Christmas Adverts. All around me... It's that time of year again. The brand advertising brigade is out in force and flogging the festive season for all it's worth. Get ready for an emotional roller-coaster. Here’s our round up of the top 31 Christmas Ads of 2019!
Not festive and lacking any Christmas cheer, there is a few Christmas lights in the background and the cleaner that passes is whistling a Christmas tune. As a standalone advert it’s on level with JD’s other adverts but barring the one or two Christmas elements listed above it could have been released at any point of the year. Major room for improvement when compared to other Christmas adverts out this year. However, that said it will probably resonate for their target market in general.
Not the best advert from M&S this year. The “Go Jumpers for Christmas” with people dancing around with different colour jumpers isn’t the most imaginative take we’ve seen from the brand. However, it does signal their move to readjust their fashion division. Starting earlier this year with the departure of Jill Macdonald it looks like they’ve tried something a little more relatable. They’ve ditched the celebs from last year’s ad and gone for the pun… In relation to Christmas it’s a stretch (no pun intended) it doesn’t go after the Christmas vibe. Room for improvement next year.
At first, the Debenhams this year was weak, however after a re-watch we’ve tempered that feeling. The advert represents the store brand identity well, as a department store filled with everything and anything all year round. It’s the perfect place to start shopping for those hard to buy for friends and family. Their promotion of 3 for 2 gifts up until Christmas day isn’t thrown in your face either, it basically does what it says on the tin. The advert would resonate at any season. We wouldn’t be surprised to see similar ad themes throughout the year.
Walkers wheels out holiday staple Mariah Carey this year. Continuing their yearlong theme of “Too Good to Share” but this time with a Christmas themed flavour! Kind of enjoyable to watch but there’s something strangely uncomfortable about the whole thing, the tiny bite of crisp at the end is genuinely disturbing. We all know that, having won our prize, we would shovel a whole handful in…
Iceland jumps on the bandwagon with Disney this year as they tie in their food ad with Frozen 2. Joining Iceland’s range of child friendly Frozen themed potato and chicken shapes, as well as Frozen packaged bread and “Olaf Noses” is the giant Olaf soft toy. The Ice theme is a match made in heaven and I’m sure plenty of kids will be demanding their parents shop at Iceland this holiday season. A classic piece of cross promotion, friendly but slightly cynical in its delivery for the adults watching.
Following up from the ‘Go Jumpers for Christmas’ advert, M&S Fashion continue to reinforce their product focus. It’s clearly selling pyjamas. Bit more of a Christmas theme in this one and actually a much better advert than their leading entry.
TK-Maxx advert is “Same old, same old. Year in, Year out” they give unique gifts but with their own strange style. They want to break the monotony of Christmas giving. Slightly strange ad but it’s certainly on brand and, somehow, it kind of works.
This year’s ad from Lidl is a combination of traditional Christmas with a modern-day British take as they state, “A Christmas you can believe in”. Lidl are looking to capture the prefect imperfections of our all too human celebrations. Highlights include the now traditional tech issues as video chats freeze, bottles clinking in the car, brother short-changing brother and a sensible mum saying no to the keyboard, but they do it anyway. A nice, clever, feel good effort. We’d also like to thank the set dresser for clearly differentiating this year’s family by swapping the sprouts with the cabbage…
It’s hard to buy a present for someone who literally has everything, but in Boots say it isn’t… Their online store has everything you’ll ever need and they will help the nation become better gift givers. Really strange vibes in this video but does deliver some great drama and a few laughs. Not taking itself too seriously works well for the brand. Last years entry into the Christmas ad scene was very much a now traditional ‘feels’ attempt. Looks like plenty of brands are trying to break away from the John Lewis model.
This Sainsbury’s advert this year is titled ‘Nicolas The Sweep’ and its clear Dickensian influences really grab the Christmas Spirit (of Christmas past) and milk it again for just one more feeling. It’s well produced but a little over the top. As Sainsbury’s look to emphasise their 150-year trading history the plot is nothing special. The cast are great, and the costumer has done a perfect job. At least its memorable. At least they haven’t hijacked 1914 this year.
Another fun advert this year from Argos. A father browsing the Argos catalogue comes across a drum set that his daughter has circled to highlight what she wants. Suddenly, their kitchen has transformed into an arena stage with them playing Infront of a full crowd. Their power of imagination theme really cuts through this advert. While not overtly Christmassy, it does have that feel good factor that resonates with the season. The casting of father and daughter is superb.
Argos have taken the opportunity to rebrand their catalogue to “The Book of Dreams” for the 2019 holiday season and ties it all together nicely. Overall a great advert from Argos on par with previous years.
A short and sweet animated production this year from Littlewoods reincarnation Very.co.uk, showing a row of houses with decorations up, all apart from one. Everyone comes together to gift decorations and festive treats to bring someone the joy of Christmas. A strong advert that promotes community spirit and how small gestures can make a huge improvement in peoples lives. With loneliness being such an import topic for so many people it’s good to be reminded that we can all do little things to help bring a bit of cheer.
Barbour updates another Raymond Briggs classic this year with an adaption of the 1991 Christmas classic “Father Christmas”. The plot works well and touches on so many relatable notes, loss, joy, friendship, humour and duty. The jacket memories idea is inspired and, while the script might be too wordy for most audiences to make this a classic, it’s more of a mini feature than an advert. What’s the takeaway? Barbour jackets are made to last.
Continuing its return to “this is not just any…” theme, the M&S Food ad probably does the best job of showcasing its product this year. A real delicious focus on their turkey, pavlova, brie and mince pies will leave even the most reluctant viewer peckish. Did it need Paddy McGuinness or Emma Willis? Not sure. However, they’re an inoffensive duo and do a great job at keeping everything focused.
Super simple from Halfords this year. While clearly a winter ad, it’s not overtly themed around the holiday. As a simple product ad it excels. The sound of the wheels turning and the smile on the girls face all give this ad a feeling of completeness that doesn’t require anything extra. It’s implied that the bike is a Christmas gift but otherwise it’s not so very festive.
Aldi have quite a selection of “adverts” this year with trailers, teasers and introductions in all different forms. Kevin the Carrot returns this year and the launch trailer at least takes its influences from Peaky Blinders and, strangely, 2017's The Greatest Showman. With Robbie Williams in the background it’s a strange collection providing a stage for the stand alone product ads, such as this Turkey ad, that follow.
It’s becoming more popular now, especially as opportunity for online video content continues to increase, to break the mould of the single Christmas advert. Now retailers and brands are cashing in on Christmas with a “More the merrier approach” this second entry from Lidl features Christmas Elves causing trouble. The advert gives us a relatable family Christmas story line with a sprinkle of magic. The elves have sprung to life and decided to experience for themselves the wonder, excitement and joy of the festive season. Not a bad secondary advert, aimed to capture the younger audience.
Costa have produced a unique little short film base on togetherness showing various animals, some anthropomorphises and some not, as well as Santa, bonding over a finely poured Costa beverage. The ad has a friendly feel to it and certainly puts across the desired feelings of warmth and comfort for a cold winter. The animation style works well for the brand and will be replicated on collateral in store. It’s lack of underlying story might hold it back from being up there with some of the best Christmas ads but it’s a worthy contender.
A fun family friendly short from Microsoft this year advertising its translation software as well as its Surface tablet. Not a bad little advert, with plenty to enjoy and a cosy atmosphere. The precocious child angle is always a favourite and relatable to many long-suffering parents.
Another blockbuster classic gets the advert treatment this year with Back to The Future getting a Tesco overhaul as a cheerful delivery driver delivers all his goods to the wrong people entirely. The only gift we think he’ll be getting is his P45. To be fair, it appears Winston Churchill did order in but they substituted his Pol Roger for a bottle of 2011 Tesco Port. Oh dear.
Apple go full emotional roller-coaster in this 3-minute epic. The story of two young girls who just want to do something nice for grandpa. iPad is front and centre and is promoted as a perfect tool for keeping your kids quiet. They do pull that message back a little with the final reveal but I’m sure there will be plenty of people with a lot to say about it. Plenty for everyone to enjoy and on message. Apple makes everything better.
No wonder Simon Cowell is always trying to get the next Christmas number one… When you nail it, you’re on the gravy train for life. Mariah appears again in our list in her second advert of the season this time from Spotify. She seems a lot more comfortable than in the earlier Walkers ad here. It’s all a little weird but that matches Spotify’s other brand offerings and it’s a fun take on what we all know. That Christmas is only here when the four horsemen of the Crimbocalypse arrive. Mariah, The Coca Cola Truck, John Lewis and Michael Bublé
A decent entry from ASDA into the Christmas canon this year. Quite a charming story about a young girl gathering magic from the Aurora (Santa’s leftover magic!) and spreading Christmas cheer. Not sure we’d appreciate being turned into gingerbread but, hey, the people in the ad seem pleased. Enjoyable but not too cringey, it strikes a good ground between imaginative and feel good. No product focus this year (see last year’s crazy Christmas ski frenzy) but it really works.
HP take aim at our digital culture this year with a dig at all the time we spend on our phones. Plenty to like about this advert, the creative lyrics, the classic Christmas song, the funny people, and the hope that we’re still able to connect as a family at Christmas. Do we need to go screen free completely? Probably not, but it’s not a bad thing to put them down occasionally.
Visa continue their shop local crusade this year with #WhereYouShopMatters and a rendition of Somebody to Love and a range of small local businesses who use Visa card to accept payment. It’s in line with Visa’s goals to connect all levels of business with digital currency. It’s a simple advert and will probably pass most people by but their drive for local business is commendable.
Festive family fun with a solid animation from McDonald's with a continuation of last year’s #ReindeerReady series and McD’s have branded up their healthier snacks again. The animation style is quite unique and the reindeer character cute enough to have a lot of mileage. It’s a shame McDonald's don’t do plush merch because that would be a winner. Nice flex back to live action at the end too.
The Amazon singing boxes are back with a cover (or should I say yet another cover) of Solomon Burke’s “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love”. It’s a decent advert with definite Christmas cheer, although no one seems to be talking about what will happen to the poor boxes as soon as the singing people reach their destination. The advert delivers (hur hur) plenty and will certainly encourage continued shopping with the UK’s favourite online retailer.
This John Lewis advert is excited to share the festive feeling of Christmas, with the story of a little girl and her excitable friendly dragon, Edgar causing mischief. ‘Aww adorable’ is the only response and by the end accident prone Edgar is accepted as part of the community. It’s also nice to see some Scottish talent in the form of Glasgow born Ruby Dailly. John Lewis focuses on the importance of inclusion during the holiday season and while Bastille deliver a great cover of 70’s rockers REO Speedwagon’s “Can’t Fight This Feeling’ we can’t help feeling that John Lewis has short-changed Waitrose & Partners in its single advert delivery. “The John Lewis Christmas Advert” leaves Waitrose in the shadows. Poor emphasis for the growing Waitrose brand.
One in a series of Christmas Etiquette rules, this series from Hotel Chocolat is a definite winner when it comes to humour. Their lack of extended ads makes this the perfect interruption for promotion online or in between the longer festive adverts they might compete against. The brand product is obvious and the personalities throughout are relatable if exaggerate.
Most people will of course recognise the gangly limbed alien from the Spielberg 1982 classic as E.T. returns along side Henry Thomas in this amusing nostalgia hit. Not sure how ET’s family must feel about him abandoning them AGAIN and needing yet another taxi home but hey, it’s Christmas. It’s a pleasant bit of fun from Sky, and sticks to their theme. There’s nowhere else to watch movies.
Who doesn’t love a bit of Wallace and Gromit? Joules enjoys a bit of superb animation from the incredible Aardman team. Everything that makes Wallace and Gromit special, fun gadgets, hilarious antics and an innocence that so many shows these days lack. The ad really makes good use of the characters and their history. It really drives home the easy Christmas shopping experience that Joules can offer. The associated kudos is a bonus.
The End...Or is it?
Well that's our top list for this years Christmas adverts. We're sure there will be more fun released in the run up to Christmas so enjoy the festivities. What's your favourite? Send us a message and let us know. We’ve just got time for one more a funny ad and, as tradition dictates, it's from Australian Aldi. Enjoy.
It's time for the Ho Ho Holidays!
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