Love them or hate them, Christmas adverts have become a tradition as inescapable as mistletoe, mulled wine, and singing along to Mariah Carey at the top of your voice at the office Christmas party. Every year big-name retailers fight it out to grab our attention, but only a few stand the test of time. From tear-jerkers to laugh out moments, I have the best Christmas adverts here.
1. Sainsbury’s – The Big Night
This is my favourite advert, I could watch it over and over again. We all remember the school nativity and let’s face it unless you were Mary or Joesph, you didn’t get the part that you wanted. This looks like absolute mayhem, but it is pure joy. It starts with a little girl who looks nervous and then absolutely nails it. I want to be a plug in this year’s nativity! (Watch this kids legs when they jump – hysterical!)
2. Coca Cola
Ok, this one might be a bit obvious, but is it truly Christmas until you’ve seen this advert? Can you believe it first aired in 1995? It certainly helps that the jingle is impossibly catchy. Now each year these Christmas trucks roll out on festive tours, travelling the length of the UK to give out free bottles of coke. I wonder if this will happen in 2020?
3. Marks and Spencer
The 2006 advert coined the ‘This is not just…’ tagline that they are now known for. Christmas is all about food, one of the most essential elements of the festive season. The slow-motion close-ups of festive dishes and the sexy voiceover make you froth at the mouth. It pioneered the concept of food porn long before the Instagram age.
4. Yellow Pages
Some of you reading this weren’t even born in 1992! I was an 8-year-old tall girl, and as much as I wasn’t ready to kiss boys under the mistletoe, I could resonate with the boys being too short to reach up. It became part of pop culture, and for decades afterwards, people would suggest standing on the yellow pages, if you were to short to complete a task.
5. Sainsbury’s – 1914
I struggle to get through this one without shedding a tear. That’s a lie, I cry buckets! It was made in partnership with The Royal British Legion in 2014. It is inspired by the real events that took place precisely 100 years before its creation. A well-known story from World War One is that they laid down their weapons on Christmas Day, and even played football in no-man’s land.
6. Honey Nut Loops
Bah, humbug! Ok, I couldn’t find the British version of this video. Back in 1989 Honey Nut Cheerios were called Honey Nut Loops in the UK, before the rebrand to match the American version. The advert was the same, though. Even Scrooge gets into the Christmas spirit by the end of the ad.
7. Quality Street
Before big budget adverts were a thing, there were magic moments. Showing that Christmas is the perfect time to say thank you to those who help you throughout the year. In the advert, the small boy gives the gift of Quality Street to his school lollipop lady who gets him across the road safely every day. It first appeared on our screens in 1992 with the catchy jingle that went on to be used by the brand on follow up adverts.
8. John Lewis – Elton John
I think I am the only person who doesn’t get exciting for the new John Lewis Christmas advert. They are always fun and touching, but honestly, do you remember what last years was, or the year before? My favourite is the Elton John one from 2018. I like that a gift to a child can mean so much to others too – family, friends, the world.
In 2006, Irn Bru released its famous Christmas advert ‘The Snowman’ changing the words to the 1982 short film and song. The young boy refuses to share his drink with the snowman as they fly over Scottish landmarks.
All the way back in 1996, the M&Ms meet Santa Clause. Both the M&M’s and Santa are surprised to see each other and exclaim “He does / They do exist” Spoiler alert – the advert ends with Santa fainting with dis-belief. Pure festive fun.
What are your favourite Christmas adverts?
Have I missed any of your favourite all-time Christmas adverts out?