Christmas Adverts Roundup: 2018

December 18, 2018

The Christmas carnage that comes along with the release of Christmas adverts is in full flow, and the battle for audience appreciation is a fierce one. Gathering research from various sources we have selected 5 classic adverts to see which has gained the most popularity. (From views so far and the impact they’ve had on their audiences).

The first advert we decided to look into was of course the classic:

John Lewis- ‘ The Boy And The Piano ‘



John Lewis has always been a massive contender in the Christmas ads game. However, with the fall of their Christmas ad @MozTheMonster last year, they’ve really had to pull out all the stops this year to keep their Christmas ad authority.

Well … they’ve definitely succeeded. From a Technical/video point of view; the most interesting aspect of the ad itself is how the ‘past versions’ of Elton John were, filmed/ CGI’d. Nevertheless the overall camera and editing techniques that are used are what makes it really stand out. Some of these include, the effective transitions, not only between scenes but also the audio of Elton’s previous voices because it all works together SO well. The lighting in the home scenes are also elements that acted as a big contributor as it creates the feeling of a perfectly warm, cosy and Christmas.

The retrospective quality of the ad also is immensely important. It’s so nice to see little Elton get his first piano and how that inspired him to be the artist he is now. The ad has a very complex nature and story behind it which is why this is the most viewed ad over Facebook and YouTube. (Gaining over 23 million views since its release on the 14th on November).


The next one we have chosen is this years’ most controversial ad:

Iceland – ‘ Say Hello To Rang Tan ’



This ad sparked popularity this festive season, not because of its Christmas feel or ability to sell a product, but because it got banned from being aired on TV for being ‘too political’.

Contrary to what you may have heard this wasn’t because it highlighted the negative impacts of palm oil, or the fact that Iceland has taken palm oil out of all their own brand products, but because the ad was originally made by the environmental group Greenpeace. They are known for being an independent organisation which campaigns to ensure a peaceful and sustainable world. They also investigate, expose and confront environmental abuse by governments and corporations around the world.

Since the adverts ban however, the social media outreach it has developed has been phenomenal. This only goes to show the overwhelming impact the ad has had on anyone who has come across it. The eye-opening reality it surrounds is the huge number of orang-utans that are lost due to deforestation for palm oil. This has really resonated with their audience, gaining it over 30 Million views online!


Next on the list is an ad that really has brought Christmas to our TV screens:

Sainsbury’s – ‘ The Big Night’



This advert is an all singing, all dancing flurry of festivities! There are so many elements that contribute to the love the nation has for this ad. From the amazing vocals by such a young schoolgirl, to the #PlugBoy that captured the teenage demographic with his perfectly satisfying jump into a socket, the overall feel of this advert is just pure joy.

It brings that classic element of parents watching their children in Christmas productions to the table. However, twists it to be bigger and more spectacular than any school production I’ve ever seen. For parents this is a key element to the festive season and so to not play homage to it just wouldn’t feel right.

Over Facebook and YouTube this ad has gained over 5.5 million views making it third on our list. However, the sentiment and message it conveys about Christmas surrounding “giving all you’ve got for the ones you love” really echoes in people’s minds this time of year so this is where its popularity really comes from.


Coming in closely behind Sainsbury’s is this beloved returning character:

Aldi – ‘ Kevin The Carrot And The Wicked Parsnip ‘



Kevin the carrot was introduced to us in Aldi’s 2016 Christmas ad and from that moment on he has capture the hearts of the British public. Even inspiring his own plush toy that can be bought in store and online and over 5 million views online.

This advert is one that is definitely not going to be forgotten. It perfectly encapsulates the Christmas spirit while also bringing together the classic family storytelling elements, Santa and triumph over evil all in one funny and entertaining advert.

The cute carrot family and element of talking vegetables is incredibly entertaining to a younger audience. However, Aldi has also included a ‘gone further afield’ double-entendre joke (because vegetables come from fields and the parsnip has gone elsewhere in the ad) and a perfect innuendo about ‘nuts’ when the parsnip falls into a bowl of walnuts, to make the slightly older audience chuckle too.


Last but certainly not least is the lesser known but still adored by millions:

Heathrow Airport – ‘ The Heathrow Bears Return ‘



Although this ad has only gained just over 1 Million Views across Facebook and YouTube it is by far one of the cutest ads us Brits have ever seen. The duo was first introduced to us in Heathrow’s Christmas campaign last year where we saw Edward and Doris Bair. They were travelling through the hustle and bustle of Heathrow and then finally reuniting with their family at the terminal. This year, we see Christmas time during their retirement to Florida and the lack of Christmas spirit in the air. (We’ll let you watch the rest…)

Heathrow wanted to highlight that family is the best gift of all and being together at Christmas is not impossible. This touching message means that, those wanting to be reunited with friends and family this Christmas won’t lost hope. The sentiment within the tender moments between the teddy bears and their family only increases it’s emotive popularity through appreciation.


To add a little bit of fun to the end of this blog everyone in the office has contributed their favourite Christmas ad this year and the reason behind it:


Jo, Operations Director –

“My favourite really has to be the £50 ‘Love is a gift video. It’s by far the most emotional, but there was also an element of suspense when I first watched it. Also, it really taps into what Christmas should all be about – not just presents, but remembering the people that aren’t with us, for whatever reason. The gift of love from mother to son and her own personal ‘birth’ story of him are so touching.  I think films like this, made for £50 will revolutionise the formal Christmas Ads as we know them moving forwards.”


Neil, Creative Director –

“In my opinion the best Christmas ad this year has been the John Lewis one with Elton John. I like the idea and the emotion behind the concept, that one gift can ignite a dream so big that it carry’s you into adulthood. It changes your whole perception of yourself. This is because for me, Elton’s piano is like my first camera, without being given it I wouldn’t be the businessman I am today.“


Dom, Editor and Videographer –

“Iceland is my favourite, from a message Perspective, I think the ad is the best. I think it’s produced incredibly well in terms of animation/story telling. The human machinery is made to look physically scary and dangerous, and the audio reinforces the visuals brilliantly. I also like how it is a statement rather than something clearly trying to sell me a product. Asda, Argos and Aldi just shows lots of products that they sell which I’m less of a fan of.


Dan, Senior Editor & Videographer-

“Contrary to Dom, My favourite Advert has to be Asda, the music alone just screams Christmas to me and all the festive elements to it make it exciting to watch and funny. It brings all the best elements of Christmas all in one advert. You kind of forget it’s just a supermarket.“


Emily (Me), Marketing Assistant –

“My favourite Christmas ad this year has to be the Heathrow bears. Having grandparents myself that don’t live in the country, I think this ad perfectly shows what Christmas is all about. Including that feeling at Christmas time when you might not get to see your family, but then the joy that comes with them definitely being able to get to you. It’s heart-warming, so for me this ad captured the Christmas spirit without it being cliché and I really like that.”


If you enjoyed this blog, why not take a read of some others!

Using Video In Digital Advertising

The Secrets To Using Video On Instagram 

4 Tips For Planning Your 2019 Video Strategy

Written by Jo Ginger

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