Christmas TV Ads: The Class of 2016

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A christmas tree with lights with a TV to the right

A dog on a trampoline, a talking carrot and Mrs Claus in a helicopter…

No, it’s not a bad Christmas cracker joke, they’ve all taken centre stage in this year’s army of Christmas ads!

Once, their arrival heralded the beginning of the festive season, but their thunder has somewhat been stolen by YouTube as each one is now just a quick search away. For me though, it’s still a nice surprise to see them show up alongside annual favourites like the Coca-Cola truck and Budweiser horses campaigns that have been around for more than 20 years.

Modern Christmas TV ads have evolved into epic mini film productions with huge creative energy, enormous sums of money and hundreds of hours poured into their creation. Their release is almost an event in itself on Social Media, often igniting debates among viewers and pundits alike.

At the heart of all of these ads is a story. A simple story, expressed in a way that we can relate to or empathise with. And there’s no shortage of good story-telling and warm festive feeling among this year’s offerings from the big supermarkets and retailers.

Marks & Spencer: Christmas with Love.

There’s a lot of love for this one going round with many people regarding it as their favourite Christmas ad this year. It’s a great story with some big budget production putting Mrs Claus at the centre of proceedings. She’s been quietly beavering away at home for who knows how long, but this year she’s a woman on a mission. Jake, who’s six (but seven in two weeks) has upset his older sister and is determined to make things right by enlisting the help of the one and only Mrs Claus. Santa has enough on his plate after all!

Aldi Ireland: Kevin the Carrot.

Aldi do some really fun ads throughout the year and this one is a cracker! Sorry…
“A Christmas spread, though a treat to us all, can be quite scary when you’re three inches tall.” Ever felt guilty about eating your veg? Me neither. But you might now. One carrot, one dream. Just look at those little legs go!

John Lewis: Buster the Boxer.

John Lewis ads have been responsible for turning us into a blubbering mess for the last few years with ads designed to get us right in the feels. This year however they’ve changed things up with an upbeat story featuring some foxes, a couple of squirrels and a dog! The star of the show is Buster, a boxer who spots some wildlife in the family garden having a bounce on a little girl’s new trampoline. Desperate to try it out for himself, he makes a break for it at the earliest opportunity! Some parents commenting online felt that this ad might ruin the magic of Christmas for kids, but it’s been a big hit all the same.

Lidl: Today’s Moments, Tomorrow’s Memories.

Is someone chopping onions? Maybe it’s all the dust floating around after putting up the decorations, but it’s possible you’ll have something in your eye after this one. While Christmas is very much about celebrating, it’s also about looking back and taking it all in. It’s important to realise the good things and people we have and reflect on the ones that are gone. Generations of a family come together for a surprise reunion with some heart-warming and poignant scenes in this slice of seasonal goodwill.

Tesco: Here’s to the Hosts.

Tesco Ireland are keeping it real this year, turning it over to members of the public and the unsung heroes of Christmas. In a series of genuine and personal letters, people of all ages have written to say thank you to the host in their lives who goes out of their way to make Christmas all the more special every year. There are 35 letters in total so you’re bound to catch one or two as the weeks go by. Heart-warming and touching in equal measure.

Meteor: Merry Hintmas.

None of your fancy stuff here! Meteor’s Christmas ads don’t often feature in any ‘best of’ list, but they’re always on point with the gags. No talking veg or dancing dogs, these series of ‘Hintmas’ ads are little nuggets of quick fire festive fun.

So, which one is your favourite? Share your fave in the comments below!

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