Brands and agencies have been working away in their Santa’s grottos all year long and they’re finally ready to show off what they’ve made.
That’s right, it’s Christmas ads time – and with the launch of Apple’s ad yesterday, we thought it was about time we looked back 2017’s bumper crop of adorable, funny and, occasionally, moving spots.
As ever, 2017’s ads cover all manner of genres and styles, from nostalgic storybook adaptations to goofy karaoke sing-alongs. While it may be too early to judge winners for this year’s festive face-off, we’re here to break down which brands are already making their presence known this Christmas.
The buzz began early for John Lewis’ blockbuster entry ‘Moz The Monster’, a sweet paean to childhood insomnia and imaginary friends which has already garnered over 8 million views. While the campaign’s trajectory has been marred slightly by accusations of plagiarism, this Michel Gondry-directed delight lives up to the retailer’s reputation for simple, lovable characters.
Taking a similar tactic, rivals Marks & Spencer released a wonderfully whimsical Paddington Bear story to coincide with the big screen sequel. The lesson? Cuddly characters and nostalgia rarely fail.
Speaking of sequels, Aldi return to familiar ground with a follow-up to last year’s hugely popular ‘Kevin The Carrot’ spot. This time around, we get a pastiche of mystery and romance tropes, combined with the familiar Christmas punning.
A similarly ambitious cinematic parody comes in Argos’ ‘Ready For Take Off’, which imagines Santa’s elves as a dramatic mix of NASA flight command and an Amazon delivery centre. When a robot dog falls by the wayside, our intrepid elves must hurry (while deftly parodying about fifteen classic films) to get the toy to its rightful owner.
If this is all a little too fantastical for your tastes, then other brands bring a note of realism. Sainsbury’s charming spot is a confident departure from their previously cinematic output, featuring a mash-up of members of the public (and the occasional celebrity) singing an original song called ‘Every Bit of This’. While Sainsbury’s will be crossing their fingers for a chart-topping single, Waitrose seems determined to win a Palmes D’Or for their beautiful, black & white short ‘Christmas Together’.
Easily one of the most stylish spot on our round-up, the ad follows the misadventures of a group of friends who get snowed into a cozy cottage over Christmas. These are both ads that not only celebrate the small details of the holiday season, but also the simple pleasures of coming together with loved ones. This sort of simple, emotional hook usually spells strong sharing around this time of year.
As we mentioned a the top, Apple released their holiday campaign ‘Sway’ today – a charming ballet-inspired spot which artfully uses Palace by Sam Smith to create a romantic fable just in time for the first snowfall.
Elsewhere, McDonald’s rustles up a surprisingly sweet father-daughter tale, while Debenham’s go slightly off-piste to bring a dazzling recreation of Cinderella to our screens. This season of Christmas advertising may not be done and dusted with icing sugar yet, but it’s going to be hard work to pick a favourite out of such a strong field.