‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year’ sang Andy Williams sang of Xmas. It’s certainly the best time of the year for TV ads. Traditionally, the big firms pull out all the stops in an attempt to grab attention in the build up to the festive period. Big budgets, big stars and big piles of fake snow are the order of the day when it comes to creating convincing the public to open their wallets.
Here are 10 of the best:
Coca Cola ‘Holiday’s are coming’
While Coca Cola isn’t Christmassy per se, we should remember that we have them to thank for Santa Claus being red and white. Per Noel had, in fact, generally been pictured in green or brown before Coke’s ad men got hold of him. This ad ran for quite a few years, mainly thanks to its horribly addictive tune.
Toys R Us ‘Magical Place’
Another one with a diabolically memorable earworm of a tune. Maybe music is the key to a great Xmas ad?
John Lewis Xmas 2011
John Lewis have now created a tradition of making mini-features for their Xmas ads, emotion-filled short films with a touching message. This year it’s a glove-buying snowman, last year it was this blub-causer.
Irn Bru Snowman Ad
Funny, clever and affectionate – If only all Xmas ads were as fantastic as this one.
Ferrero Rocher ‘The Ambassador’s Reception’
Yeah, we know, we didn’t realise this was a Christmas ad either. But not only is it a Christmas ad it’s probably the only one on the list that was shown outside of the festive period and that has become a cultural touchstone. That big pile of foil-covered sweets has been seen in everything from Father Ted to Little Britain and the line ‘with these Ferrero Rocher you are really spoiling us’ has entered the language.
Marks & Spencer ‘Xmas wouldn’t be Xmas without…’
M& S must have spent a small fortune on this campaign featuring numerous expensive-looking celebs expounding its virtues.
John Lewis 2007 ‘Shadows’
This very clever ad could have worked at any time of year but there was just something Christmassy about the concept.
Yellow Pages ‘Mistletoe’
Super-cute, super-schmaltzy, super-Christmassy.
Woolworths ‘Cracking Christmas’
Back when Woollies was still a thing they used to corral the big TV stars of the day and film then merrily gambolling around that year’s hot gifts while a terrible tune played in the background. It was the beginning of the end, probably.
No stars, no big budget, just a decent song and a Christmassy feel. Warms the cockles, dunnit?