This year, more people than ever have taken to social media to groan about Christmas adverts and it appears we are becoming more and more Scrooge-like about seasonal adverts.

But just like Christmas day itself, the build-up surrounding the release of adverts and the anticipation from the nation is mammoth, thus putting more pressure on the shoulders of creatives to deliver.

While we might all have our favourites and thoughts about this year's bunch, I’m sure we can all appreciate the hard work, effort and hours that go into creating 2 minutes' worth of airtime. 

So in the spirit of Christmas and season of goodwill, we have selected the 12 best bits that we as an agency enjoyed and the clever insights that might have been overlooked.

 

1. 12 and ½ leeks 

Aldi’s subtle details make this advert something the whole family can enjoy, no matter your age or sense of humour. Taking a leaf out of Disney’s book for hiding mature jokes in family-friendly content means parents get a laugh while entertaining the kids.

 

2. “You know there’s more than one, right?”

The Mcdonald’s Christmas advert picks up on the childhood innocence of believing in Santa Claus and the older sibling who nearly ruins the façade by questioning his sister’s naivety. This is nice insight into the truth of family life at Christmas.

 

3. #NoPrinceCharming

What would a modern fairy tale be without social media and hashtags? Debenhams’s twist on Cinderella has everything you love in a childhood story but also highlights social media trolls with a subtle reference and turns a fairy tale romance into the reality of modern life. 

 

4. Everyone’s welcome 

While it appears we cannot escape politics even at Christmas, ‘Everyone’s Welcome’ is a nice season’s greeting by Tesco. Appreciating that it is simply not possible to capture the diversity of family life in a 2 minute advert, the end line more than makes up for any exclusion.

 

5. The Snowman and the Snow Dog

No matter your age, the Snowman puts a smile on your face because of its familiarity to those who have grown up with the character or the joy of seeing the animation for the first time. Barbour easily incorporates the character into its brand image due to similarities in style and even gives the Snowman his own Barbour jacket.

 

6. Simplicity of a Smile

A clever logo turned into a clever message. The majority of people see the Amazon logo and see an arrow, or from A to Z but I doubt the average person would have seen a smile before viewing their Christmas advert this year. There’s something lovely about highlighting the cardboard boxes rather than their contents, which is often what advertisers do at this time of the year.

 

7. Birds of Christmas

Whether you’re the wise owl or a headless chicken when it comes to Christmas shopping, Intu has got you covered. The idea to showcase the different type of shoppers through referencing our stereotypes of bird personalities makes the advert more engaging and fun to watch. 

 

8. The Gift of Giving 

Not On The High Street picks up on the lovely feeling you get when you give the perfect present to someone special. We all have someone in our lives that you want to treat and show your appreciation of them through a thoughtful gift, and it’s this insight that NOTHS have picked up on.

 

9. The Modern Willy Wonka 

A modern Christmas twist on the iconic story of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory makes ASDA’s advert a feast for the senses. There’s something familiar and comforting about the storyline as a child and their grandparent explore this hyper-real Christmas factory. The small details and production value in this advert brings out the child in everyone, from the truffle vision to the electric whisk powered by a reindeer. 

 

10. Bring Merry Back

The insight behind this year’s House of Fraser advert is something I think we can all relate to; as we get older Christmas becomes less fun. The song choice, in particular, gets this message across as well as two sisters who continue to have as much fun now as they did when they were little.

 

11. Every bit of Christmas

What hides in the lyrics of the Sainsbury’s Christmas sing-a-long are all the commonalities we share at Christmas that make this time of year so unique. From novelty socks, to helping yourself to the last mince pie, it is all the small things that make the season and what the audience can relate to.

 

12. Modern Family

Last, but not least John Lewis’ Christmas ad of 2017. Probably the most discussed advert of the year but for me, the lovely thing about this advert is that they still remain true to their family values at the heart of it. Also for a ‘traditional’ brand like John Lewis to embrace interracial families shows the changing face of a family in Britain.

 

Now to stay tuned for H&M’s 2017 Christmas advert, which is set to be a game-changer this Christmas. However, nothing will quite beat making us both laugh and cry like this Polish advert from last year.

This article was written by Louise Cox and Tim Gallant.