Sunday, December 9, 2018

The ads of Christmas


2014‘s Christmas adverts watch like a series of miniature movies. Retailers have mostly steered away from the “traditional end-of-year consumerism”, says Google and the underlying subtext seems to be a recurring theme of ‘giving‘.

We looked at the ads that will serve the most as talking points at Christmas dinner 2014.

John Lewis

Costing around £1m to make and supporting charity WWF, the story of Monty and Mabel has continued off screen, onto pillows, pyjamas and products alike. Most coveted are the plush penguins, sales of which have been through the roof. On Twitter, ‘Monty The Penguin‘ has accumulated a following of 35k, more than some retailers themselves.

“John Lewis could pick any product, from a couch to a tube of mascara, and they‘d still be able to sell it well” psychologist Emma Kenny tells Retail Gazette.

Coca Cola

The Coca Cola advert legitimises our Christmas spirit, year on year. It‘s almost an annual event.


Perhaps the most controversial ad of them all this year, Sainsbury‘s raised eyebrows with its account of a First World War Christmas.

“It‘s a historic and valuable ad about kindred spirits” Kenny explains, “and it‘s ironic that consumers hate something that really happened, but love an ad like John Lewis‘s. Nobody wants to associate Christmas with war, they want decadence, but Sainsbury‘s have done something special.”


Last night, McVitie‘s launched its first Christmas ad campaign in over three decades, standing out from other retailers whose ads appeared on screens in November. If the timing doesn‘t do it, the furry little animals should.


It‘s been rather a tumultuous year for Mulberry, but the British brand used a little tongue-in-cheek humour with its Christmas campaign, allowing for traffic on its website to increase by 30% in following weeks.


It‘s not easy for the grocers who can sometimes lack authenticity in their adverts.

“Food isn‘t sexy or emotionally responsive even though we all need to go grocery shopping” says Kenny, so while Aldi‘s advert might not have been the most creative, at the very least it focuses its attention on the core values of Christmas.


Not everyone has seen the Harrods 2014 advert, which is only airing online and in cinemas, but the advert is a change for the high end department store, which generally opts to push an advert for January sales. The memorable thing about this one, is the voiceover by Jane Horrocks.

Marks and Spencer

Marks & Spencer replaced celebrities for its 2014 Christmas advert with two fairies carrying out good deeds across the country and has been more viewed on YouTube than most retailers.


One of the lengthier ads, Romeo Beckham was a shining star in this year‘s Burberry campaign. 50 well dressed dancers push the idea of extravagance and luxury, while Beckham plays the role of Cupid. Although Burberry was critiqued for casting young Beckham, the ad has been well received.