christmas 2


While a relatively recent phenomenon, the Christmas ad has become a yuletide tradition. Every year, Britain’s biggest brands compete for our affections in a ‘Battle Royale’ of festive advertising.


Our answer to America’s Super Bowl Ad has become increasingly competitive over the years. Lavish production values, stirring soundtracks and celebrity appearances are all to be expected. Let’s see what’s in Santa’s sack this year, shall we?

1. John Lewis

John Lewis are the masters of the Christmas ad. We’ve become accustomed to them tugging on our heart strings, but this year’s effort takes a more playful approach. A young boy buys what he thinks is the seed of a Christmas tree. Instead, it grows into a gigantic Venus flytrap!


John Lewis’ over-reliance on sentimentality has started to feel a bit cloying in recent years, so they should be applauded for freshening up the formula. But will the nation take the truculent ‘Snapper’ to their hearts? He might find it hard to win over traditionalists, but youngsters are sure to enjoy his anarchic streak!


Michael Buble has achieved worldwide fame and is well known for his silky-smooth renditions of the Christmas songbook. But in this ad, he takes on a new challenge as Asda’s ‘Chief Quality Control Officer’.


Going down the celebrity route can feel forced or gimmicky. However, the humour in Asda’s script and self-awareness of Buble’s performance has enough charm to warm the cockles of Scrooge himself. Plus, the endline, “Make Your Christmas Incredi-buble” is an absolute zinger!

3. Marks & Spencers

M&S are eschewing typical heart-warming sentiments this Christmas. Their message? Put yourself first and avoid all the things you hate about the festive season! Unfortunately for the High Street giant, their ad has been criticised online for “sticking two fingers up” to traditional Christmas values.


Despite the controversy it’s a well-produced spot. And if we’re being honest, most of us have moments later in life when aspects of Christmas feel a bit tiresome. In amongst the usual bombardment of idyllic yuletide imagery, a bit of cynicism makes for a refreshing change!

4. Shelter

Maddy believes if she’s ‘Good as Gold’ she can get what she wants for Christmas and it’s hard not to get swept up in her infectious spirit. Sadly, this makes the tonal shift in the last part of the ad even starker as we learn her wish hasn’t come true.


Most of us will be looking forward to enjoying Christmas with our family in the warmth of our home.  But this won’t be the case for Maddie. Shelter’s Christmas ad is a devastatingly crafted and will linger in the mind long after you’ve watched it.

5. Aldi

This year, Aldi’s Kevin the carrot is taking the lead role in a seasonal tribute to Roald Dahl’s classic ‘Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory’. However, instead of chocolate, William Conker’s factory features rivers of gravy and ‘Trumpeting Sprouts’ in place of Oompa-Loompas!


Humorously, the ad also features fruit and veg versions of the spoiled children in Dahl’s book; a “greedy, gluttonous grape”, a “sulky, sour rhubarb”, and a “spoiled little spout”.

Riding on the coattails of a literary classic (and the buzz around big budget Christmas film ‘Wonka’), Aldi’s effort is sure to solidify Kevin’s status as a festive favourite.

5. JD

This ‘Christmas’ ad for JD is something of an outlier in that it features very little in the way of traditional Christmas festivities. In fact, the closest it gets is a few fleeting shots of a family enjoying Christmas dinner together. Instead, the star of the show is a bag. But it’s not just any bag; it’s the iconic JD duffle bag!


Previously, JD have packed their Christmas ads with stars, and this one features a smattering of more underground names like rappers Kano and Central Cee. However, most of the cast are everyday people, which gives more of a ‘street-level’ vibe. Definitely the hippest Christmas ad you’ll see this year!

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