It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And for the retail industry, it’s by far the most lucrative. And whilst there’s plenty of things to get excited about at Christmas (namely parties, guilt-free carb-loading, parties, days off and more parties) festive TV ads are up there. Whether it’s John Lewis’ Bear and the Hare or Shirley Bassey and her mates going all Bond girl for M&S, Christmas TV ads have become a talking point in the past few years. Take a look at our pick of the best of the big-hitters this year.
Never let it be said that an advert can’t take you on an emotional roller coaster. Waitrose’s tale of a robin who goes on the adventure of a lifetime, across stormy seas and sprawling landscapes all to get a taste of one of the store’s fancy mince pies, is like a movie trailer. The moral of the story? Be nice. Be kind. Help each other out and you’ll get your reward.
Sainsbury’s ad divides people as soon as it begins: soundtracked by the dulcet tones of Mr James Corden, who seems to be of the Marmite variety for most, it uses quirky animation to list everything that could go wrong at Christmas but also exactly what makes Christmas the best time of the year, and that’s family time. And it’s all in aid of Great Ormond Street. Lovely.
Paddington? Keep him. Winnie the Pooh? Who? It’s all about Edward Bair and his lady friend as they arrive home from their holidays in Heathrow Airport’s new ad. Just as you’re falling in love with the cute pair, as Edward fumbles with his glasses in order to read the signs or knocks over a shortbread display in duty free (he is a laugh a minute) they are met with their grandkids and it turns out they’re regular old Nan and Grandad from Lewisham or somewhere just as mundane (probably) Adorable nonetheless.
The only ad in the list that isn’t trying to flog you anything, the World Wildlife Fund have released this one to encourage people to donate to the charity and try and protest one of the planet’s most majestic, but endangered, animals: the tiger. The clip sees a family nursing an injured tiger back to health, before releasing it back into the wild. Both poignant and unsettling that these beautiful creatures could become extinct in the very near future, it’s stunning.
Probably the least sentimental of the bunch, TK Maxx has gone for comedy rather than schmaltz. The family in the ad are propped around the piano in a seemingly traditional scene, before launching into a rather-hilarious acapella rendition of Misirlou, aka the iconic Pulp Fiction song, gargling granny and all. A firm favourite of ours from the car boot sale of the high street.
Our favourite of the whole bunch. In the current climate, where hatred is rife and hope sometimes stifled, this one from Amazon is particularly poignant. It shows the friendship between a Christian vicar and a Muslim Imam and how we’re all not as different as you might think. It went viral on premiering and rightly so. Let’s all show a little more compassion this Christmas.
Marks and Spencer
M&S has a reputation of really pulling it out of the stocking when it comes to their ad campaigns throughout the year. But Christmas always brings out the best in them. Remember Shirley Bassey slaying Get This Party Started with her gaggle of supermodel pals? Iconic. This year’s effort isn’t quite as memorable but it’s chic nonetheless and sees Mrs claus taking matters into her own hands #GirlPower.
The one everyone anticipates every year, impressing customers is always a tall order for John Lewis. They’ve given us the Bear and the Hare, the super-cute penguins, the snowman love story and the Man in the Moon, who quite frankly, was a bit creepy. This year, it’s all about an energetic boxer dog named Buster who just wants to get involved with his little girl owner’s new trampoline, all soundtracked by a beautiful cover of One Day I’ll Fly Away by Vaults. Who can resist a naughty puppy? SOMEONE WITH A HEART OF STONE, THAT’S WHO.