Christmas – everyone’s favourite time of year. As soon as Bonfire Night is over, our premature festive excitement spills over into all facets of life. Festive sandwiches adorn refrigerated supermarket aisles and Michael Bublé takes up his annual residency on our airwaves all in the name of Christmas. A relatively new instalment of this festive madness is the eagerly anticipated release of Christmas adverts from major retailers.
In recent years, these television adverts have been given prime time slots, official previews and have had more money pumped into them than some feature length films. We have cast our expert eyes across these minute masterpieces and ranked our top 5.
1. Heathrow Airport: Follows the bear family which appeared in last year’s advert, but with the theme of ‘coming home’. The retired bear couple now live in Florida Keys but as the 25th approaches they crave a traditional, British family Christmas. This one will get you in the feels for sure. (5/5)
2. Ikea: If you don’t take this advert literally, it’s hard not to see its brilliance. Yes, a man making his home inside a broken elevator is slightly odd but if you look a bit deeper the message is clear. It reminds us all that no one should be alone at Christmas and it’s the time of year to be inclusive to everyone and anyone. (4/5)
3. Tesco: The supermarket has embraced the family debates that arise during the festive period: turkey or goose for meat, which accompanying dishes should be on the plate, whether to go for a walk or laze around on the day, etc. A familiar Christmas experience that everyone can relate to. (4/5)
4. Sainsbury’s: Following on from their below par performance last year, Sainsbury’s have gone above and beyond to ensure they don’t achieve a similarly underwhelming response this year. They have enlisted the expertise of director Michael Gracey to shoot their children’s nativity, delivering an advert that will cause parents to get nostalgic. (4/5)
5. Amazon: Amazon bring their deliveries to life for their advert as their parcels belt out ‘You Can Feel It’ by The Jacksons. It’s quite silly and does little to promote family values or the festive spirit, but it does create a Christmas buzz as millions await their all-important deliveries. (The happy nature of the warehouse workers depicted on screen does little to highlight the depressing reality of being an Amazon employee.) (3/5)
Honourable mention – Iceland: Iceland’s advert unfortunately will not air on television this year due to breaching advertising standards as it has been deemed too political to broadcast. The advert depicts ‘Rang-tan’ an orangutan who draws attention to the amount of palm oil products in our homes that are directly causing the destruction of its habitat. It has been suggested that this was a PR stunt from the supermarket chain, but we’ll let them off as it draws attention to one of the most important issues of our time: the destruction of the environment. (4.5/5)
The other festive adverts that were in the running from the likes of Aldi, Lidl, M&S, etc, do not feature in our top 5 list due to lack of imagination and/or reused ideas from previous years. In Asda’s case, their advert was too obnoxious, and M&S relied too heavily on celebrity names (Holly Willoughby & David Gandy) and their advert had little substance.
John Lewis kept us waiting this year, but was it worth it? Absolutely not. Their advert is essentially an advertisement for Elton John’s upcoming film. Yes, this advert does highlight how a Christmas gift can change the course of a child’s life, however…. is it realistic that families can spend £800 on a Christmas gift? In recent years, John Lewis have captured festivities perfectly with their carefully crafted adverts, but this falls far short of the mark.
Heathrow Airport take the official prize and Iceland cement their place as our unofficial favourite Christmas ad!