The 10 best Christmas TV adverts

‘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.

Boots 1981

No stars, no big budget, just a decent song and a Christmassy feel. Warms the cockles, dunnit?

Commercial Break: Halifax heap on fun-shaped misery

I understand completely why some companies make annoying commercials for television. Ads that bug you stick in your head a lot longer than others, thereby, keeping the advertised product in your head longer. However, what about those that transcend annoyance and wander into plain ol’ hatred?

There’s a few spots doing the rounds at the moment that seem to be universally loathed by anyone owning one crude sensory gland. Commercials so bad that you can smell the rotting flesh on them.

The GoCompare opera-singer commercials are making people force broken glass into their anuses just for some kind of barbaric release of pain… the BT campaign has seen people going from reasonably fond of Kris Marshall (from his dimwit role in My Family) to actively wanting him to meet a sticky end in some dreadful accident with a thousand hedge-strimmers.

However, towering over all of these are the Halifax adverts which feature a fictional radio station.

Aside from the fact that this campaign makes no sense at all (do Halifax actually have a radio station which we can tune into online? No.), this run of commercials is making people want to tear their own eyes out and ram them down their throats just so they can witness their dignity dying from the inside.

There’s an inane chummery that weeps out of every foetid pore of this grotesque set, which sees the most loathed people on Earth (sorry bankers… you’re considered worse than Bin Laden at the moment thanks to the financial meltdown) all becoming the walking, talking equivalent of novelty ties in front of our very eyes.

The knowing winks and lame jokes (“ISA ISA Baby!” and the like) of people smiling at your face whilst knifing you between the columns of your spine is most galling and, surely, only going to achieve universal loathing for a brand already blighted by those adverts that featured the dickish Howard who sang “WHO GIVES YOU EXTRA?!”

The only way to restore balance is to get every single person involved with these commercials and make them fight to the death in a live televised event. Winner gets 0.5% interest on their current account.

Commercial Break: BT – Reservoir Dogs with WiFi

The BT commercials are depressing and awful. The only good thing you can say about them is that they’re persistent. What kind of dribbling nincompoop sits down, watches this dithering shitfests and then gets back to BT to say how much they enjoy them… to keep up the good work? Are these people pining for a return of the Gold Blend ads? Am I inventing these people just to entertain my own bile duct?

Just when you think that people can’t make worse adverts than those seriously dreadful Halifax commercials, like clockwork, along comes the latest in the series of the most unrealistic family in history. Seriously. The BT family are further away from reality than The Munsters.

And so, after we’ve seen this hideous family booking holidays, annoying their parents and estate agents, not to mention dealing with a child with complaints so feeble that they should have told her an outrageous lie like “your father won’t speak to you because he’s ashamed of your spineless snivelling”, we now catch up with ‘Adam’ just hanging with his mates.

What does hanging around with his mates entail? Sitting around a laptop and strutting around like a crap Reservoir Dogs with WiFi connections.

That’s right. HAR HAR! ‘Adam’ pulls rank on his mates because he’s got, not only a better internet connection, but a more suave flat. His mate lives in a stinky bedsit with internet slower than growing grass whilst our ‘Adam’ has a sunlit professional wankpad, probably filled with plinths with iPod docks on and spotlights around Habitat bought pieces of mass-art.

The prick.

Commercial Break: Nike World Cup 2010 advert – ‘Write The Future’

OH MY GOD! The World Cup is nearly upon us! Of course, it’ll play havoc with my trying to review TV shows – but I don’t care! And this new Nike advert has whetted my appetite no end!

In this video, we see weird glimpses of an imagined future which sees trapeze women doing overhead kicks and Wayne Rooney living in a caravan with a massive tramp’s beard.

It really is a wonderful thing. Adidas, the ball is very much in your court now. BRING ON THE WORLD CUP 2010!!!

A sneak peak of the Jedward Shake ‘n’ Vac commercial

Iiiiiiitssalllyouhavetodo. Yep, the Shake ‘n’ Vac commercial is heading our way again, after the carpet talc (or whatever it is) got rehashed and rebranded (starring the original woman who did it, yadda yadda) and, well, left everyone cold. Now, it has a new face. Or should I say faces? Yep, the mind-curling Jedward are bouncing around and rapping and looking for all the world like they’re permanently falling down a mine shaft to promote this junk.

The advert hasn’t hit our TV sets yet, so here’s a sneak peak which gives us a clue of what we could be seeing.

Provided of course, we aren’t all collectively covering our eyes and ears. And nose. And blocking up our throats.

Abortion to be advertised on UK television

It is ironic that I’m already walking on egg-shells about this topic (what with everyone’s fave fry-up accompaniment being a chicken’s period)… but here goes. Basically, for the first time in British televisual history, we’ll be getting to see commercials about abortions. Yessir, a commercial will air to offer advice on abortion services and it will transmit next week.

Of course, this news will see people (by which I mean, those with extreme views and loud voices) on both sides of the fence throwing their hands in the air with glee or unparalleled anger (depending on what side of the fence they are).

The advert from Marie Stopes will be screened on Monday, offering what the organisation says will be “clear, non-judgmental information” on unplanned pregnancies and abortion services.

Marie Stopes says it aims to provide women with information rather than to promote abortion or any other choice.

Seems fair right? I guess that most of us are Pro-Choice for women… right? Of course not… and right on-cue, here come the Pro-Lifers.

This commercial has already been described as “grotesque” by Michaela Aston, a spokeswoman for the anti-abortion campaign group Life.

“I can only express utter disbelief that this is being allowed, given the opposition to abortion advertising expressed during the recent public consultation. To allow abortion providers to advertise on TV, as though they were no different from car companies or detergent manufacturers, is grotesque,” she said.

Whether she’s got a point or not is by-the-by because, when it comes to showing grotesque images, the Pro-Life brigade have thrust more images of dead children in my face than anyone else before even asking me whether or not I was in agreement with them… so on a human/peevish level, I think it’s kinda funny that someone might do the same to them (don’t say ‘they don’t have to tune in’ because you know damn well they will, just so they can get so angry that they have to puke in the living room bin).

The Guardian reports that the Advertising Standards Authority said non-commercial providers of sexual health services, such as Marie Stopes, had been permitted to advertise on UK television for some time. “If viewers have concerns about the content or scheduling of the ad, the ASA is able to consider complaints once the ad has aired. However, we cannot act on objections that viewers might have about the service being advertised at all,” said a spokesman.

Obviously, this commercial is a good thing. You don’t have to agree with it and you will have to suck it up if it makes you angry. That’s the way the world works. The commercial isn’t promoting a mass culling of unborn babies, but rather, making women aware of their options. Personally, I think that a TV spot such as this is infinitely more useful than a commercial or a Go Compare ad’. In fact, the latter are a very good case for aborting humans before they make any irritating advertisements*

As an aside, here‘s a very interesting and completely biased with my view on things article by a brainy young lass that is definitely worth reading on the topic of abortion.

*Please note: This is a joke

Commercial Break: Vodafone Crybaby Idiot

Most adverts are shit. Even the ones that are good are still shit because they’re trying to sell you stuff. The ones that really get me riled are the ones that try and move you emotionally and the biggest source of my continual anger is the pathetic, mealy-mouthed dribblings from Vodafone.

Imagine this: Man gets new job as a director of a company. They hold a party in his honour and, just as he stands up to give a ‘thank-you… let’s look forward to the future where we’re all bloody brilliant and one lovely grinning faux-family’ speech, his mewing little daughter who really is old enough to know better rings him up crying about piss-all.

“Oh Daddy! Daddy Waddy! I’m cwying in my motor-car because a nasty man doesn’t want to put up with my constant neediness all the timey-wimey!”

Of course, what the viewer isn’t told is that this passive aggressive horseshit is being undertaken by a now grown-up Veruca Salt who has stopped stamping her feet and demanding golden-geese and realises that she can get much further by sprinkling a little tear down her stupid pink face and dear ol’ spineless shit of a Dad will come running, even if he’s in the middle of something very important.

We can only hope that this Vodafone commercial is part of a series (like the stupid BT ones) and that Part Two sees Daddy Waddy receiving a text from the man who left his blubbing offspring, saying that “I had to leave her. She was driving me mental. Did she tell you that she’s been having it away with a local butcher boy? Peace out and vibes”.

Naturally, this is never going to happen because this idiotic commercial is designed to show us all that Vodafone really care, maaaaaan, and that they see their customers as human beings, complete with functioning tear-ducts and that. Next they’ll be showing someone texting their wife saying “Bad news. The doc said my bonemarrow has cancer. Thank God I’m on Vodafone or this text may never have got thru LOL“.

This saccharine, simpering tripe is so nauseating that it should be issued with a pack of Quells.

Commercial Break: Benicio Del Toro in a Magnum ad

You may know Benicio del Toro as the award winning actor from such films as The Usual Suspects, Sin City, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Che. Well, he’s nearly undone all that good work with one appearance in a Magnum Gold ice-cream commercial.

In this toe-curling spymercial, we see Del Toro poncing around with some vaguely attractive woman in a cat-suit preparing for a gold heist!

HOWEVER… hur hur hur… it’s not gold they’re stealing, BUT ICE CREAM! Piled up ice-cream with no wrappers on that, when you bite it, it makes a noise that sounds more like someone breaking their tibia and fibia with a claw-hammer.

Are things going so badly for Del Toro that he needs to appear in such a dismal excuse for a commercial? Watch it below… you can smell the embarrassment pissing out of his every pore.

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Commercial Break: Knight Rider meets Kwik Fit

KITT from Knight Rider is one of, if not THE most iconic cars in television history. Not the new one though – no-one remembers what that looks like. And so, it (he?) is about to appear appear on our screens once more. Sadly, KITT doesn’t have a new sitcom coming out (that would be an ‘odd-couple’ house share of some kind, no doubt) but rather, it will star in a new commercial by Kwik Fit and we’ve got the video of it.

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