Christmas adverts are awaited every year, as much a part of British Christmas as putting up your tree. It’s felt as an early Christmas present, a pre-stocking filler so to speak.
Although Christmas ads have always delighted people’s screens; it could be said that it was in 2007, with British department store, John Lewis, that the trend of Christmas adverts became the grandiose production we see today.
These holiday spirited narratives are innovative, creative and will usually consist of cute characters that we instantly love, as they remind us of the childhood innocence so integral to Christmas.
Here we have a compiled a list of our own top 5 favourite British Christmas adverts from this decade (2010-2019), a task so difficult it was like choosing which of Santa’s reindeer you like the most.
MCDONALDS 2019: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1wXIVYb49E
We loved McDonalds 2019 Christmas advert, being both cute and festive it successfully ticked our Christmas wish-list. Within the advert we meet a young girl who wants her teenage sister to play reindeers with her, after being rejected she then goes and plays with her pet reindeer. As they run out of ‘reindeer treats’ the family make a trip to McDonalds. What is so magical about it is the transition from cartoon to real-life, emphasising the change from the girl’s imagination to the actual reality of the scene- in which it is revealed that the pet reindeer is actually their (slightly confused) dog. The family theme, the colours, the sense of imagination and wonder, and the plot twist at the end- it’s an excellent continuation of last year’s McDonalds advert.
JOHN LEWIS 2017: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sa5dzQhvbiI&t=22s
In their 2017 advert a boy becomes best friends with the monster (Moz) under his bed. John Lewis has perfected the art of making loveable characters, and Moz doesn’t disappointment. As the boy spends all night playing with Moz (rather than sleeping) he becomes extremely tired and ends up falling asleep during the day. The ending is bittersweet with Moz giving the boy a Christmas gift of a night-time lamp, resulting in the boy not being scared anymore and so getting rid of the monster from his imagination. It’s heart-breaking but light-hearted; a narrative to be expected from Michael Gondry (director of ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’).
JOHN LEWIS 2016: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qo27xcVS5I
In this 2016 advert, with the tagline ‘Gifts that everyone will love’, we meet Buster the Boxer, a loveable festive pup. Buster lives with a young girl who asked Santa for a trampoline. As Buster watches enviously as she jumps on her bed, the story builds up a sense of joy and pity as he is not allowed to join in with the fun. On Christmas Eve night, after the girl’s dad finishes constructing the trampoline (surprisingly ruining the mystery of Santa), wildlife animals are seen enjoying bouncing around on it, in time with the music ‘One Day I’ll Fly Away’. This humanity shown within the animals is very amusing, implying that they love John Lewis and Christmas just as much as we do. Equally, one of the best moments in the history of advertising (or so we like to believe), is when the girl is running down the stairs to her present, but Buster pushes past her and manages to get to the trampoline first. It’s such a light-hearted and fun moment, as we root for Buster throughout this delightful tale.
SAINSBURY’S 2014: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWF2JBb1bvM
Inspired by a truly harmonious moment taken place during World War I, this short story portrays the instance in where German and British soldiers made a truce for the day. So, they may celebrate Christmas as people and friends, rather than enemies. The emotive piece shares a sense of community, as they play a game of football on ‘No Man’s Land’ (the part between the different trenches), that is the essence of the festive season. Rather than showing what products they have to offer Sainsbury’s grab viewer’s attention through an emotive level. At the end a British and German soldier leave each other a piece of food from their culture in the other’s jacket. What was so impactful was that it was the 100th anniversary of the war and so it brought back the meaning of Christmas (e.g. a celebration of our history, family, peace, love and joy) to viewers- rather than focusing on the consumerism often found within modern times.
IrnBru 2011: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yZOab5gl-4
Using the characters from, ‘The Snowman’ film, the advert uses dark humour and Scottish snow-covered imagery. As the Snowman and the boy go on an adventure, the boy refuses to share his IrnBru. Hilarity ensues as the snowman lets go of the boy’s hand and steals the drink. A song, like the original, fantastically portrays the comedic narrative.
So those are our favourite Christmas adverts of the decade filled with all the gooey feelings of the season and we really can't wait for the festive celebrations to begin. As it truly can be a glorious time of the year filled with community, happiness and love!
Let us know if we have missed any of your favourite adverts in the comments and happy -almost- holidays everyone.