Holidays are coming...

Holidays are coming… so it’s time to vote for your favourite Christmas advert!

One week into November and just over two weeks until Black Friday – the fierce competition for festive first place is ON. Christmas TV ads and festive window displays are both important levers that retailers can pull to drive loyalty, footfall and ultimately shareholder delight come January.

I’m an impatient lady – so whilst not all of our veterans have already hit the screens, let’s review their material…

christmas bauble

1. John Lewis & Partners – Sir Rocketman?

The “one to beat” entry isn’t in yet, but a clip did appear on Twitter a couple of days ago that could be from its opening credits. Sir Elton is rumoured to have pocketed a cool £5m for offering his Rocket Man track and perhaps more creative IP to the present pile. I am pleased that their outer space theme continues – how incredible was Man On The Moon back in 2016? In 2017 the JL advert came out on 10th November. Once you’ve watched it, you know where to place your vote! Just as Monty stole the show last year, I have high hopes of a 5/5.


2. Aldi – Kevin the Carrot is in danger!

Oh Kevin, you’ve left the nation on a cliff-hanger, LITERALLY!  Renowned for its tongue-in-cheek rinsing of other brands’ IP – including watching Kevin hyperventilating with excitement in anticipation of John Lewis’ advert in 2016 – Aldi has copied Coca Cola’s iconic truck, putting the Carrotsmatic (too much?) Kevin at its wheel for the second year in a row. Let’s hope Katie the Carrot can save him from impending death… stay tuned! #savekevin and #votekevin – I give it a veg-tastic 5/5.


3. Asda – Bringing Christmas home (and making me feel queasy)

The value grocer’s 2018 offering gives me the spins. They’ve got synchronised skiers, Father Christmases travelling on motor bikes, cowboys sledging on Christmas trees and begoggled Yetis? Perhaps worse than giving the spins, that inflatable snowman gives me the creeps. I’ll hand it to Andy Murray, their Chief Customer Officer, the ad launch placement between Gogglebox was Bake Off was the opposite of commercially crackers. I just wouldn’t be able to eat a cake after watching the ad… Take me back to last year’s Roald Dahl-inspired Asda Imaginarium and I’ll be much happier. For me it’s a soggy bottomed 1/5.


4. M&S – The nation’s darling, and Steve Rowe’s saviour – Holly Willoughby

A pivotal signing for M&S, whilst the morning breakfast star hasn’t yet managed to bring sunshine to their LFL figures, she is a 100% cert to appear in their Christmas campaign, alongside the timeless Dame Helen Mirren. Clearly Marks & Sparks aren’t willing to let John Lewis have the only titled star, giving Elton some stiff ruffle-necked competition. In the place of Paddington Bear, Holly is destined to be a festive winner not just because of her name. And who will be her Ivy? Steve, Jill and Archie have wheeled out the serenading big guns: Take That are no stranger to taking the Christmas number one, and this could be no exception. However, M&S haven’t exactly tickled our creative taste buds over the last 12 months, so I’m being cautiously pessimistic with a hypothetical 3/5.


5. Argos – making sure you’re no Christmas fool

Based on the idea that things inevitably go wrong at Christmas, and that Argos is there to ensure “You’re good to go”, the Sainbury’s not-so-side-kick entry features an impish trickster finally thwarted by the retailer’s awesome fulfilment capabilities. I like the blend of storytelling and commerciality: effectively highlighting their point of difference in a crowded marketplace. They have arguably ruined Christmas by exposing Santa, knocking a point off, but I’m still giving them a very deserving 4/5.


6. Sainsbury’s – TBC but bring back remembrance 2014

Creators of one of my favourite ever adverts – Christmas is for sharing – Sainsbury’s have failed to live up to 2014 since. I am aware that this showcases my inner history geek as I adored how they brought to life the allies and the Germans coming together on Christmas Day over a game of footie. I was unsure about last year’s offering, but I hope that this year they’ll pick themselves up out of the proverbial trenches. Nothing has been leaked, to my knowledge, so it’s a wait and see…?/5.


7. Amazon

Happy singing boxes channelling their inner Jackson 5. It’s slightly jarring when these parcels are seen dancing around the warehouse – a facility that recently hit the news in a backlash against its poor pay rates. One worker was reported in the New York Times as saying it was as if the company was saying: “Thanks, we appreciate you going into the holidays. Here’s less money”. It’s a relatively un-inspirational ad so I’m giving it a 2/5

To watch all of these adverts please click here.

I’m keen to hear your thoughts!

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