Aside from the food and presents, Christmas is all about the music. Whether it’s a well-versed church choir, carollers on our doorstep or the groans of Shane MacGowan on our radio, this time of year has a set list as long as the build-up to the big day.
And it seems the Christmas ads of 2019 are singing from the same hymn sheet too, deploying festive choruses as the vocal point of their creative endeavours.
In a bid to outdo last year’s efforts brands have thrown more resources behind these prized films and that should come as no surprise. If you’re serious about maximising customer spend during the festive period, your Christmas ad can be a springboard for success. Market research company Kantar believe these ads are essential to seasonal success, estimating consumers will spend £30bn in the lead up to Christmas.
Here are this year’s best ads:
Ikea ‘Silence The Critics’ 5/5
Flying in the face of convention, the Swedish furniture store proved they aren’t tone deaf. They enlist the unmistakable bars of grime MC D Double E to voice inanimate objects intent on shaming homeowners about their interior décor mishaps. Ikea demonstrate that they understand the nuances of culture, and the results are incredible. Neither Ikea nor D Double E come away from this collaboration compromised – each stay true to their principles, resulting in one of the most memorable festive ads in recent memory… BLUKUBLUKU!
KFC ‘Good luck’ 5/5
You might think there isn’t a market for fast food brands to get in on the action, but KFC show that Christmas really is for everyone. In true KFC style, where no meat can compare to chicken coated in their 11 herbs and spices, they detail everything that could go wrong with cooking a turkey in five 10 second animated ads. Funny and hyperbolic, the series of ads explore everything from a tough turkey to a bird too big for the oven. “Good luck on the 25th. Until then, we’ve got you” perfectly captures the mood of the advert and caps off an excellent year for KFC and their marketing output.
John Lewis ‘Excitable Edgar’ 4.5/5
These days, the John Lewis Christmas ad is met with as much anticipation as a Scorsese film featuring Al Pacino and De Niro. So how did this year’s effort fare? Pretty darn good it turns out. Excitable Edgar – an adorable dragon whose enthusiasm for Christmas nearly sparks disaster – takes his place as the town’s designated Christmas pudding-lighter, with the help of his friend Ava. The ad is heart-warming, endearing and really gets you in the feels.
Lidl ‘A Christmas you can believe in’ 4/5
Lidl’s ad is beautiful in its simplicity; ‘A Christmas you can believe in’ hits the right tone. There is no opulence or supernatural element to make mere mortals feel inadequate about their festive preparation – it’s real, authentic and doable! Too often parents or in-laws are made to feel bad because their hard work doesn’t live up to the highest of expectations. Lidl strip back the excess and expectation to remind us all of the key ingredients to a great Christmas: family, friends and fun.
Walker’s ‘All I Want for Christmas’ 3.5/5
Now this certainly isn’t the most inventive ad, but props must be given to Walker’s. Rather than employing an artist at a discount rate to cover Mariah Carey’s Christmas banger, Walker’s drafted in Mimi herself to do it. Shot on the set of a music video, Carey gives surrounding staff self-centred gifts that only she could get away with; it’s self-deprecating humour at its best! And with a reported £500k pocketed in royalties from the UK alone each Christmas, no wonder it’s Mariah’s favourite time of year.
Which Christmas ad has stolen the show for you this year? Do you agree with our festive shortlist? If not, which ad should have been featured on our list? Let us know your thoughts @otbtweeter