With the festive season in full swing, the radio blasting out Christmas songs, and the John Lewis advert officially in circulation, we asked our Business students to compile a list of the best ever Christmas adverts. It’s become a huge part of the celebration, with big brands competing to have the most talked about campaigns.
This blog was written by Bailey Holtham, Thomas Penhearow, Mary Pollard and James Woodbine.
10. Aldi’s 2017 ‘Kevin the Carrot’
Aldi’s 2017 ‘Kevin the Carrot’ advert was released to critical acclaim for both the originality and comedic value of the video.
The advert shows Kevin risk his life by traversing a table of Aldi food to save his love interest – a fellow carrot – from being hit by petit pois. The high production quality of the video in addition to its originality makes this video one of the most memorable adverts from the past 5 years!
9. Edeka Weihnachtsclip – #heimkommen
German Supermarket Edeka released its heart-breaking advert that depicts an old gentleman at Christmas alone. The man’s children make excuses not to see him and say they will try harder next year; as a result, he fakes his own death to bring them together at Christmas. Although the advert has a somewhat ominous tone initially, viewers were largely brought to tears by the message of togetherness and humility. As with many adverts, the notion of spending time with those who are important to our lives is emphasised.
8. McDonalds 1980 – Ronald McDonald Ice skates
In 1980, McDonalds released the ‘Ronald McDonald’ advert, which showed the face of the brand teaching young children how to skate on ice. However, there is one child who does not know how to, and so, Ronald takes him on the skate of his life (much to the joy of the young boy). The advert highlights the notion of helping others during the Christmas period and spreading joy even through the little things that we can do!
7. John Lewis 2014 – Monty the Penguin
John Lewis’ ‘Monty the Penguin’ advert is the first from the brand to be included in our top 10 list. The advert depicts a young boy and his companion, a penguin, who longs for a partner in its life at Christmas. As the two go on adventures together, the penguin is dismayed at the affection of couples as it does not experience it itself. However, on Christmas day a new penguin is unwrapped and the two become friends (the penguins were both plush toys but in the boy’s mind they were real). This extremely heart-warming advert evokes the sense of compassion and the notion that Christmas should be spent with those who we cherish – family and friends.
6. Asda 2018 – Christmas Landslide
Asda has recently released its Christmas ad that depicts a “landslide” of festivities. It is not only memorable, but promotes the brand in a way that demonstrates how its products can satisfy all sorts of demographics. Within the video, waitresses on skis, a family dinner on a moving platform and children running down the snowy slope all add to the joyful atmosphere of the piece. The advert is not only produced to a high standard, but it also adds that quintessential element of Christmas cheer!
5. Coca Cola 1995 – Holidays Are Coming
The original Coca-Cola Christmas truck advert was released in 1995 and has prompted a popular yearly tradition of the trucks traversing the world to promote the brand. The advert also introduced the song ‘I’d like to teach the world to sing’ which has been commonly used in it’s Christmas promotions. The song provides a festive overtone to kick-start the festive period!
Within the ad, the idyllic trucks pass through a rural area which causes the Christmas lights to turn on. This subtly infers that Coca-Cola brightens up the festive period. Although this principle is repeated year on year, it does not fail to create a buzz, and often signifies the kick-off of Christmas.
4. Irn-Bru 2006 – Snowman
Irn Bru’s 2006 ‘Snowman’ themed advert was met with critical acclaim with many considering it one of the best adverts ever aired in the UK. Audiences in Scotland were especially excited for the video as Irn Bru Christmas ads are considered on par with that of M&S and John Lewis! The use of the 1982 classic Christmas feel-good film emphasises the timelessness of the festive period and the Irn Bru soft drink. The video featured the memorable ‘Walking in the air’ tune with a modern comedic take on sharing drinks with family and friends. Throughout the ad, the snowman grows increasingly restless with the boys’ unwillingness to share his Irn Bru drink, he then proceeds to drop the kid (who landed safely) to drink the last of the beverage.
3. John Lewis 2013 – Bear and the Hare
John Lewis released their “Bear and The Hare” advert in 2013 which evoked a massive buzz throughout social media. The video was met with 212,000 mentions on Twitter compared to that of Sainsbury’s 38,000 (who was the second best in terms of social media post volume). Many viewers gushed about the humble hare and how he wanted to wake his friend, the bear, during his hibernation so that he could enjoy Christmas with the other animals. ‘Give someone a Christmas they’ll never forget’ was the hard-hitting punchline at the end of the video – it provokes the spreading of Christmas cheer throughout the UK. The video was complemented by the heart wrenching rendition of the classic ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ by Lily Allen which adds a spritely atmosphere to the ad.
2. Marks and Spencer 2017 – Paddington
M&S’ legendary reputation as one of the best Christmas advert creators held true in 2017 with their Paddington Bear collaborative advert. The promotion is not only well produced, but also appealing to all audiences due to their collaboration with Paddington Bear. Paddington not only evokes nostalgia for older audiences, but also familiarity with younger viewers due to the acclaimed movie series. Throughout the advert, a busted Christmas robber is mistaken for Santa Claus by Paddington and both go on an adventure to deliver the stolen gifts to their respective owners. The heart-warming ad reiterates the message of giving during the festive period. Yet again, a high quality production from M&S demonstrates their dedication to the winter season!
1. Sainsburys’ 2014 – Christmas Truce
Sainsburys’ “Christmas Truce” advert was one of the most poignant in recent memory. With the emotive overtone of Silent Night sung by both sides of the trenches, it reminds us of both how fortunate we are and just how much we should cherish those close to us. The tagline ‘Christmas is for sharing’ emphasises the message of helping others; this is also complemented with the British Legion being credited within the video in order to highlight the poppy appeal and to remember those who are fighting abroad currently and those who have fought in the First World War (1914-1918).