The release of Christmas adverts has now become an annual event in which the UK’s market leaders battle it out to produce the most heart-warming advert of the year. Previous years have seen iconic TV adverts such as Sainsbury’s 2014 re-enactment of Christmas day in the trenches in 1914 or John Lewis’ Monty The Penguin. Every year I look forward to witnessing both the best and worst attempts from big brands to win the approval of the nation.
Let’s start with some of the best this year has to offer:
John Lewis & Waitrose
Of course, John Lewis are at the top of the list. Every year John Lewis set the bar for the best Christmas adverts and have done so since 2011. This year they did not disappoint as we were greeted by Edgar the excitable dragon. The advert follows a little girl and her friendship with Edgar who adores Christmas. Unfortunately for Edgar he cannot seem to control his excitement or his ability to breathe fire which causes him to nearly ruin Christmas. However, the little girl thinks of a master plan and instead of ruining the Christmas feast Edgar has the honour of lighting the Christmas pudding. The narrative of this story was complimented by Bastille’s rendition of ‘Can’t Fight This Feeling’. The advert proves that a hit song and a cute animal animation seems to be the hit formula for a John Lewis Christmas advert.
This year’s ASDA advert followed Tilly on her quest to capture the magic of the Northern Lights as she spread Santa’s left-over magic around the town. Tilly builds a fishing rod from her Grandfather’s walking stick and turns the town into a festive kingdom. The whole concept reminded me of Roald Dahl’s BFG as Tilly stood clutching a jar full of magic. The advert was an imaginative approach to the notion of spreading magic at Christmas. This advert had an emotive family feel and succeeded in giving me that warm festive feeling.
Now for the worst this year had to offer:
Marks and Spencer
Marks and Spencer’s advert ‘Go Jumpers for Christmas’ was a major disappointment. I expected high production values and a heartfelt story and was met with an advert about jumpers which make you want to dance. It’s just such a dull concept. There was a lack of storyline. A woman received a rather unappealing blue jumper and started dancing and that’s all that really happened. House of Pain’s song ‘Jump Around’ has been overused in numerous adverts too. It felt as though M&S were trying to be ‘hip’ and ‘cool’ and in doing so majorly missed the mark.
JD’s advert ‘JD Comes Alive’ was also another major anti-climax. The advert relied on celebrity appearances from stars such as Anne Marie and Mabel to sell the advert to the masses. There was nothing unique or memorable about this advert apart from the stars dancing in a JD shop surrounded by trainers. I expected a lot more from a brand as popular as JD Sports.
Another year, another set of Christmas adverts. This year has provided us with a mix of both brilliant and bad adverts which have entertained us in the interludes between our favourite programmes. 2019 has bought everything from dragon’s to dancing jumpers to our TV screens, so I wonder what 2020 shall bring.
Last modified: 3rd December 2019