It’s not long until the most joyous time of the year is upon us and there’s nothing like a heartwarming Christmas advert to give our festive cheer a little boost!
Aldi came under fire for starting the Christmas ad battle a ridiculous four months before the big day – back in August – but that may have been just their first round.
After the mixed reviews John Lewis’ Man on the Moon advert had, Aldi decided to join the endless online parodies and do one of their own.
In the 30-second video, a lonely old man on the moon (sound familiar?) compares two telescopes – one Aldi and one John Lewis – much like the other short adverts they usually do over the year.
But unlike John Lewis’ £7m tearjerker, which sees the old man receiving a telescope so he can feel connected to people on earth and be less lonely, Aldi’s comeback sees the old man get a much happier ending, with a lovely old lady being flown in an armchair powered by a bunch of balloons to keep him company. What a happy Christmas!
Sainsbury’s have also realeased their Christmas advert and lots of people have been declaring it this year’s winner on social media. Featuring the popular children’s books character Mog the cat, the advert is narrated by Emma Thompson and shows the clumsy pet getting herself caught in a series of unfortunate accidents that almost burn the house down.
Mog the cat does however save the day by unwittingly calling the fire brigade, and Christmas is saved by the neighbours who decide to share the holiday with the family, in true festive spirit.
The author of the children’s book series, Judith Kerr, also makes a guest appearance in the ad and has written and illustrated the first new Mog book since 2002, when the cat peacefully died of old age in ‘Goodbye, Mog’.
He’s now returning for a special Christmas story, ‘Mog’s Christmas Calamity’, which will be sold exclusively in Sainsbury’s, with all proceeds going to Save the Children’s efforts to improve child literacy.
Boots also pulled all sthe stops this year to give us some extra special Christmas magic and hired director Joseph Kahn, who has worked with the likes of Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and Destiny’s Child.
The advert oozes old school sparkle, with a Jessie J version of 1950s classic (Everybody’s Waitin’ for) The Man with the Bag playing in the background while a blue firefly takes us through the magical Christmas world of Boots.
M&S also went for a fun and upbeat advert focused on the art of Christmas, which really does wonders for boosting festive excitment levels more than a month away from the big day. We’re starting to practice the art of surpise for when we get those ‘absolutely beautiful socks’…
The most expected ad of the season was of course the John Lewis Christmas advert, which was realeased in the beginning of November. This year’s plotline is about Lily, a six-year-old girl who’s trying to reach an old man who lives alone on the moon. Even though she can see him through her telescope, she can’t find a way to reach him until Christmas Day comes around, and festive magic does its thing.
The two-minute film, soundtracked by a cover of Oasis ‘Half the World Away’, might not instantly make you reach for the tissue box, but its purpose is bigger than a few tears. This year John Lewis partnered up with charity Age UK, and the advert’s storyline is meant to raise awareness of the loneliness experienced by older people, especially during the festive season, urging viewers to ‘show someone they’re loved this Christmas’.
According to the charity, 60% of older people don’t expect to take part in any festive happiness over the holidays. ‘The charity really resounds with people at this time of year, and the ad … lends itself to thinking about someone who lives on your street that might not see anybody,’ said Rachel Swift, head of marketing at John Lewis.
Usually Christmas adverts vary between upbeat Christmas fun and emotional festive tearjerkers, but this year we have a controversial one to add to the list! Paypal released their annual advert recently, but the company is being accused of playing Grinch and almost stealing Christmas.
The ad features two brothers who console each other as they believe they won’t be getting any presents because their parents don’t seem to be spending any time out shopping. Of course this is because they’re using Paypal to shop for their Christmas presents, but the company is facing a huge bakclash from parents who say their advert is telling kids Father Christmas isn’t real.
As well as angry tweets, there were more than 230 complaints from viewers made to the Advertising Standards Authority, claiming the TV ad ruins Christmas for children because it suggests Santa isn’t real.
But back to uncontroversial Christmas fun. We all know that delicious food is a great part of what makes Christmas but the people at Waitrose just gave us a gentle reminder of all we can look forward to when the big day comes, in case you had conveniently forgotten about last year’s food coma.
With the help of TV chef Heston Blumenthal, their Christmas advert is all about what makes Christmas Christmas, and we can confirm that a succulent slice of stuffed turkey and some freshly-baked mince pies plus gingerbread are definitely part of the festive recipe…
Asda have also released their Christmas advert, and it’s a nice break for our poor little hearts. Instead of an emotional story soundtracked with a sentimental ballad, Asda decided to remind us of all of the fun we can have during the jolly season, with the help of Fleur East’s vocals.
Office parties, ice skating, dancing, watching all-time favourites on TV (and then rewatching them), having a few drinks… We’re totally on board with all of these activities, you know, because it’s Christmas!
Ikea has featured a social experiment for its Christmas advert, asking children to write two letters – one to the three kings, the ones responsible for kids’ presents in Spain where the advert was shot, and one to their parents.
All the parents get teary when they find out that what their kids really want from them is just their time, love and attention. Definitely not one to watch without waterproof mascara…
Not on the High Street has also released its Christmas advert, in which they emphasise the importance of giving something special to the ones we love, and not just something off the shelves.
Lidl was the first of the big retailers to air their Christmas advert, and we started the jolly season with a good one! Set at the Lidl School of Christmas, there are several classrooms dedicated to teaching Christmas’ers all they need to know in preparation for the big day – the correct position of fairy lights, snowman construction for beginners, the art of leftover sandwiches…
Mulberry have also premiered their Christmas advert, and it’s certainly something we’ve never seen before. Their comedy ad is inspired by the Nativity, in which a man gifts a Mulberry Bayswater bag to his wife. While she gushes over her new bag, they receive a visit from ‘three wise men’, a farmer and a shepherd who come to marvel at the red tote – so the bag is technically baby Jesus…
The first one to the party however, was Early Learning Centre, who premiered their Christmas advert even before November arrived. Children are the ones running the show here, all appropriately dressed in festive jumpers, telling jokes to each other in a Christmassy setting that includes a beautiful white tree decorated with colourful baubles and celebration crackers.
How cute are their little cracker jokes? Here are our favourite ones…
1. Why didn’t anybody bid for Rudolph and Blitzen on E-Bay? Because they were too deer.
2. What do you get if you cross a bell with skunk? Jingle smells.
3. What do you get if you eat Christmas decorations? Tinselitis.
4. Who delivers presents to baby sharks? Santa Jaws.
5. What’s orange and sounds like a parrot? A carrot!
6. Knock, knock. Who’s there? Mary. Mary who? Merry Christmas!
Last year’s favourites included Sainsbury’s Christmas advert, which recreated a Christmas Day football match during a first world war truce, and teamed up with Royal British Legion to raise money for a veterans’ charity.
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Boots’ Christmas ad also made us shed a few tears last year, with the family who made a special effort to celebrate the holidays with their mum, ‘because she’s special’. Awwww!
Image: John Lewis via Youtube
But the country’s favourite tearjerker every year is of course the John Lewis Christmas ad, and last year’s offering didn’t disappoint. Featuring Sam, a cute little boy helping his best friend, Monty the penguin, find love, it ranked up more than four million views on Youtube just in the first 24 hours.