‘Tis the season to be jolly. ‘Tis also the season for festive Christmas adverts 2016; and as usual, they are coming in thick and fast. Although they’re designed to pull on our heartstrings and get us spending money, it’s the one time of the year that we are tolerant of advertising. In fact, most of us actually seem to enjoy Christmas adverts with a high degree of sentiment.
Who can blame us though? They get better every single year. This year, the usual suspects delivered some well-thought-out and clever storylines, whilst some unusual faces popped up with a touch of class that had us in awe of their ingenuity.
Sainsbury’s raised the bar this year with a captivating three-and-a-half-minute musical illustration which makes light of the chaotic nature of Christmas. The storyline features a man who is stumbling through the December madness. Interestingly, this video is the most viewed Christmas advert on YouTube so far with just under 14 million views so far.
Among the great unexpected Christmas adverts of this year was Heathrow Airport. Throughout their 70 years, Heathrow have been reconnecting people with their loved ones; and none more so than at Christmas. The minute-long video features an animation of two teddy bears arriving at Heathrow after coming home from their travels. The clip finishes off with a heart-warming message: ‘Coming home – the best gift of all’.
Barbour joined in the festivities with a nostalgic rendition of The Snowman and The Snowdog. The minute-long clip is a remix of the original story, featuring a young boy having a flashback. His trip down memory lane takes him to a Christmas in the past, where he received a gift from Santa. The gift was his pet dog; a gift he would end up keeping for life. Hence the campaign tagline: ‘Gifts they’ll always remember’.
Coca-Cola is just about the only brand who can get away with running the same advert every year, and still hold the same level of prestige. As always, the itinerary remains the same. The overly excited child chases the iconic Coca-Cola truck as it makes its way through twinkling lights of the town towards the fixated crowd of people awaiting its arrival. Most of us would agree, it wouldn’t be Christmas without the Coca-Cola adverts. After all, it was Coca-Cola that turned Santa from green to red.
Swegway made their mark this year by putting a humorous spin on Christmas. Their advert features a young boy who longs to own the ultimate gadget, pointing and hinting to his dad as Christmas fast approaches. When the big day arrives, the young boy is in luck. He tears open the wrapping paper to discover his dream toy. He unboxes the Swegway to ride it for the first time, but Dad has other ideas. Never has there been a more appropriate time to say ‘We’re all kids when it comes to Christmas’.
Every year, the marketing department at John Lewis never fail to deliver something extraordinary, and this year was certainly no exception. The advert tells the story of a little girl who loves to bounce. When her parents buy her a trampoline for Christmas, they soon discover that she isn’t only one with a passion for jumping. As it turns out, the family pet Buster the Boxer dog can’t resist a bounce too. Their message: ‘gifts that everyone will love’.
H&M are hardly strangers when it comes to writing enchanting short stories, and this years’ Christmas advert is one that deserves mentioning. The storyline depicts a train driver who makes the announcement to his passengers: bad weather means they won’t be home for Christmas. So instead, the train driver decides to host Christmas on board. He invites everyone to the back coach of the train, where a child with wide eyes is greeted by the train driver and his staff. A touching story enriched by the tagline ‘Come together’.
House of Fraser
House of Fraser bucked the trend of traditional story-telling with their abstract video featuring choreographed dancing with an artistic flare. The bold contrasting colours and energetic soundtrack make for a vivid and memorable viewing experience, and it certainly stands out from the rest. The messaging behind the advert is clear: the festive flurry is inescapable, and whether you like it or not, Christmas is coming for you.
As Burberry celebrated its 160th anniversary, they felt that this was the ideal time to tell the tale of its founder, Thomas Burberry. The story is inspired by the ground-breaking discoveries of Mr. Burberry, and revisits key events and landmarks which shaped the company’s history. It’s the only advert which doesn’t directly reference Christmas, a daring move which pays testament to Burberry’s confidence in themselves as a prestigious brand.