Our favourite Christmas adverts of all time

Written by Hayley Paterson


The Christmas countdown is on and that means one thing – the holidays are coming! It also means we get to write about our favourite Christmas adverts of ALL time. So, grab your mulled wine, get snuggled up on the sofa and see what you think to our top 10 Christmas adverts.

COUNTING DOWN OUR TOP CHRISTMAS ADVERTS

10. Mistletoe – Yellow Pages, 1992

A classic. Showing a little chap trying to reach for a kiss under the mistletoe – but being too short, even on his tiptoes – he shows creativity by reaching for a Yellow Pages to stand on.

Why we like it: It underlined, at the time, how dependable a brand like the Yellow Pages was and was able to merge a cute, funny story with its product. Good ol’ Yellow Pages!

 

9. Polish Grandpa English for Beginners – Allegro, 2016

Polish e-commerce platform, Allegro, unleashes an absolute corker of a Christmas advert to showcase not only what it provides, but a relatable and thoroughly heart-warming advert. Featuring a Polish grandad, the advert begins with him opening a package containing a book called ‘English for Beginners’. We see the grandad navigate his way through the trials and tribulations of trying to learn key phrases. But why? Well, he gets to meet his English granddaughter for the first time at Christmas.

Why we like it: It showcases what Allegro is about, brings together families and different nationalities and is truly a warming advert to enjoy over the festive period.

 

8. The Snowman – IRN-BRU, 2011

It wouldn’t be Christmas without The Snowman gracing our television screens. And Scottish-based drink manufacturers, IRN-BRU, uses a cheeky excuse to get its product in its adapted advert – alongside a funny song – as the young boy enjoys the beverage before setting off on a flying adventure with The Snowman… which takes a bit of a sinister turn, admittedly.

Why we like it: It’s clearly obvious IRN-BRU doesn’t take itself too seriously which really appeals to its customer base. There’s plenty of branding throughout without dipping into the ‘overselling’ trap.

 

7. Mrs Claus – M&S, 2016

A wonderful variation on the traditional ‘Father Christmas’, here we get to meet Mrs Claus – a bit of a festive icon. The advert takes a modest twist on the much-loved character as she makes the dreams of little Jake, a reality, as she delivers a package for his big sister, Anna.

Why we like it: Mrs Claus is absolutely on-brand for the kind of demographic M&S appeals to from the age range to her attitude and what she wears. It’s a classy adaptation on the tradition of Father Christmas and we all want to be Mrs Claus’ mate.

 

6. Say hello to Rang-tan #NoPalmOilChristmas – Iceland, 2018

Controversially banned for being ‘too political’, Iceland created an advert with a difference this Christmas. As we meet ‘Rang-tan’ this aminated advert takes a dark turn as it reveals what truly is happening to orangutans in the forest as their homes are being destroyed for palm oil. Giving facts about how many orangutans are killed unnecessarily, Iceland’s advert – although banned – most likely benefited from the PR which surrounded their brave depiction of reality.

Why we like it: As our world continues to evolve, Iceland has tapped into its audience’s need for being better for the planet – from eradicating its plastic waste to committing to having none of its own branded products contain palm oil.

 

5. The Bear and the Hare – John Lewis, 2013

The high-end department stores changed the game a little when it came to getting their messages across to audiences at Christmas time. They’ve invested heavily into their Christmas campaigns ever since too and this one is a favourite in our office. Another animated advert, this time of a woodland tale involving, you guessed it, a bear and a hare, as the latter makes sure his best buddy wakes up from hibernation to experience the magic of Christmas.

Why we like it: A wonderful story, beautifully soundtracked by Lily Allen’s version of ‘Somewhere only we know’, allows the audience to escape and enjoy a tale of two friends looking out for one another. The branding is simple and effective too with a brilliant final line and CTA.

 

4. Holidays are coming – Coca-Cola, 1995

A festive favourite. We’re hard-pressed to find another Christmas advert at this time of year that, as soon as you hear the opening bar that you instantly know what it is. It’s smack on brand too with the red and white tones adorning the trucks alongside an image of Father Christmas enjoying a bottle of Coca-Cola. It’s an advert that is almost associated with ‘the beginning of Christmas’ too.

Why we like it: It’s stood the test of time over 20 years on which shows just how popular and valued it is throughout the generations. We particularly like its simplicity, family feel of the brand and the strapline of, ‘Always Coca-Cola’ too.

 

3. The Greatest Christmas Gift – Sainsbury’s, 2016

Starting out with a relatable storyline featuring a hard-working and devoted dad called Dave, this animated and joyous festive advert comes complete with a rather catchy vocal performance from the multi-talented James Corden. We see Dave realise that the greatest gift he can give people at Christmas, is his time, finishing with the supermarket’s tagline of ‘Christmas is for sharing’.

Why we like it: It just gives us all the feels. What’s not to like about the line, “The greatest gift I can give, is me?” No, you’re crying!

 

2. Reindeer Ready – McDonald’s, 2018

Venturing back to traditions, the advert begins with Father Christmas apologising to his faithful band of reindeers for there being a lack of carrots on offer as he delivers presents to each home. But, after facing yet another mince pie, Father Christmas sees the infamous ‘golden arches’ out of the window and orders carrots from the counter.

Why we like it: It’s humorous, clever and positions McDonald’s as the go-to place. If it’s good enough for Father Christmas, then it’s good enough for us! It also engages the audience with a snappy, ‘Are you #ReindeerReady?’ to continue the conversation on social media.

 

1. 1914 – Sainsbury’s, 2014

Made in partnership with The Royal British Legion and inspired by real events from 100 years ago, 1914 is a perfect Christmas advert for Sainsbury’s target audience and truly relatable to the devastation our countries faced as war was declared. This three-minute film highlights the story of First World War heroes heading into battle and begins with a haunting rendition of Silent Night. But, despite a brutal, life-changing event for so many of our veterans and their families, both sides used Christmas as a time to come together for a one-off truce and a remarkable football match.

Why we like it: It gets to the root of what this time of year is all about, strips it back and makes us remember what is most important to us.

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