IIITTT’SSSS CHRIIISSSTTTMAAAASSS! Well, not quite but whilst I have refrained from putting the Christmas tree up, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the festive ad offerings. 

Normally, I’d be beckoning everyone over to my screen in the office every time a new advert drops but as we’re all working remotely for now, it’s been a case of sharing links on our internal chat groups.

In the lead up to the Christmas season there was a great deal of speculation around which concepts would be used and, perhaps more importantly, how they’d be executed during a country-wide lockdown.

A notable effort to mention is that of the most anticipated Christmas ad of them all; the mighty John Lewis. We were all expecting something highlighting the effects of the pandemic (a bit like this Irish advert), but instead John Lewis gave us an advert like no other. It launched alongside a charity campaign run jointly by John Lewis and Waitrose under the strapline “Give A Little Love,” with the stated aim of helping families suffering hardship amid the Covid pandemic.

The way the advert was created is also worth acknowledging. COVID-19 will have stopped any large scale productions and potential overseas travel, but by using a series of connected stories via mixed media, the retailer has overcome any problems that may have been caused by restrictions. You can view the advert here.

On the contrary, Lidl has ridiculed the stereotypical advert and their fun tongue-in-cheek offering parodies some of the more unrealistic advert elements that other retailers favour. Their soundtrack references “emotional gravy” and openly admits that “there’s usually a moment where we want you to feel sad”. The icing on the (Christmas) cake is that in-store they are actually selling the Lidl Christmas jumper featured for just £7.99. You can see the ad with subtitles here: youtube.com/watch?v=2waeUenMzYY&feature=emb_logo. 

Continuing the theme of animation, Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot returned in their two part offering which shows Kevin overcoming the odds to be home with his family for Christmas. The eagle-eyed among you may also have noticed Jim Broadbent’s cameo as Father Christmas himself.  

The final advert to mention is from the geniuses at Disney. Perhaps this resonates with me a little more as the cartoon Grandma, Lola, looks exactly like my late granny. It has everything you could possibly want from a Christmas advert from stunning animation to that warm fuzzy feeling at the end. And who doesn’t love a good old tug on the heartstrings – it is Christmas after all.