02 Dec 2021
And we’re back! I liked this year’s offering from JL – thank goodness, I feel like the crescendo that was missing from last year has at least been replaced by returning to its traditional roots of heart-warming feel throughout. Striking a lovely and relevant note of accepting those different from us, the story of two friends from different worlds, celebrating together, as one introduces the other to their time of celebration is kind, caring and everything that Christmas should be. John Lewis’ partnership with agency Adam & Eve DDB has been longstanding and the commitment to brand consistency really plays out well here. 8/10 for me. A good solid gold standard and a return to form.
Again, bringing back their highly popular Christmas character ‘Kevin the Carrot’ with his familiarity and likability factors, this year sees additional characters created as they run with the Dickensian festive classic story ‘A Christmas Carol’, with a food and drink twist in the form of its cast.
Marcus ‘Radishford’, the hero of 2021 and feeder of the children, ably provides his quality brand association whilst ensuring people don’t not forget Aldi’s positioning of wanting to be the number one affordable supermarket option.
They’ve built on what they have and added well – 8/10!
Disney, as always, brings the magic and tugs on the heartstrings. Absolute masters of the art of telling a story, this time they focused on a step-dad and his journey into the hearts of the children in his new family. If you want to feel a swell of emotion, see familiar and beloved characters throughout and that ‘moment’ I always talk about in my number one need of a Christmas advert, then this certainly delivers. 9/10 (there is something in my eye…).
Last year didn’t work for me either – I miss the days of the epic 1914 Christmas advert – this year it is a great example of a concept that works really well on paper but for me didn’t have the emotion behind it to fulfil any objectives and/or create its desired effect. It’s well-filmed but I don’t understand why or where they were going with this, other than it was a pretty good idea around the table. It’s ok. 6/10.
My hero and joint favourite advert this year – fully brave in the form of Christmas is absolutely happening and this is the year to end all year’s celebrations. Still wise-enough to allow for some potential mishaps, a dash of humour surrounding these, it never falters from its course – the overcoming of obstacles and a beautiful rise in the story arc – wonderful! With a soundtrack that is proved to always work and messaging selling the go all out for Christmas 2021 – this one really worked for me, made me want to spend my money and do just that. 9.5/10 (only Coca-Cola could ever get a full 10 from me…)
Having watched their rival Aldi build the love of their character ‘Kevin the carrot’ over the last few years, it must have struck the marketing teams that they’ve had two beloved characters that have driven sales and fascination for their brand for years, and finally decided to bring them to life! Percy is alive and now we all wait, with bated breath, for Colin to find his many legs and achieve the same found fame. I would have found it braver to see, after this tumultuous year for the caterpillar cakes, to see him bare breath first – but controversy and a social media battle they didn’t win is perhaps why they stuck with the safe first choice for pigs in blankets season. 7/10
A colourful and seamless (and no doubt exceptionally hard to film!) dream on our screens. An extravaganza that ended with the whisper of promise for a young child in the form of golden skates as her present in the morning. A wonderful display, full show of Christmas and everything that Asda can bring to your table this Christmas time. Great concept, well-executed. 8/10.
The fabulous Jenna Coleman stars as ‘Joy’ in an advert focused on creating the ‘feels’ from the very start. The Mary Poppins effect of feeling the need to keep gift giving aside, it had some lovely aesthetic moments and I always enjoy a proper ‘story’ to an advert. Superbly acted and great product placement. 8/10.
I loved this very understated advert. It wasn’t the usual Christmas advert that I enjoy, but I thought its sensitivity and understanding behind the messaging was truly joyous, at this time of year and especially at this time in the world in general. I can’t not mention what must have been a nose-bleed high fee for an unreleased Adele song as the soundtrack. The story’s generational moments were also greatly appreciated, and it felt like a wonderful way to communicate the softer side of ease of giving through Amazon. Well-played by the online giant and I thoroughly enjoyed its simplistic beauty of a story. 9/10
My second joint-favourite of the year – Iggy the monster! Everything that Christmas should be in one advert – so much so that it felt just like a gift from the fast-food chain. It has opportunities to explore its happy meals having this lovely little character and obviously amazing content in their app to create a character that children will want their parents to order on and buy them. It has the story and emotion we crave – to feel the season through the eyes of a child. Toy Story and Monsters Inc. combined, with a nod to their successful placement of their carrots as reindeer and children’s treats! 9.5/10!