Christmas is a great time to drive home the connection between consumers and the brand. Get your consumer into an emotional state, and hopefully, those emotions pay back to your brand. But not everyone can pull it off. You likely need to have an established love for your brand already, or it would come across as lacking authenticity. If you are looking to get into the holiday spirit, here are the best Christmas ads I have seen, from all over the world, from the past 30 or 40 years.
John Lewis of the UK
The best Christmas ads I’ve ever seen are from John Lewis, the department store in the UK. They use beautiful music, a movie-like storyline that demonstrates the beauty of gift giving, stretched out over 90 seconds. No words are needed to tell the story. They tug at the heart and bring a reminder of what the season is all about: the gift of giving. I think this is the best one in the John Lewis (2011) series, with a nice twist and a tug at the heartstrings at the end.
Coca-Cola, the brand who came up with the look of how we see Santa Claus, makes a special ad every Christmas, to recreate the magic of Christmas. From Argentina, here’s a brilliant take on spreading the joy of the season.
Budweiser in the US
The Budweiser Clydesdales were first introduced to the public in 1933, to celebrate the repeal of prohibition. August A. Busch Jr. presented the hitch as a gift to his father. That hitch proceeded to carry the first case of post-prohibition beer. Every Christmas you’ll see a team of Clydesdales pulling a case, a great icon of the American beer brand.
Canadian Tire of Canada
This is your classic sentimental Christmas ad, talking about family. It’s done very well by retailer Canadian Tire. They told a nice story, about the modern family.
Tim Horton’s in Canada
This ad will make you cry just a little bit. A nice touch of reality about being a parent from the old school to the new school.
Kellogg’s in the US
A pretty darn whole ad, but pretty darn cute. We do need a bit of wholesome serotonin at this time of year.
Allegro in Poland
Great storytelling from Allegro, a Polish website. The ending is very heart-warming. Millions of views so far, lots of tears for sure.
Anuncio Lotería from Portugal
Every year, there is a lottery just before Christmas, Anuncio Lotería de Navidad 2016. The last few years, they have done some great ads with deep story telling. This year, the ad tells a sweet story of a grandmother who catches the winning number on TV from a few years ago, believing she has won this year’s lottery. Very cute that the family goes along with it as she moves through the village. Nice ending.
Marks and Spencer from the UK
Marks and Spencer likely won the UK retailer contest of 2016. This ad does a nice job in telling the story of Mrs. Claus. While very modern, it still brings a lot of traditional touches of Christmas.
Edeka from Germany
A nice ad from EDEKA, Germany’s biggest supermarket encourages parents to spend more time with their kids.
Lidl from Ireland
Lidl uses a very traditional Christmas ad that speaks to how it should really feel.
WestJet Airlines from Canada
WestJet is the alternative airline to Air Canada, providing a better customer experience. For 6 straight years now, WestJet has done some of the better Christmas ads. This past year in the Western Canadian town of Fort McMurray, there was a fire that destroyed the entire town. This ad does a nice job in building around the recovery with a wink to Who’ville.
Sainsbury’s from the UK
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of World War 1, Sainsbury’s created this very high production spot, telling the story of how the soldiers took a break from the war to share Christmas together.
Mulberry in the UK
Not your normal holiday spirit type ad, but I love the big idea behind this ad: WIN CHRISTMAS. So what beats a beautiful portrait, a puppy that waves or a unicorn? A new bag from Mulberry!!! That’s what.
Burberry in the UK
The ad portrays Thomas Burberry as an obsessive inventor and entrepreneur showcasing the emotion he put into his craft. It may take liberties on the excitement of his life–bordering on making him into the world’s most interesting man in the world–but we certainly can feel his purpose and passion shining through.
Apple iPhone from the US
In this 90-second TV ad, it shows a typical teenager hanging onto this iPhone constantly, and then from there, the magic happens.
Aldi in Australia
What would happen if Santa crash-landed in the Australian outback? Nice spot.
Walmart in Canada
I have to say I have always faulted Walmart for their lack of emotion. Earlier in the year, they did a fantastic spot where a guy bought all the materials to make his own drive in movie theatre for his neighbourhood. So maybe there is hope. I’ve been looking for the best Christmas ad for 2018, and so far this cute little story seems to have captured my mind.
What’s the best Christmas ad you have seen?
For 2018, here’s my review of the latest John Lewis ad, which I give a 9/10 as an Elton John fan spot, but only a 6/10 as a John Lewis Christmas ad. The challenge will be, whether consumers can link this spot back to the John Lewis brand.
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