It’s officially December, and even though it feels like it’s been Christmas for months, it didn’t feel right launching our Christmas CreativeEye until now. We wanted to at least wait until we started opening our advent calendars, and secured a very festive (yet quite ugly) Christmas jumper.
This year, many of the Christmas creative campaigns are a little different. The long-awaited John Lewis advert, for example, was a hit or miss for some. Also, Iceland’s Christmas TV ad got banned, TK Maxx created a never-ending burping Christmas stocking and Kevin the Carrot made an iconic return early in November!
Naturally, we decided to round-up the biggest and best campaigns that have caught our attention over the festive period.
Sainsbury’s The Big Night advert
This year Sainsbury’s truly played on our heart strings with their ‘The Big Night’ advert. It’s safe to say ‘plug boy’ has taken the nation (and its hearts) by storm.
Sainsbury’s certainly pulled all the stops out this year and hired the services of director Michael Gracey, of The Greatest Showman spectacular. The ad features a little girl dressed as a golden star out on stage. At first, she’s nervous. Then, she starts singing and stuns the audience with a fantastic cover of You only get what you give by New Radicals.
Sainsbury’s reminds us that it’s the little things at Christmas that can put the biggest smile on your face. The retailer has very successfully captured the epitome of Christmas magic this year.
John Lewis ad & Twitter / John Lewis social media ad
It wouldn’t be Christmas without the mention of a John Lewis ad, would it?
That’s Christmasy, right?
The ad features a little boy getting a piano for Christmas. It then eludes to the little boy being Elton John when he grows up, and aptly features Elton John at different stages of his career. The advert then circles back to Elton sitting at that same piano in the beginning, with the tagline ‘Some gifts are more than just a gift.’
It’s been voted this year’s most talked about ad and has even sparked spin-off adverts.
Cue the John Lewis advert. This time, however, we mean the man, not the department store.
For those of you who don’t know, on Twitter John Lewis (the man) often gets confused for John Lewis the store. The lecturer receives thousands of tweets a day from people mistakenly thinking he’s the retailer.
So, Twitter UK very cleverly created an amusing Christmas advert of Mr Lewis at his home in Virginia replying to tweets.
McDonald’s Reindeer treats ad
This year’s McDonald’s advert has captured the hearts of the internet. Some users have even gone as far as to say ‘it’s better than the John Lewis ad’, deeming it the most festive ad of 2018. The advert ties nicely into their #ReindeerReady campaign.
The ad features a very jolly Santa doing the rounds on Christmas Eve, eating mince pies and drinking a glass-of-whatever was put out for him. But nothing was left for the reindeers. Santa spots a McDonald’s which luckily appears Reindeer-ready! offering a sack-full of Reindeer treats (carrots, to me and you) to keep the herd going.
Alongside the TV advert, McDonald’s has also created a Reindeer-ready microsite where you can enter a competition to win chicken nugget baubles and get live updates on the number of sleeps left until Christmas – and they’ve even created their own Reindeer Ebook and Snapchat lens!
Boots Christmas Advert
This year, Boots have focused on the magic of Christmas with their tear-jerking ad. The ad shows the bond between a mother and daughter and how, at Christmas, it’s important to celebrate the special moments between friends and family.
After the response from last year’s Christmas ad – where people were tweeting ‘I wish I had a sister’ and ‘I really need to call my mum’ – Boots decided to once again promote thoughtful gifting instead of flashy stage productions or in-your-face product promotions.
This emotive campaign definitely leaves a smile on your face, and makes you remember what’s really important at Christmas.
Aldi Christmas ad
Kevin the Carrot (and family) is back in the most iconic way possible.
Aldi launched the return of the famous vegetable in early November by mimicking the most legendary Christmas ad ever: The Coca-Cola Christmas Truck. Except this time it’s an Aldi truck.
Well played Aldi.
Since November, Aldi has launched Kevin the carrot and the Wicked Parsnip adverts, as part of their fairytale Christmas campaign.
Spoiler alert: Kevin the carrot and family save Christmas.
Iceland’s banned TV ad
Iceland’s ‘banned’ Christmas TV ad has been the talking point for a lot of people over the last couple of months. Clearcast, the advertising watchdog, said it breached broadcasting guidelines for being ‘too political’ because the ad was originally created by Greenpeace.
This emotive ad follows an animated Orangutan who has snuck into a little girl’s bedroom because it’s habitat has been destroyed by humans who are fracking for palm oil. The ad has made quite an impact and has been viewed over 30 million times.
It just goes to show you can make a viral Christmas ad with a small budget if your message is emotionally compelling and relevant.
Wildcard: Nose tinsel – Trump
— HappyToast ★ (@IamHappyToast) December 15, 2018
This is somewhat of a wildcard, found from the one of the weirdest corners of the internet.
Last year glitter beards went viral in time for the festive season as well as hanging small baubles from your facial hair. So naturally, this year, nose tinsel has become the festive facial statement of choice. There is a GIF of Donald Trump doing the rounds on Twitter, and he’s pulling tinsel out of his nose.
We don’t really know why, but it made us chuckle. And if you can’t have a laugh at Christmas, then when can you?
So that wraps up our Christmas CreativeEye for 2018.