From Kevin the carrot, to Buster the Boxer we have seen a lot of all-singing, all-dancing Christmas adverts this year. Matt, our graphic designer takes us through his popular videos of 2016:

  1. Waitrose cleverly showcases the story of a Robin’s journey home for Christmas. Whilst Robins may appear on a lot on Christmas cards, I can’t remember that many showing up on TV adverts. The special effects are incredibly life-like and the whole tale is created tastefully, without being too ‘in your face’ – unlike the majority of Christmas advertising!
  1. The advert created by Wes Anderson for H&M has to be my second favourite. Wes Anderson is a bit of a ‘Marmite’ director, so this could be a ‘love it’ or ‘hate it’ advert. His quirky old-fashioned style lends itself well to the Christmas period, and results in a heartwarming, charming and refreshingly different take on festive advertising.
  1. While I think that the idea behind the M&S advert is clever and a different angle to take (I don’t think that Mrs Claus is ever really shown or mentioned in advertising), I’m not really a big fan, however I think their target audience would love it, so it could be an effective campaign.
  1. There has been a lot of talk about the Sainbury’s advert this year, notably having a catchy song in it performed by James Corden. With award winning directors and writers involved, it’s clear no expense has been spared. The marketing alongside the video has expanded the reach significantly, with a downloadable charity song, and Sainsbury’s supermarkets stocking the main character (in gingerbread form). I do like it, but it feels like a big marketing campaign, and lacks the subtlety of some of the other big brands. I much prefer this Gogglebox review to the actual advert!
  1. John Lewis always has a lot to live up to after producing popular Christmas adverts year after year. This year they have created something a bit different to their normal ‘tear-jerker’ style, instead opting for humour. Whilst it is nice to see something different from John Lewis, I don’t think it is as memorable or powerful as previous years. However, the Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton parody released after the election is definitely worth a watch!
  1. Aldi are no strangers to humorous adverts, in fact they released an advert last year in response to John Lewis’ 2015 entry as a parody. The advert this year, while friendly and amusing (in part thanks to Jim Broadbent’s dulcet tones) and much better than their previous Christmas TV adverts, doesn’t quite have the same impact as some of their older campaigns, which were simpler and more effective.

How to make a successful advert at Christmas

  • To make a video that’s going to go viral, it has to have impact
  • People are very savvy these days, so finding an idea that appeals to people without making them feel like they are being sold to is difficult
  • Normally the way in which most achieve this is by tugging at people’s heart strings with an emotional sentiment, reminding you of the importance of family & friends at this time of year
  • The other method is to try and capture the excitement of Christmas
  • Often, the best adverts are the most simple
  • One of my all time favourites is the Coca Cola advert where a procession of well-lit trucks drive though a town. Each year I see the advert it makes me feel instantly festive!

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