Ever since the early days of Coca Cola’s Christmas ads, the holiday season has been closely associated with high-budget advertising campaigns and brands in general. But over recent years, the annual array of Christmas adverts have become somewhat of a spectacle for UK consumers.
For us marketers it’s even more exciting. Much like the Superbowl, we get to see brands go head-to-head with multi-million-pound advertising budgets, competing to produce an advert that consumers will simply go wild for. Think John Lewis’ ‘Man On The Moon’ advert from 2015.
Whilst the vast majority of these adverts won’t get anywhere near the recognition of John Lewis’, there really is something about watching Christmas ads that puts you right in the festive spirit.
Below, we round up some of the best Christmas adverts from 2018.
Lidl launched three separate short Christmas adverts this year, following the story of ‘Upgrading your Christmas’. As always, the ads are right up Lidl’s street with some tongue-in-cheek storylines (my personal favourite was Nigel – upgrading his Christmas by importing snow from the north pole. Big mistake). I also love the catchphrase ‘Make Christmas a Lidl special’.
Boots’ Christmas advert will be sure to touch the hearts of mothers and daughters across the UK; following the ups and downs of a mother’s relationship with her daughter in the run up to Christmas. Their rendition of Robbie Williams’ ‘She’s The One’ works pretty well too, changing the lyrics to ‘She’s Me Mum’.
I’m kind of disappointed that I didn’t get to see this advert being filmed first-hand; it certainly looks like a lot of fun! Asda’s 2018 Christmas advert can only be described as ‘festive carnage’; featuring motorbikes, snowmobiles, yetis, and even Santa with his very own Christmas-pudding-cannon. Asda also does a pretty good job at aligning the advert with its message of ‘Bringing Christmas home’, even using the song ‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)’.
Historically, Amazon hasn’t really been a major player in the Christmas advertising scene. But in the last few years, the e-commerce giant’s adverts have definitely lived up to its name. This feel-good advert follows singing delivery boxes on their journey from the Amazon warehouse to consumers around the UK. This ad gets you right in the Christmas spirit and the Amazon team does a good job at subtly featuring its branding throughout.
Marks & Spencer
Marks & Spencer is one of those brands that just is Christmas. Its Christmas advert has lived up to the hype again this year, with Holly Willoughby sharing some of the different things we “must have” at Christmas. From a videography point of view, there are some really cool transitions too, which I love. M&S has also seemed to have taken a new approach to its marketing strategy over the last few months, pushing pretty hard with its social advertising campaigns ahead of Christmas. So, hats off to its marketing team.
Following Heathrow Airport’s ‘Bair’ family once again, this advert follows the story of two bears coming home to see their family for Christmas. Makes sense for an airport. This ad really does give you the Christmas feels and reminds you how important it is to spend time with family around the holidays.
This advert made it to the list solely for the star performance by the kid dressed as a plug (known on social media as ‘plug boy’), launching himself into a plug socket to light up the Christmas tree. It’s also an ad that I’m sure a lot of parents can relate to, building a story around ‘The Big Night’; a school nativity play.
This year’s John Lewis Christmas advert follows the story of Elton John (a very tenuous connection to ‘John’ Lewis, but oh well). It may not live up to some of the other John Lewis ads, but this is still a great advert with a lovely message; “Some gifts are more than just a gift”. Saying that, Lidl’s response on Twitter was ten times better than the ad itself.
Currys PC World
As a tech fan I do love this one. Currys/PC World reimagines a traditional Christmas with a load of tech including smart speakers, drones, carol singers using iPads and even a couple of hoverboards. Good to see that it’s not just the big supermarkets getting in on the Christmas advert action this year.
When you think of Christmas, you probably won’t think ‘Twitter’. But this advert had to make the list. It follows the story of John Lewis – no, not the retail store but the unfortunate man with the @JohnLewis Twitter handle. As you can imagine, he receives an endless stream of messages from John Lewis customers around the festive season, making it his mission to reply to them all. Just take a watch. Check out his Twitter profile too, it really is amazing.
The BBC’s Christmas ‘film’ follows the story of a mother and her son in a small coastal town in Norfolk. We’re not going to give away any spoilers, but it’s a great story about the importance of making time for family at Christmas. Another one that really does put you in a festive mood.
All in all, it’s been another strong performance from the top brands this Christmas. What was your favourite Christmas ad this year? Why not drop a comment below or let us know on Twitter or Instagram?
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