It’s that time again. The temperature has dropped, the Christmas tree is up and our TV screens have been taken over by this year’s round of festivity. Now all the festive adverts have dropped, we take a look at which brand has won Christmas and which might have missed the mark.
Iceland: Most Controversial
Iceland’s festive offering wins the award for ‘Most Controversial’ this year – even though it didn’t even make it on to television. Titled ‘Rang-tan’ and narrated by Emma Thompson, the ad follows an orangutan and the destruction of its forest habitat for palm oil. However, the ad has been banned by advertising regulators after being seen as too political to broadcast, causing a stir on social media. With such a powerful and meaningful message this was one of the only ads that made us stop and think, so even if it didn’t make it onto our screens we think it’s one of the best ads this year.
Holdens score out of 10: 7
John Lewis: Biggest Anti-climax
Every year people look forward to seeing the prestigious John Lewis Christmas advert. It’s become so iconic due to the rise of social media that it’s now a notable date in the Christmas calendar. The public look forward to seeing what John Lewis has to offer whether that be a dog on a trampoline, a man on the moon, a bear and a hare or a monster under the bed. This year however they went down a different path by using a national treasure in Elton John. A move which can be considered as a little safe by John Lewis, to use a globally known musician to endorse their brand. To us this feels like a bit of an anti-climax, a safe bet and perhaps even lacking creativity?
Our Social Lead Ryan Gibson gave his insight into the advert. He said:
“It’s like opening a Christmas present from your Aunt. You know what you’re getting, it’s socks, every year it’s socks. They’re warm, cosy, it wouldn’t be Christmas without these socks. Then one year you get a ukulele. You’re a bit surprised when you open it as you were expecting one thing and you get something completely different. The John Lewis advert may not have been what everyone expected, a bit different to the usual ‘classic’.”
Holdens score out of 10: 5.9
Aldi: Best Crossover
The Coca-Cola Christmas adverts are arguably the most recognisable Christmas ads of all time. Aldi very cleverly have taken advantage of this by incorporating their cute Christmas icon ‘Kevin the Carrot’ into a Coca-Cola style advert. The advert depicts Kevin accidentally driving the iconic brightly lit lorry off the edge of a cliff which leads to an Italian Job ‘cliff-hanger’ ending with the hashtag #savekevin. In our opinion this was a funny and clever twist on a classic Christmas advert.
The squeaky voiced Kevin the Carrot did have his haters though. Many people think the advert serves to simply sell the giant cuddly carrot teddy in the middle aisles of their store. To some extent this is true, however, John Lewis did exactly the same thing last year, cashing in on their ‘Moz the Monster’ advert selling fluffy toys, mugs, slippers and PJ’s featuring the lovable monster. John Lewis didn’t seem to receive the amount of backlash as Aldi has, but then again Aldi is primarily a food store, so it seems a bit out of place for them to start selling giant cuddly toys which may have caused more exposure.
Holdens score out of 10: 5.6
KFC: Best Copy
Riding on the wave of Red Dead Redemption 2’s success, KFC decided to opt for a visually impressive advert set in a snowy wilderness. The advert depicts a chicken wading through the snow with the recognisable wild west song The Ecstasy of Gold resonating in the background. The ad finishes with a stand-off between the chicken and a turkey. After a long stare down the turkey flutters off and the chicken struts towards the camera and the strapline “turkey comes and goes, but chicken’s here to stay” appears. A personal favourite, we can’t help but appreciate the inspiration from this year’s most talked about game Red Dead Redemption 2, and we love this unique take on a festive ad.
Holdens score out of 10: 7.5
Sainsbury’s: Most Memeable
Now some might say the Sainsbury’s Christmas ad is a bit of a rip off of the John Lewis & Partners advert back when they announced their re-brand. But you can’t really go wrong with a bunch of cute kids in a nativity scene. Throw in a flying gravy boat and a boy dressed as a plug who rams himself into a fake socket on the wall and you’ve got a recipe for a great festive ad, and one that’s totally shareable on social media. The supermarket’s advert is a marked improvement on last year’s singalong, although maybe that’s not surprising given that is was directed by The Greatest Showman’s Michael Gracey.
Holdens score out of 10: 6.7