It’s that time of the year when Christmas comes around, and our TV screens are filled with Christmas adverts. But what have been some of the best over the years?
Whilst I am normally pretty strict about the fact that Christmas does not start until 1 December – as my birthday is in late November – after the year we have had, I think we could all do with some festive cheer.
For me, the season was kicked off by the release of the new John Lewis Christmas advert. Spreading a heart-warming message that encourages random acts of love and kindness, it is a reminder that why we love Christmas so much as a nation. So, with that in mind, it seemed like a great opportunity to reflect on some of the best adverts from previous years. Warning: these views may be controversial. Please don’t hate me for my lack of culture.
5. The Bear and The Hare (2013)
This touching advert from John Lewis is widely considered to be the origin of the Christmas advert craze. An animated short showing the unlikely friendship between a bear and a hare and as the hare shares the gift of Christmas, it will put a smile on anyone’s face! And if that is not festive enough, it’s set to Lily Allen’s cover of “Somewhere Only We Know”.
4. Mr & Mrs Claus (2016)
M&S take a slightly more satirical angle in this ad, showing what “the woman behind the man” gets up to when Santa is on his Christmas Eve rounds. Mrs Claus sets off to help a young boy show his older sister how much she means to him. For me, the highlight was the performance from award winning actress Janet McTeer – and their cheeky nod to adults – with the inclusion of her 50 Shades of Red novel.
3. Monty the Penguin (2014)
Another from John Lewis, this advert follows the friendship between a young boy and a penguin. We watch as they play, run, and travel around together – with impossibly cute, responses from Monty. When the young boy realises that Monty wants to find love, he comes up with the perfect solution: presenting him with his very own penguin partner under the tree on Christmas. This moment is made even better as we see it from the parent’s perspective, and realise that the penguins are stuffed toys, showing the power of a child’s imagination.
2. 1914 (2014)
Drawing from a real moment in history, this Sainsbury advert retells the story of the Christmas day truce that occurred in 1914. In particular, it shows the exchange between two opposing soldiers, and in the end reveals they have gifted one another treats, showing a gifted chocolate bar in an emotional demonstration that they were not one another’s enemies. Whilst the advert was criticised for its controversial marketisation of the war to increase sales, it did highlight the importance of supporting veterans – and worked alongside The British Legion.
1. The Man on The Moon (2015)
My favourite Christmas advert of all time comes from John Lewis again (these guys really know how to create a tearjerker). The 2015 advert shows a young girl, Lily, as she looks through a telescope and discovers a man on the moon. We watch as she attempts to connect with him throughout the holiday season. As time passes, she is eventually able to send him his Christmas present – a telescope, so that he can see her too (I’m not crying, you’re crying). This emotional punch was designed to highlight the issues of loneliness and alienation that elderly people experience around Christmas. And boy did it make me want to hug my grandparents.
It simply shows that Christmas adverts each year tug at our heart strings and remain a constant in our Christmas traditions to get us in the festive spirit.
By Frankie Galton
Feature image: The Sun