A quick-fire round-up of this year’s Christmas ads: all opinions are my own.


Points for poking fun at itself and the perception that supermarkets start Christmas too early. But no emotion or hook. A clever attempt to deliver early sales through making treating permissible, which one would hope would translate into sales later.  (Ahem - that box of choccies you were ‘saving’?!)


This high budget animation featuring vocals from James Corden, delivers the message that the greatest gift that anyone can give this Christmas is time.  Like 2014, though less controversially, Sainsbury’s are donating profits from a featured item to charity.

 It’s a very worthy sentiment, and the style of animation should be sufficiently visually different to ensure greater cut-through, but not sure how it will drive either footfall to stores, or shift more product once shoppers are there. Are Sainsbury’s promising to put more staff on tills? Or increase .com delivery slots? Possibly a missed opportunity here to really land a message, and help time-poor shoppers, perhaps through alternative platforms as part of a holistic campaign.


Insight based advertising: Reinforces its free range credentials, following an interaction with a shopper on twitter. Brand looks like it’s listening to its consumers, while striking at the heart of the alleged perception of low quality meat in discounters which could be a barrier to Christmas sales. Very clever.

John Lewis

#Bustertheboxer: A tear-jerker of an ad interspersed with humour, underpinning the key message ‘Gifts Everyone Will Love’. A clever link with the Wildlife Trust delivers CSR credentials. This one? Back of the net…..


#kevinthecarrot: Very cute, making produce the star of the show, this ad showcases Aldi’s festive products brilliantly, dialling up quality messages.  More cleverly, this ad in the same series trolls John Lewis’ juggernaut, but positively, and on Twitter, brilliantly appropriates the BustertheBoxer hashtag to drive traffic to Aldi.


Linked to the John Lewis ad, and the Wildlife Trust the Waitrose ad is a big, bold emotional statement, beautifully made.  Christmas is about coming home for Christmas. But it could be from any premium retailer. Where are Waitrose’s lovely foodie cues?


Asda take a different approach to the 3 minute epics of John Lewis et al with a series of 30 second vignettes that focus on different product groups with a tongue in cheek approach. Solid attempt to shift more product particularly non-food, possibly in a response to Asda’s results of late . Interestingly, the only ad to flag any pricing.

As an aside - a very interesting partnership with Nestle in ‘Sweets Need a home’. Was this an Asda ad or a Quality Street one? Fantastic retailer/supplier collaboration. 


Genius.  Festive without being clichéd. The role of Mrs Claus is a brilliant way to target M&S shoppers. Lovely little details like the numberplate on the helicopter.

Photo credit: Marks & Spencer 2016 advertising

We particularly like the fact that this ad is a clever story, and a showpiece for items in M&S – the power red dress, the sweater, and the sparkly red shoes are all available to purchase, while stocks last, of course!  Facebook advertising timed with the ad release drove shoppers online to purchase key items.

We’ll update this blog as more Christmas ads make their debut.  We await the ad that delivers the emotional punch of this one from Edeka, last year….


Happy Christmas, everyone!