(addy Christmas, like ‘appy Christmas, get it? … It’s awful, I know. Moving on).
Christmas adverts have become a pretty big thing in the last couple of years, with companies and brands trying to top each other, and themselves from previous years. We all wait with bated breath to see what John Lewis have put together this year and who’s going to outdo them? (Frankly, this year they are bottom of my rankings, I’m greatly disappointed with the Elton advert).
I think I get way too invested in the yearly Christmas adverts, if I’m being completely honest. Every time a new one is premiered, I’m straight onto mum and we discuss what we liked and didn’t like about said advert. They’ve become an exciting way to mark Christmas so in honour of the release of this year’s cohort, I’ve put together some of my faves.
Heathrow Bears | Heathrow Airport 2016/17/18
Loveable elderly bears, Doris and Edward, are back this year and making me cry again. I don’t know if it’s just the element of family running through the adverts or because they’re super cute bears, but I well up every time I watch these adverts.
The bears were first introduced in 2016 and really reinforced the idea that Christmas is for spending time at home with your family. As Doris and Edward make their way home for Christmas, their old nature is captured perfectly in their struggle with the long walks, unsteady escalator rides and grabbing their bags from the conveyor belt. The cute teddy bears transform into grandparents just in time to catch the hugs from their grandchildren at the arrival gate.
The latest advert sees Doris and Edward preparing for a very nontraditional Christmas in a retirement home in Florida. After a Skype call with their family back home, they decide it’s time to pack up their presents, hop on a plane and surprise everyone, of course, not without Edward grabbing some Walker’s shortbread (the most grandparent-y thing ever).
The 2017 advert is my favourite of the three. It’s like a prequel to the first one, as it tells the story of how Doris and Edward met and fell in love (and where Edward fell in love with Walker’s shortbread). As they advert goes on, they get older and their family grows, with the last shot showing all the family waiting in Heathrow Airport for Edward’s return.
1914 |Sainsbury’s 2014
Made in partnership with The Royal British Legion. Inspired by real events from 100 years ago.
This advert from Sainsbury’s to commemorate the start of WW1 was just beautiful. It starts with soldiers in the trenches on Christmas eve, receiving cards and photos and treats from loved ones back home. A British soldier hears German troops singing ‘Silent Night’ and decides to venture into the barbed wire of ‘no-man’s land’, before soldiers from both sides join him and shake hands.
They share conversation and play a game of football before returning to their own sides, after Jim had slipped the bar of chocolate he got from Rose into Otto, the German soldier’s pocket.
I’m not comparing Christmas to war, but it can be a time of high stress and many arguments so the message of setting aside all differences and sharing gifts and laughter and having wonderful day together really resonates.
Sainsbury’s actually sold the bar of chocolate that appeared in the advert and all proceeds went to a veteran’s charity.
The Long Wait | John Lewis 2011
John Lewis do it every year (except this year for me, as I’ve already mentioned). Every year they make us cry, laugh, smile with that they put together. The Snowman’s Journey in 2012, Monty the Penguin in 2014, Buster the Dog in 2016, Moz the Monster in 2017… but my favourite is still the one they did in 2011.
It follows a little boy who is very excited for Christmas and very annoyed and frustrated that he has to wait so long for it to arrive. It follows him wishing away his days and trying to speed up time until we finally reach the day. When he wakes up on the day, he completely ignores the presents at the foot of his bed and grabs a messily wrapped box from his wardrobe before making his way to his parents’ room to give them the present he got for them.
I think I love this advert so much because it’s exactly how I feel in the run up to Christmas, getting excited to make other people happy with the gifts you buy them. I’m so impatient I’ve already told my boyfriend what I plan on getting him for Christmas (damnit Hannah!)
The latest John Lewis advert as been subject to a lot of criticism and I can’t deny that I myself was disappointed (as I’m mentioning for the third time, can you tell how disappointing I am). I got the message they were trying to share, that a gift at Christmas could lead to so much more. But it lacked the Christmas magic that usually fills a John Lewis advert and felt more like a second promo for Elton John’s film that’s due out next year.
A number of brands went on to parody the 2018 ad and honestly I enjoyed seeing that more…
— Lidl UK (@LidlUK) November 15, 2018
the John Lewis ad but instead of Elton John it's this keyboard wizard pic.twitter.com/u25MPqv0gl
— Netflix UK & Ireland (@NetflixUK) November 15, 2018
What’s your favourite Christmas Advert?