Some of our writers get together to talk about some of their favourite Christmas adverts this year. From humorous parodies, heartwarming romps and a whole lot of Christmas spirit, check out the adverts winning Christmas this year.
John Lewis & Partners – Give A Little Love
A classic advert on every television set come Christmastime is brought by John Lewis. They have the most impressive calling card for emotional and poignant and are an important part of the festive season for many people. While there have been slightly underwhelmed response to the advert for this year, I would argue that this is unjustified.
The story follows the effects of just a single act of kindness and that it manages to travel far beyond what we would imagine. The trope of love and selfless acts is not only relevant at Christmas but especially relevant now during the unexpected and turbulent times. The advert doesn’t shy away from showing coronavirus and its effects, using them as a way to portray how our kindness still emerges despite personal difficulties. Neighbours reach out to one another, inspiring togetherness and friendship in moments when it might be easy to forget that there is still a whole world out there.
But it’s not just the obvious moral to the advert that makes it particularly important. The arts have obviously struggled massively this year with many in the industry facing closures across the country. John Lewis’ advert features 8 different art styles, commissioning work from many who would otherwise be struggling, and also features an original song by Celeste. The advert is used as a place to celebrate the arts and shouldn’t be downplayed as it is a reminder that they, as well as kindness, should not be forgotten and traded in.
– Emily Dennis
Lidl – Big On Christmas you can believe in (2020)
Christmas adverts are all the rage during the Holiday season, and this year is no different. Yet, over the years, there’s always been an emerging of tropes dominating adverts, from iconic caricatures or characters and their adventures to cheap tactics of making us sad to pull at the heartstrings. Over time these adverts often become quite convoluted in trying to establish the Christmas spirit and trying to get us to spend our money at different places, and it’s something that Lidl seems all too aware of. As a parody of adverts, for me, Lidl wins Christmas this year by inverting tropes and mocking competition in a friendly way that’s still in the spirit of Christmas. It’s designed to uplift and put a smile on your face during a really tough year, and it succeeds in doing just that. With a catchy song that spurts out lyrics like “emotional gravy, that potato looks nice” or “we don’t need cutesy characters when carrots taste this good” (I see what you did there Lidl, and I’m sure Aldi saw it too); it’s something simple and yet special. It gets a smile on your face and celebrates some Christmas spirit, all the time drawing you in with some self-aware product placement.
– Sam Pegg
Notonthehighstreet – The Magic of Small Things
As the first advert from Notonthehighstreet in the last three years – featuring many gifts that you can purchase on their site – the company focuses their ad on togetherness and little acts of kindness, from making a hot chocolate for your grandma to tucking in someone who had fallen asleep in the armchair after eating too much turkey. There is no glitz or glamour about it like the John Lewis advert, but that’s what makes it special. Although presents are nice, it is about the company you have around you that really makes Christmas. This ad celebrates the importance of supporting local businesses as they have been hit the hardest with a turbulent 2020… Thanks, COVID!
After lockdown one and now lockdown two just finished, all we really want is to see our family as, after all, 2020 has sucked. The pets are also incredibly cute in the advert and are also family members which fill my heart with so my joy too. Personally, I cannot wait to see my cat this Christmas after a very long year and to spoil her rotten with a new toy from Notonthehighstreet.
– Jo Lisney
Coca-Cola – Coca-Cola Christmas Advert 2020
An object synonymous with Christmas is the Coca-Cola truck. A company who is able to alter the colour of Santa Claus’ must be a titan in the festive game. While the actual truck and its tour have been cancelled this year, Coca-Cola is still insistent that ‘Holidays are coming’ with their Christmas advert for this year.
Starting with a father leaving his family to go and work on a rig over the Christmas period. His daughter passes him a letter, addressed to Santa Claus, just before he leaves with the hope that he will be able to send it off on the postal boat in time. As our father enjoys his lunch on the rig, he sees the letter again and chases the postal boat, but to no avail. He is then stranded in the ocean, which is the beginning of his own epic journey to deliver the letter straight to the letterbox of Father Christmas himself.
While the majority of the advert ups the cringe-rating to something beyond recognition, it all collapses into a pile of understanding with the crescendo of the piece. Certainly catching me off-guard, Coca-Cola‘s message is, ‘This Christmas, give something only you can give,’ one that is powerful and rich with love. It is often too easy to forget that it is what this season is all about. The advert ends with the gentle twinkle of the jingle. Cue tears.
– Emily Dennis
Sainsbury’s – Gravy Song
One company that has consistently hit it out of the park with their Christmas adverts is Sainsbury’s, always managing to do something new. In 2018, it was that iconic children themed The Big Night and 2014 saw the heartwarming (and devastating contextually) WWI themed 1914. This year, however, Sainsbury’s released three home-video-esque adverts, one being the wrongly controversial Gravy Song. Centring on a phone call between a father and daughter on the lead up the Christmas, the advert uses home-captured videos to create a nostalgic advert centered on the celebration of Christmas as a father soon breaks out in his Gravy Song. It’s an advert filled with a passion and spirit, that has incited rage from racists (but we don’t care about them). It’s genuinely such a lovely and heartwarming advert that again just creates a feeling of Christmas warmth that we can’t get enough of.
– Sam Pegg