John Lewis Is Out – Which Other Xmas Ads Will Have You Bouncing?
Christmas time is when brands are told to unleash their imaginations, and budgets, on the biggest, brightest and most bawl-worthy ads they can make.
With the festive ad race already heating up with the launch of John Lewis’s ad today, we thought we would provide an overview of some of the best Christmas campaigns released so far.
Though they may not feature bouncing dogs and cuddly creatures, a lot of quality ads have already been released this festive season – including a blockbusting trailer from Burberry and yeti-filled spot from Argos.
Burberry: “The Tale of Thomas Burberry” – 7/10
It’s probably no surprise that luxury purveyors Burberry would be behind the year’s ‘prestige’ Christmas advert. More a condensed biopic than an advert, ‘The Tale of Thomas Burberry’ has all the hallmarks of an Oscar contender, with an all-star cast, including Domhnall Gleeson and Sienna Miller, and ‘Senna’ director Asif Kapadia behind the camera.
If you like your Christmas ads glossy and self-serious, look no further.
GAME: “GAME Paid Me To Make This” – 6/10
Certainly not as festive as the other entries on this list, GAME’s self-effacing ad wins on humour alone. Piggybacking on Inbetweeners’ actor James Buckley and his popular YouTube gaming channel, the spot finds Buckley self-consciously ‘selling out’ for free merch.
It’s the kind of hip, ironic trick that Ricky Gervais has previously pulled in ad campaigns, but gaming and comedy fans should find something to like here.
Argos: “Yetis” – 7/10
As imaginary creatures go, Yetis are infamously shy, reclusive and blurry on camera. Not so with Argos’ festive Yetis, who star in the retailer’s high-energy Christmas spot.
Zipping around a snowy town in rollerskates, these technicolour monsters gather up an array of consumer goods left sitting. Oh, did we also mention it’s a musical? Yes, it’s a musical.
IKEA: “My Son” – 8/10
IKEA France go straight for the heartstrings with their family-oriented spot, “Mon Fils” (My Son). The short ad finds a young son helping his mother with her shopping rounds at everyone’s favourite flat pack-sofa/meatball emporium.
We won’t spoil the twist, but it’s precisely the kind of Gonna-Reach-For-The-Tissues spot that performs so well at this time of year.
Barbour: “The Snowman And The Snowdog” 8/10
Following Sainsbury’s ingenious decision to adapt a classic children’s story for their 2015 campaign, Barbour have followed a similar tactic this round. Updating ‘The Snowman’ for the 21st century, the iconic producer of waxed jackets and other country garments present ‘The Snowman And The Snowdog’.
With a charming story and a sumptuous animation style, it certainly has the potential to perform well this Christmas season.
DFS: “#sofaexperts” – 5/10
Speaking of animation, DFS go all ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ with this year’s spot, creating a cast of adorable claymation workers to explain their sofa-building process.
As its slightly unimaginative title suggests, the ad is a little lacking in spark or excitement, and it’s hard to see this being shared widely on the social web. That being said, stop-motion sofas have never looked so good.
Currys: “Unsubtle Hints” – 8/10
Among this early crop of Christmas ads, Currys has come out swinging with one of the funniest. ‘Unsubtle hints’ takes the familiar setting of a school nativity play – makeshift manger and all – and shows what happens when parents go to any length to drop clues about their desired Christmas present.
As a short, snappy sketch, it works well and it’s encouraging to see brands trying to make us laugh.
Aldi: “Kevin The Carrot” – 9/10
One of the best (and most-shared) spots of the season, Aldi’s ‘Kevin the Carrot’ is a Christmas stand-out. A beautifully animated short, the spot finds an anthropomorphized carrot making the treacherous trip across the dining room table, in hopes of meeting Santa himself.
With shades of Seth Rogen’s raunchy animation ‘Sausage Party’, this spot combines style and story with aplomb. Just don’t ask what happens to Kevin at the end.
Grey Goose: “Lumiere” – 6/10
For viewers more interested in the office party, eggnog-chugging side of Christmas, Grey Goose is here to provide an adult alternative. Featuring a cast of beautiful young professionals gathering in a wintry cabin for a party, they watch as an old freight plane lays Christmas in criss-cross patterns across the forest. It may be an ecological nightmare, but it certainly looks pretty.
Temptations: “Keep Them Busy” – 8/10
As we’re always saying, cute animals rarely go amiss online. Pet food brand Temptations have certainly learned this lesson, enlisting an army of housecats to destroy an immaculately-prepared Christmas living room.
Hilariously edited to a thrash metal soundtrack, the ad will likely hit home for anyone who’s ever had their present wrapping ruined by furry friends. With over 10,000 shares, these kittens are already off to a strong start.