calendar date of November to raise awareness of a very important issue.

A few things are different with this TV campaign to any other Christmas advert out there now and that has ever been out there in the past. John Lewis, Sainsbury’s and Argos have all hit the headlines over the years with their Christmas adverts and prime TV slots of the Coronation Street ad break – but not Iceland. Not this year.

It has however gone viral without even being broadcast thanks to the modern age of social media.

So we’re all talking about it, but why?!

In a nutshell the television commercial, which highlights the impact of palm oil on rainforests and the effects on orangutans, was not cleared by Clearcast, the non-governmental organisation which approves advertisements for television to make sure they comply with the law, because the advert was deemed ‘too political’ as it was made by Greenpeace, which is classed as a political organisation.

Well, the advert may have been ‘banned’ but you would be pushed to find an adult that hasn’t seen it or doesn’t know about it and more importantly now knows the plight of what orangutans go through for brand’s to acquire palm oil for their products.

Rang-tan’s experience has tugged on the heart strings of consumers everywhere and has enabled Iceland to achieve over 3 million views on the retailer’s YouTube channel, 13 million views on its Facebook page and more than 90,000 retweets from its Twitter handle.

Not only that, over half a million signatures have been seen on a petition to have the advert aired and has a plethora of celebrity supporters including James Corden, Bill Bailey and Stephen Fry. Also Managing Director of Iceland, Richard Walker, has been interviewed tirelessly by journalists including Piers Morgan on GMB and Radio 1 Newsbeat.

Iceland, whether it was your intention for the advert to never be approved to hit the big screens, and so instead hit the headlines in this fashion, or whether it was a genuine oversight in not adhering to the British advertising broadcasting rules, a few things are for sure; everyone is now talking about you, thinking of the very important issue of palm oil and that Christmas adverts will never be the same again!