It’s late November, it’s definitely getting colder, the clocks have gone back and the countdown to Christmas is very much on.
As a retail marketing agency, the countdown clock to one of the busiest times in shopping has been ticking for quite some time at Bewonder* Towers. Recently however – away from the festive creative, planning for the arrival of Santa at his grotto, press releases and seasonal social media scheduling – other signs that Christmas isn’t actually that far away have started arriving thick and fast – including the annual Christmas adverts.
It’s been quite the year for retailers and their advertising, with a real variety of styles and themes. From meeting Moz with John Lewis to being reacquainted with our favourite carrot called Kevin courtesy of Aldi. We’ve even had a few new unexpected contenders for ‘ad of the festive season’.
So, take 10 minutes, grab a brew and a mince pie and check out our rundown of some of our favourite ads from the festive season. They’ll warm your heart faster than a mulled wine around a log fire in a country pub on Christmas Eve.
Some of our favourites
John Lewis – the company that arguably set the tone for the Christmas advert and turned it into an event, are back. Taking cues from their previous efforts including Monty the Penguin, Buster the Boxer and The Bear and Hare, they introduce us to a new character to love this Christmas – Moz. He’s a snoring, farting, under-the-bed dwelling creature that keeps our young friend up at night through playing and general shenanigans. He even gives him a present on Christmas Day.
It’s got all the hallmarks of a John Lewis Christmas advert; acoustic take on a popular song? Check! Cuddly character? Check! Cute kid? Check!
General consensus around the office is that whilst not one of their best, it just wouldn’t be Christmas without the annual John Lewis advert. You can check it out here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jw1Y-zhQURU –
M&S – We really like this one and it’s quite a different direction for M&S. With the new Paddington Bear film out in cinemas, a collaboration with a character that is firmly a national favourite feels like an inspired way to go this festive period.
The advert itself is brilliant with Paddington thinking he’s met Father Christmas (it’s actually someone trying to steal presents) and a little adventure. Our favourite pint-sized bear even manages to foil the robbery, save Christmas and become famous! This is one that will really make you smile, and if you’re anything like us, want to go and watch the new Paddington film at the cinema. Have a look here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfaSxIkLslE
Boots – So this is a bit of a different direction for Boots, a name you wouldn’t normally associate with cracking Christmas adverts. Telling the tale of two sisters growing up together and the bond they have. The message is very much one family being at the heart of Christmas.
If you look closely, you’ll also see some favourite products from years gone by, including lipstick, perfume etc – all tying in nicely to what Boots sell. Another heart warmer, especially if you’re close to your sibling(s). Oh, and it’s also got a cracking bit of music from synth-pop duo Yazoo. You can watch it here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cAhAqgLiIA
Debenhams – A modern day take on the Cinderella tale, complete with glittery shoe, glass slipper and to – make sure that it is firmly in this decade – a social media appeal.
Personally, I really like this one. It’s fun, it looks GREAT and even though it doesn’t feature products you’d get in Debenhams, it feels like it really fits their aesthetic. The narration is spot on and the subsequent cameo from Ewan McGregor who provided said narration is also a nice little surprise at the end. Real thumbs up from me. Take a look here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyNhzFYP3ts
Waitrose – OK, maybe it’s because this advert was filmed in Yorkshire and with our head office in Leeds we’re a little biased. It could be the fact that it’s set in a pub (the highest one in Britain as a matter of fact). Or it could be that it’s just a good advert all-round. I mean who hasn’t dreamt of being stuck in a pub?
The combination of the traditional Christmas carol, being filmed in black and white along with the burning log fire and plenty of smiling faces means that this effort gets a real thumbs up from us. Good effort Waitrose https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJZbo5ohVGs, now where is the nearest country pub?
Aldi – last but by no means least on our favourite Christmas adverts list is Aldi. Something of a sequel from their great effort last year, we’re back with our favourite Christmas carrot called Kevin. Once again, he’s on the hunt for Santa and like last year he gets into all kinds of food-related hijinks – with some of the award-winning Aldi Christmas food very much on display – where he meets a lady carrot and falls in love. Aw.
Keeping with the theme and character from last year was something that really stood out for us in Bewonder* Towers and is one of the reasons we liked this so much. It’s cute without being too cute and like Pixar animated films, it’s got enough subtle humour for adults to enjoy it as much as children. You can get reacquainted with Kevin here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJQG2lqm5ek
So there we go, some of our favourites from the festive season so far. We’d love to hear what you think of them, if there are any you really don’t like or if you think we might have missed one.