Cracking Christmas Ads
The festive season is in full swing earlier than ever this year and the hotly anticipated Christmas adverts have landed. From supermarket rivalry to the usually extravagant John Lewis commercial – debate around the festive advertising fare rages wilder by the year.
The 2020 Christmas ad line-up is arguably more important than ever, with the nation desperately in need of an uplifting distraction – but have they hit the right notes? Here is The Right Agency’s official ranking of 2020’s best Christmas ads:
Coming in at the bottom this year is Lidl. The advert pokes fun at generic Christmas ads, with digs at John Lewis-style talking animals, Sainsbury’s gravy song (how did they know?!) and a not-so-subtle mocking of rival Aldi’s ‘Kevin the Carrot’. But, rather than a bit of light-humoured relief, the advert seems a bit below the belt – not in the spirit of Christmas or what we need in 2020.
9. TK Maxx
Second to last, we have TK Maxx. There’s nothing hugely wrong with this advert – which features an animated goat ice skating while in a designer outfit bought by its farmer – it’s just a little bit bizarre and lacking any real storyline or emotion.
Next up – Aldi, and the return of ‘Kevin the Carrot’, this time in a struggle to make it home in time for Christmas. The ad tells an enjoyable story and includes a happy ending to give us that magical festive feeling, but we can’t be the only ones thinking the Kevin thing is getting a bit old…?
The Smyths Toy Store advert is an imaginative family-friendly (albeit slightly freaky) campaign that explores how adventurous life would be as a toy. Featuring LEGO characters, Barbie at the bus stop and Mario in his Kart, Smyths’ ad is perfectly fun and uplifting – and we’re sure it will inspire many a Christmas list too.
6. John Lewis
In at number six we have John Lewis, with its most mediocre advert to date. We may have graded this one harshly due to the immense anticipation that surrounds it each year, but with great power comes great responsibility and, this time, John Lewis really did disappoint. Its heart-warming message of spreading a little kindness is certainly Christmassy, but with no tears shed, it didn’t pack the emotional punch that we all know and love the retail giant for.
In at the middle spot is Argos with its upbeat and entertaining magic show, featuring two sisters who transform into young magicians. The advert captures the feel-good family spirit of Christmas, the nostalgic magic of circling the Argos catalogue at Christmas-time and even features Gary Barlow’s new single, ‘Incredible’ – what’s not to like?
Amazon’s ‘The Show Must Go On’ Christmas advert tackles the pandemic topic head-on with its portrayal of a young ballerina excited to land the lead role in her dance show, only for it to be cancelled. With plenty of emotion, a community Christmas spirit and a powerful instrumental soundtrack, we think this ad captures the nation’s mood perfectly this festive season.
With parts one and two of its three-part series released so far, the Sainsbury’s Christmas campaign is a tearjerker. The telephone call-style voiceover of the ‘Gravy Song’ and ‘Perfect Portions’ cleverly touches on the notion of distanced families this year, while the home footage videos are perfectly nostalgic to get us all reminiscing about our own family traditions. It’s a real heart-warmer and we can’t wait to bawl over part three.
Only just missing out on the top spot, it’s Tesco – the cheeky festive advert that we all needed this year. The ‘No Naughty List’ concept embraces the ups and downs of the truly exceptional year we’ve had, from stockpiling loo roll to singing happy birthday while handwashing and donating to Captain Tom’s legendary fundraising effort. It’s funny, it’s topical and its message is bang-on.
1. Coca Cola
Taking the top spot is the Oscar-deserving masterpiece that is Coca-Cola’s Christmas advert. Directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Taika Waititi, the heart-wrenching ad tells the story of a Dad working overseas who travels around the Earth on a merciless mission to deliver his daughter’s letter to Santa. But, finding himself too late to the North Pole, the Dad returns home disappointed, only to discover that was his daughter’s wish all along… we’re not crying, you are. (And that’s how it’s done, John Lewis…)