As a child, the arrival of the two-minute-long Woolworths Christmas advert on TV was the beginning of my Christmas season. Over the years, other retailers competed to make grand Christmas ads.
Nowadays, I don’t sit in front of live TV much, but I still yearn for my annual fix of festive ads. These days, I view them like a box-set binge. Here are the 2018 Christmas adverts I have found so far. I will add more as I find them.
Elton John Lewis – The Boy and the Piano
I like this. In past years, we have had a cartoon rabbit giving a present to a hibernating bear, without any explanation of how a rabbit goes shopping. We have had an old man on the moon staring creepily through a little girl’s bedroom window using a telescope.
This advert is probably doing Elton John’s brand more favours than the John Lewis brand, but it’s a well-crafted story that works back from Elton John the legend to Reg Dwight the boy, getting his first piano as a present. The message is that a gift is more than just a gift. I’m not going to find fault with it, because I think it’s a proper job.
Twitter – John Lewis of Virginia
In this smart callback to the John Lewis advertising, Twitter has teamed up with John Lewis of Virginia, USA, whose Twitter handle is @JohnLewis.
TK Maxx – never-ending stockings
The TK Maxx Christmas campaign links to offline stores, encouraging people to go to stores to search for stockings hidden on shelves. It shows a woman who finds one such magical stocking and begins sharing gifts with her family throughout the year.
Amazon ad – can you feel it
The Amazon boxes are back in full voice, singing out loud for those feeling the festive spirit. Amazon wants to encourage us all to use the hashtag #singingboxes.
Sainsbury’s – The Big Night
You know those many X-Factor or Britain’s Got Talent clips where a nervous person starts off looking like a loser but then bursts into song with rapturous applause? Yeah, that. Sainsbury’s is going for the X-Factor vibe, laced with parental emotion and cute kids. Watch out for the child dressed as an electrical plug slamming into the wall.
Coca Cola – holidays are coming
There’s something daft about Coke’s endless use of lorries delivering Coca Cola to a town. When have you gone into a grocery shop that doesn’t already have Coke in the fridge?
Iceland’s banned Christmas advert
Iceland’s advert has been banned in the UK, so it won’t be broadcast on telly, but the brand is still promoting the advert, which is a political message against the use of palm oil.
Debenhams – do a bit of good
Debenhams is using the hashtag #youknowyoudidgood and #doabitofdebenhams – two hashtags that will happily use up most of the characters in your tweets.
Argos – the Christmas Fool
It’s all going badly, thanks to a tiny Grinch-like creature, until the Argos delivery man turns up to save the day.
Boots Christmas advert
This is a lovely ad, in my opinion. Maybe because I’m a parent, but I think Boots have this one spot on.
Barbour does The Snowman
Barbour uses a trusty old Christmas friend – Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman, to create an updated story. The product placement is subtle but the message with it is clear.
This looks like it was fun to make. So much to look out for in the background. The slogan is everything you need to bring Christmas home.
Tesco – however you do Christmas
Lively and quick, with lots of actors. This one’s worth watching for the expression on the Tesco delivery lady’s face right at the end.
Heathrow Christmas advert
An airport? Running a Christmas ad? Well, presumably #ChristmasBears will be on sale in airport Duty Free shops, to pay for it.
What’s your M&S Christmas favourite?
People (or pretend people?) talking about their favourite foods. Quick edits, great pace, and lots of great food photography.
Waitrose – all about the mince pies
I like this. Simple, fun and to the point.
Aldi – Kevin the Carrot is back
Perhaps this is Aldi’s way of saying its veg has a long shelf life. Kevin the Carrot is back this year – this time with a Wicked Parsnip trying to steal his crown.