Christmas ads: Tear-jerkers win again!

11 months ago
natalie by natalie

Christmas ads – it’s all we’re talking about! It’s the one time of the year where I actually look forward to ads. Is it me or does there seem to be a common pattern amongst brands? It seems many have turned to animated joyful comical ads, and steered away from the usual cryfest.

I recently read an article in Marketing Week that said; following a chaotic year of controversial political surprises such as Brexit and Donald Trump presidency, John Lewis wanted to do something lighter according to their customer director, Craig Inglis.

He said he hoped ‘the advert would make people smile, reminding everyone what if feels to give the perfect gift for Christmas’. Sentimental as the previous efforts were, they packed an emotional punch, simply lacking in this ad.

I believe a good Christmas advert should make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, and move you as much as the most heart-rending film. These are the ads we remember and look forward to watching over the festive period. Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot, John Lewis’ Buster the Boxer and Sainsbury’s The Greatest Gift ad just didn’t do it for me.

Here are the ads that won me over this year:

  • Alzheimer’s Research UK ‘Forgotten Santa’ – the first TV campaign launched by the charity and it works wonderfully. This powerful ad raises awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and the charity, and sends out an important message – that anyone can get Alzheimer’s at any given time. What I found interesting was that although the hashtags, #santaforgot and #ibelieve have been used on Twitter, the company has not put any paid spend on this platform.


  • Lidl’s Homecoming – a tale about a family coming together to give their beloved dad and grandfather a Christmas to remember. It’s heart-warming and relatable.


  • Marks and Spencer’s Christmas with Love from Mrs Claus – a beautiful story of a glamourous Mrs Claus helping out a little boy called Jake who wants the perfect gift for his big sister. The campaign also involves Mrs Claus taking over M&S’ social media accounts, and the hashtag #lovemrsclaus which generates its own emoji! Although many brands include a charity element, M&S has decided not to work with a specific charity but instead an army of Mrs Claus will be giving random acts of kindness to 15,000 customers in the run-up to Christmas. For each act, M&S will donate £5 to the recipient’s charity of choice.


  • Heathrow Airport: Coming Home for Christmas – an unlikely contender but this one made me teary. The ad follows Mr and Mrs Bear, two elderly teddy bears landing at the airport. It captures the moment loved ones are reunited with their families, and spreading the message that coming home is the best Christmas gift of all.

What’s your favourite Christmas ad this year and why?

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