Is it just us, or is Christmas coming earlier and earlier every year? It certainly seems that way as both John Lewis and Coca-Cola have already dropped their legendary ads earlier than usual this month due to ‘growing demand for an earlier festive season’.
So, seeing as it’s pretty much officially Christmas already (apparently), we’re donning our jumpers, cracking out the mince pies and planning our famous Christmas video (more on that later!). But until then, we’re getting some inspiration by watching some of our old favourite ads. Here are our top 10!
- John Lewis – Buster the Boxer (2016) Who can forget Buster and his mates jumping up and down on a trampoline?
- Heathrow – Coming Home for Christmas (2017) The heartwarming tale of two teddy bears going home for Christmas… but who are they really?
- Marks & Spencer – This is not just… (2006) Just thinking about this one makes us hungry.
- SuperValu Ireland – Is he coming? (2020) A rogue entry sure but hear us out. This one actually made us cry last year
- John Lewis – Monty the Penguin (2014) A heart-warming story about a boy and his penguin. What’s not to love?!
- Yellow Pages – Mistletoe (1992) If this one doesn’t bring back all the Christmas nostalgia, you’re either the grinch or we’re just old.
- Aldi – Kevin the Carrot (2017) Who doesn’t like Kevin the Carrot?!
- Sainsbury’s – 1914 (2014) Inspired by the true events, the ‘Christmas Truce’ during the First World War in 1914.
- John Lewis – The Long Wait (2011) The best John Lewis one in our eyes.
- Coca-Cola – Holidays are Coming (1995) As it’s the one ad that is hailed by many as the official start of the festive season, there couldn’t be any other spot than number one.
So, what do you think of our list, did we get it right? Even if you disagree (which you can’t, we’ve checked and this is definitely correct), you’ll probably notice that they all have a few things in common. So, what is the Christmas ad magic formula?
Evoke an emotional reaction. Whether the advert is intended to make you laugh, tug on the ol’ heart strings or leave you with a warm, fuzzy feeling of nostalgia, the good ones make you feel something.
Tell a story. We want to go on a journey!
Pack it full of cultural references. It’s important to have things that the audience recognises in Christmas ads to build on that all important feeling of nostalgia.
Make it about the brand, not the product. Yes, all ads are ultimately about selling but it would be a huge mistake for a Christmas ad to all be about the product when consumers are all too aware of the ‘over-commercialisation’ of Christmas. Ads that do best tend to focus on the ‘true meaning of Christmas’ instead and work on making audiences remember their brand through emotions.
A killer soundtrack. You know an ad is a good one when its soundtrack gets to number one.