In the world of advertising, the holiday season is synonymous with creativity, heartwarming narratives, and an undeniable touch of commercial flair. As we navigate through the myriad of Christmas campaigns this year, each brand seems to be crafting its own unique story to capture the spirit of the season.
From humorous twists to tear-jerking moments, and even a yearning for the good old days of laughter-filled advertising, our team shares their insights and personal favourites, offering a glimpse into the ever-evolving world of festive marketing. So, let’s embark on a journey through the realms of creativity, sentimentality, and perhaps a touch of nostalgia, as we explore our favourite festive advertisements of 2023.
Cara Hyde – Head of Production
If you were to name a celebrity synonmous with Christmas it’s got to be either Mariah Carey or Michael Bublé and Asda have capitalised on that this year by casting Michael Buble as the Chief Quality Officer for Christmas.
The ad sees Michael Bublé signing off on all the traditional elements of Christmas (for some) – mince pies, turkey, cheese, panettone, pigs in blankets and sequinned dresses before ending with him singing the infamous one liner ‘Walking in a Winter Wonderland’ with a choir of Asda colleagues.
The campaign catch phrases ‘Pop the Bublé’ and ‘Make this Christmas Incredibuble’ may be a bit cheesy for some but I’m all about the cheese at Christmas and for me it gets straight into the storyline from the start of the ad in the same way they did with Buddy the Elf last year. There is no need for a long build up where the story only comes together in the final scene, they covered all the anticipation in the teaser ad!
Mallory McGowan – Associate Digital Strategist
Apple’s holiday ad takes a break from the funny festive trend, opting for a heartstring-pulling tale called ‘Fuzzy Feelings.’ In this almost five-minute advertising epic, a creative employee turns a grumpy boss into a stop-motion star.
The miniature manager faces karma for his bitterness getting caught in icy rivers, electrified by Christmas lights, and losing his trousers in the wind. But wait, there’s a twist! The boss has a softer side, and a serious case of loneliness. A thoughtful gift inspires the felt film to take a heartwarming turn.
It’s a festive tale set to George Harrison’s ‘Isn’t It a Pity,’ a melancholy tune that anchors the good-natured message of the ad. Putting the product in the background adds a touch of heartfelt humanity to the tech giant’s brand.
And that isn’t the only bit of work from Apple we’ve been loving. Senior Designer, Viran Boyagoda, shared Taika Waititi’s powerful Apple voice tech ad with the team as an example of weaving empathy and creativity into a marketing message.
Chloe Notter – Team Engagement Manager
Years.com have certainly pulled on some heart strings this year with their 2023 Christmas ad highlighting the joy, love and companionship our fluffy friends bring to our everyday lives.
The campaign doesn’t mention their breed-tailored, nutritional doggy dinners specifically, however, the story deserves a round of a-paws for capturing a simple but incredibly moving message which is likely to bring a tear to your eye, so get the Kleenex at the ready!
Whether it be the daily “sit” and “roll-over” at the park, an excited welcome home after school, some quiet company at the pub or even just a comforting cuddle when you’re feeling low, dogs manage to brighten every moment, and because of that… ‘they deserve to live forever.’
The overall message is to enjoy the moments with your wet-nosed shadows whilst they are around, and don’t take them for granted (and feed them something that’s packed of nutrients to keep them healthy, of course!)
Paul Tumber – Senior Designer
Last year, the BBC reported a shift in the tone of Christmas ads, opting for a more muted approach, with the focus shifting to kindness and togetherness rather than buying things. With the cost of living continuing to rise, most of the festive campaigns I’ve seen this year have followed this pattern.
As a big fan of Christmas, I can’t help but think that this year’s winning advert is Tesco, which depicts a teenage grouch (or should I say Grinch) rolling his eyes at the festive cheer around him. With the help of his ever-enthusiastic father, he manages to “become more Christmas” and celebrate the season with a hamper of Tesco’s finest food and a handmade star on top the tree. Bah humbug be gone!
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