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Unwrapping This Year’s Christmas Adverts: A Festive Review

4 min read

The festive season has arrived, bringing a wave of heart-warming, amusing, and thought-provoking Christmas adverts, each competing for our attention. Our Marketing Team took a deep dive into some of this year’s big brand ads, scrutinizing the messages, creativity, and impact of each.

Let’s unwrap our thoughts on these festive showcases!

John Lewis: The Perfect Tree

Kicking off with the much-anticipated John Lewis advert, it’s clear that this year’s TV ad took a departure from their usual style. While the concept of not fitting in resonated, there was a sense of concern amongst the Marketing Team that it may have missed the classic John Lewis touch. 

The focus on product placement towards the end of the ad felt more akin to Argos than the established elegance of John Lewis. However, the team appreciated the attempt to evolve and considered potential refinements, like an alternate ending, inviting the plant to Christmas dinner through the window which could have enhanced the narrative further.

Scores: Mixed reviews across the team, ranging from 6 to 8 out of 10.

Aldi: Kevin and the Christmas Factory

Aldi’s advert, drawing a connection to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, left the team divided. While the clever combination of Aldi products and nods to Willy Wonka were appreciated, the rushed storytelling left some of our team feeling that important details or connections were lost in the rapid narrative pace. 

However, as a whole, we agreed that the advert’s multiple layers provided an element of discovery upon subsequent views without becoming tedious.

Scores: Ranged from 3 to 7 out of 10, showcasing varied opinions.

Tesco: Helping you #BecomeMoreChristmas

Tesco’s ad was a standout, seamlessly transitioning between humour and heartfelt moments. Its ability to evoke laughter and tug at heartstrings struck a chord with the team. The ad cleverly incorporated a diverse range of products while maintaining a relatable touch that resonated across all generations and type of person during the festive period. 

Additionally, the clever use of unconventional music added depth, and its timely commentary on the cost of living crisis was well-received. Overall, Tesco’s ad received unanimous praise for its ability to capture the essence of the holiday season while highlighting the realities of the Christmas period.

Scores: Consistent high marks, averaging around 9.5 out of 10.

Amazon: Joy Ride

Emotional and impactful, Amazon’s advert resonated deeply, eliciting heartfelt emotions and bringing tears to our eyes. It skillfully avoided clichés associated with the holiday season while subtly promoting its brand. Rather than focusing on family, it emphasised the significance of friendship, a refreshing departure from the usual narratives. 

This approach appealed to an older demographic, with nostalgia playing a key role, creating an emotional connection that lingered even after the ad concluded. The advertisement’s simple yet powerful delivery, sprinkled with an element of humour, etched a lasting memory and ultimately occupied a unique emotional niche, usually reserved for John Lewis ads, forging its own place within the hearts of our team.

Scores: Unanimous perfect scores of 10 out of 10, highlighting its emotional resonance.

KFC: Kentucky Fried Turkey for Christmas?

KFC’s advertisement took a witty and clever approach, generating laughter and cleverly showcasing seasonal products. This ad focused on defying expectations rather than catering to them, without relying on celebrity endorsements. However, while executed well, there were concerns about depth and meaning, considering its simplicity. 

Despite this, it succeeded in sparking interest and creating a buzz around its seasonal offering, paving an unconventional yet attention-grabbing path in the world of Christmas advertisements.

Scores: Mixed opinions between 5 and 7 out of 10.

Charlie’s Bar: A Tale from the Heart

A smaller player in the advert game, Charlie’s Bar captured worldwide attention on TikTok with a touching storyline, with the likes of John Lewis themselves commenting on the video. We agreed that the story was strong and emotional although it played heavily on the lonely old man trope, a narrative seen frequently. 

At face value, we believed the man in the video to be a regular at the pub and the ad created by the small business themselves. However, revelations about the involvement of an ad agency raised questions about authenticity. The team heavily debated whether it lost impact once its commercial intent was unveiled via a news interview. 

Nevertheless, it was commendable to witness this approach from a small business, sparking anticipation for more small businesses to partake in the Christmas ad race next year.

Scores: Varied, with ratings ranging from 5 to 8 out of 10.

Overall, each ad brought its own flair to the table, leaving us with a mix of emotions and opinions. While some hit the mark, others left room for improvement. These adverts have certainly sparked debate and stirred a delightful blend of joy and discussion during this holiday season.