Christmas is our favourite time of the year, and not just because of the prezzies and food! Being marketeers we’ve got to say that one of the highlights of the Christmas period for us is the Xmas TV ads! Year on year they get even more impressive as retailers fight for the popular vote. In the battle to be crowned champion one thing is proven: it’s not always a huge budget that counts, some super simple ideas can be the most effective, and of course, as always in marketing, if you don’t play your cards right your ad can call flat and even attract some unwanted attention!

This year, was of course, a little different, retailers had to tread very carefully. How could big brands be seen to spend the usual millions on ads while also laying off staff? Brands are forecasted to spend £724 million less this year on their adverts. With the obvious theme of this year being the coronavirus, how would brands address this? Would they go down a nostalgic route reminding us of better times? Would they ignore the topic and focus on light-hearted relief? Or would they address the pandemic head-on?

Here we select some of our favourite Christmas ads of 2020:

DFS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uyM9z8vcQo

Though this one didn’t quite tug on the heartstrings, it’s always good to see Wallace and Gromit on screen, so this one made our list!

John Lewis

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Juv2c0xgGno

A key player in the Christmas Ad game, this one utilises lots of different styles, from live-action to animation, which is cool to see. It also reflects back on a strange year and focuses on Christmas kindness. The different styles meant that lots of different creatives could be employed, which is a nice selling point for this advert. As always, there’s a great musical choice “A Little Love by Brit Award Winner Celeste.

Barbour

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OJF6zKppw8

How very Surrey of us! We love the animation style, which makes us nostalgic for Raymond Brigg’s The Snowman. In this ad, Father Christmas has to help a child mend his father’s jacket. The only downside to this ad is that it possibly pushes a bit hard on selling Barbour’s re-waxing and repair services!

Amazon

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQdLD6kk960

Unlike John Lewis, Amazon is not known for their Christmas Ads, but it’s been a very good year from them, so it makes sense that they’ve entered the game. It’s visually lovely with fantastic choreography and cinematography, though Christmassy it is not. It does pull on the heartstrings but is more a celebration of human resilience than Christmas.

Tesco

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CfrpexaCwg

Tesco told us that we’re all excused from the naughty list this year in their Xmas advert. This humorous TV spot embraced the pandemic with open arms and a bit of humour which we think is something that was much needed to wrap up the year. Light-hearted relief is always one for our book.

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