It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The nights are drawing colder, the Starbucks red cups are back and everyone’s talking about John Lewis. That’s right, it’s Christmas time!
We asked the Spindogs team to spread some Christmas cheer and share their favourite ads from this holiday season. So, grab a mince pie and a hot chocolate, and make yourself comfortable.
argos - the christmas fool
A mischievous Christmas ‘fool’ determined to ruin Christmas is the star of Argos’ latest festive campaign. Our developer Sian really loves this ad because it shows a light-hearted and fun side to Christmas. It’s a well-known fact that Christmas ads are emotional, but it’s great to see an alternative that’s playful and fun!
From unwrapping presents to breaking fairy lights and stealing Sellotape, the fool is determined to make as much mischief as possible. The message behind the 90 second ad is simple: with Argos’ Click & Collect service the popular retailer is there for everyone’s shopping needs, helping them have a fool-proof Christmas.
john lewis - the boy and the piano
The John Lewis Christmas advert has become a beloved annual tradition for the British public, and for many it signals the beginning of the Christmas season. This year’s ad, titled ‘The Boy and the Piano’, takes a trip down memory lane with superstar singer and pianist Elton John.
Each scene takes the viewer through various stages of Elton John’s life and career, with glimpses of private plane rides, arena tours and parties. The adverts tagline ‘some gifts are more than just a gift’ is the perfect opportunity to reflect on that perfect Christmas present.
Our Front of House Amanda thought this ad delivered on all levels. “The first time I watched this I cried my eyes out, the majority of gifts we send throughout our life won’t drastically change someone’s life, but gifting others will hopefully show them that we care, and that alone has the power to change someone’s life!”
However, some of the other Spindogs team members weren’t so keen! Sian tried hard to love this advert, but didn’t think the theme quite cut it and felt it lacked imagination compared with ads from previous years.
sainsbury's - the big night
Sainsbury’s glitzy take on the traditional school nativity play is directed by Michael Gracey (who also directed the blockbuster film The Greatest Showman) and set to be a favourite this Christmas. It has everything, from dancing turkeys to baubles, to fairy lights and a plug! Sainsbury’s are hoping the theatrical festive ad will inspire the nation to ‘give all we’ve got for the ones we love.’
Personally, I love this ad! I’m a huge fan of Christmas traditions and everything about this ad makes me smile. Chelsea, our Junior Online Marketer, agrees: “I love how this ad is inspired by a Christmas nativity! It embraces everything you expect from Christmas, and I feel like a lot of people can relate.”
Their offering is simple but effective, and resonates with Amanda, “I cried watching this ad!. What can I say? Life is one big emotional rollercoaster! The message ‘we give all we’ve got for the ones we love’ is essentially how I live my life - I’d do anything to make my loved ones smile.”
Sainsbury’s have really pulled out all the stops this year and we are loving it!
iceland - say hello to rang-tan #nopalmoilchristmas
Our runner up this year is Iceland’s ‘Say hello to Rang-Tan’. Even though it was banned from our screens before it even aired, the Iceland Christmas advert is the most talked about ad this season! A joint venture with Greenpeace, the powerful animation follows the story of an orangutan called Rang-Tan who goes to live with a little girl after his forest has been destroyed by the palm oil trade.
After being banned by Clearcast for being too political, the ad has gone on to receive more than 15 million views on social media. In an attempt to raise awareness of this issue, Iceland has made a bold move away from the usual Christmas ad, which once featured a cast of celebrities including Peter Andre and Kerry Katona.
The ad is a firm favourite with Spindogs this year! Chelsea says “I love Iceland’s advert this year, mainly because they moved so far away from the traditional Christmas ad and made a huge statement about an important environmental issue that impacts us all! Even though it was banned from TV, I think this has inspired more people to seek out the ad online, and it’s amazing that Iceland used their ad budget to try and make a difference.”
It’s clear that Iceland have well and truly pulled on our heartstrings this year, and it’s worked a treat!
And the winner is ....
aldi - kevin the carrot and the wicked parsnip
It’s been a tough decision, but our favourite Christmas advert for 2018 is Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot and the Wicked Parsnip! For this year’s ad Aldi has brought back everyone’s favourite root vegetable Kevin the Carrot. We see Kevin driving a lorry much like the Coca Cola Christmas truck before ending on a cliff-hanger (literally) with Kevin left dangling off the edge of a cliff following a truck accident.
The good news is that Kevin is alive and well and is back to face a new enemy - Pascal the parsnip! The fairy tale-like ad is a big hit with the Spindogs team: Sian says “Kevin the carrot is hilarious! I’m looking forward to seeing the full campaign and finding out what happens to Kevin. I think Aldi’s use of a continuous storyline is great!”
Aldi’s campaign is very different compared with the other major retailers. Using a concept that has already been used for the last few years, rather than dazzling audiences with a shiny new ad, is almost unheard of. Amanda loves the use of humour and drama: “I’ve been following Kevin the carrot since his debut in 2016, and now I’m fully invested. Can’t wait to see the final campaign!”
The festive campaign is set to run throughout Christmas and will feature Kevin the Carrot retelling bedtime fairy tales. Soft toy versions of the much-loved vegetable will also be available to buy in stores, with proceeds donated to the Teenage Cancer Trust. After last year’s campaign led to a 15.1% sales uplift and helped attract more that 1 million new shoppers, Aldi is set to take the lead this festive period.
What’s your favourite Christmas ad this year? Let us know on our social channels @spindogsdigital using the hashtag #myfavouritead