It’s almost that time of year again, Michael Bublé has emerged from his cave and Mariah Carey’s songs are popping up in my YouTube recommendations. Melodies aside, the holiday season isn’t complete without heartfelt commercials that fill you up with Christmas spirit.
Every year we watch companies and brands flex their creative muscles to put out the best Christmas-themed content and advertisements. John Lewis has established itself as a force to be reckoned with when it comes to inspiring holiday commercials.
Before we dive in, let’s take a look at some of the factors that make a great Christmas commercial.
Whether the idea is to leave a heartwarming impact or make the audience laugh. There are a few magic ingredients that combine to give you the results you hope for and make an effective ad.
1. Tell a compelling story
Humans are hard-wired to remember stories. We look for them and we find better ways to tell them as technology allows us creative freedom to try new things.
As video content creators and marketers, you have a powerful medium to get your message across beautifully. Use it wisely.
In this post, you’ll learn about the 7 story plots. It’ll be useful if you’re trying to craft a compelling story.
2. Appeal to the audience’s emotions
Marketing 101 suggests that the best way to leave a memorable impression on the audience is to appeal to their emotions rather than focusing too heavily on logical reasoning. Tugging at the heartstrings or making the viewer laugh and reminisce about the good old days is a great route to go down if you want your Christmas videos to be memorable.
3. Demonstrate the brand’s values
Christmas is all about family, giving, and togetherness. Holiday commercials often try to capture these themes and that’s what separates great Christmas advertisements from passable ones.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the best Christmas commercials ever made. All of the videos in our top 15 Christmas commercials of all time have expertly combined the aforementioned key ingredients. If you’re looking for inspiration to create video content especially for the holidays, then you’ll learn plenty while binge-watching our selection.
The Best Christmas Commercials of All Time
1. Allegro: “English for beginners”
This one’s my personal favorite when it comes to the best Christmas commercials. Allegro is an online auction website based in Poland. The ad reels you in and offers a heartwarming ending. The words at the end mean “What are you looking for?”, which is a term that pops up when you try to look something up on the website.
2. Sainsbury’s: “The Greatest Gift”
Sainsbury’s Christmas advertisements are the sort of videos people look forward too. “The Greatest Gift” tells a story about a hard-working man named Dave. The man realizes that the greatest gift he can offer his loved ones is his presence and time. Later in the video, you’ll see him figure out a way to do exactly that.
James Corden fans may pick up on his vocals in the video. Stop-frame animation was used to bring this heartwarming story to life. For more inspiring content, check out our previous post: Bao – 2019 Oscar Winner for Best Animated Short Film
3. IRN-BRU Snowman Advert
The Irn-Bru commercial is a little unconventional with the hilarious story it tells. The commercial was produced in Scotland and made its debut in 1978. To this day it is fondly remembered and holds a special spot in every Scotsman’s heart.
4. Hershey’s Kisses: “Christmas Bells”
Ogilvy & Mather produced this stunningly simple yet memorable Christmas commercial in 1989. The ad features festively wrapped Hershey’s Kisses that perform ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’.
5. John Lewis: “Buster the Boxer”
Because of companies like John Lewis and Sainsbury’s, Christmas ads have become sort of a holiday tradition in the UK. People actually look forward to them. “Buster the Boxer” is an example of one of the many memorable John Lewis campaigns I’ve seen over the years.
6. Apple: “Frankie’s Holiday”
Apple artfully shows off its phone’s feature and tells a sentimental story in the process. Christmas ads like these could probably melt a scrooge’s heart.
7. Anuncio Lotería de Navidad: “Justino”
Leo Burnett Madrid’s Pixar-style animated commercial tells an uplifting story of a dedicated night watchman who strives to connect with the day shift workers he never gets to meet. “Justino” went viral in 2015 and won the prestigious Cannes Lions Cyber Grand Prix at the 63rd Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
8. M&M’s: “Faint”
The “Faint” ad sticks out as memorable and funny. The fact that a man who travels on a flying sled pulled by magical reindeers finds the sight of anthropomorphic M&Ms a little too much to handle is ironic. So is the idea that the red M&M is surprised that Santa Claus exists.
9. Tesco: “Delivering Christmas”
In Tesco’s feel-good ad, you watch the delivery guy have an interesting night traveling through time and “delivering Christmas” to delighted recipients.
This Budweiser commercial from 1987 doesn’t give you a sales pitch. It just wishes its viewers “the very best of everything this holiday season”.
The vintage ad features the brands Clydesdale horses galloping across beautiful wintry scenes. The commercial is nostalgic and visually beautiful.
11. Campbell’s: “Snowman”
Campbell’s “Snowman” puts you in the mood for something warm and delicious. It’s a simple idea presented creatively.
12. Sky: “E. T. Came Home for Christmas”
Anyone who enjoyed the movie and felt emotional at the ending will love this commercial. The thought of E.T. coming home, after all these years, to visit his best friend will put a smile on anyone’s face. The Christmas ad strikes all the right chords and ties into the holiday spirit of togetherness and family.
13. IKEA Spain
This ad reminds viewers of the importance of disconnecting from the digital space and reconnecting with the people around you. The video will probably make you want to call up your grandma so she can share her life stories with you.
14. IGA: “Merry Cooking”
IGA’s “Merry Cooking” is a heartwarming ad that encourages its customers to experiment in the kitchen and eat delicious home-cooked meals. The animated video beautifully encapsulates the message.
15. M&S: “Christmas with Love from Mrs Claus”
This commercial presents Mrs. Claus in a different light. In the video, you’ll see how she goes about making a little boy’s wish come true.
Which of these commercials do you love the most? Did I miss any of your favorites? Share your picks for the best Christmas commercials in the comments!
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