Christmas 2016 Ads Rundown
As the days and weeks fly by in the build up to December, perhaps the biggest event of the marketing calendar has taken place; the release of the big-brand Christmas adverts. Even those of us who do not regularly watch TV are likely to have seen them on Youtube, or been shown them by friends, family or colleagues. It’s quite staggering that we complain when subjected to adverts when watching TV, yet the adverts in this blog have already clocked up over 30 Million views on YouTube.
If you’ve been living under a rock for the last week or so, or are stubbornly resisting festive thoughts, we have a selection of some of the biggest Christmas adverts to hit our screens so far this year.
John Lewis – Buster the Boxer
Where else could we start other than with John Lewis, quite possibly the king of Christmas adverts. With classics such as ‘Monty the Penguin’, ‘The Man on the Moon’, and‘The Bear and the Hare’, they have created some incredibly successful campaigns in previous years.
This year’s instalment already has over 16 Million views on YouTube. ‘Buster the Boxer’ begins with a father building a trampoline for his daughter on Christmas Eve. Buster the boxer watches jealously as, overnight, the local animals (foxes, badgers, hedgehogs and squirrels) all bounce on the trampoline. Come Christmas morning, the trampoline is revealed, but first to jump on is Buster. The family watch in amazement as Buster bounces joyfully and the tagline “Gifts that everyone will love” appears.
Josh’s view: “I am a big fan of this year’s John Lewis ad. It has gone down a different route to previous ones, I really like the lightheartedness and humour of it. However, the cynic in me thinks that John Lewis could present literally anything and it will still go down a treat. You have to commend them for creating another advert which comes with a range of cuddly toys to cash-in on, although in fairness, 10% of profits from these sales go to The Wildlife Trusts.”
Sainsbury’s – The Greatest Gift
Last year’s Christmas advert from Sainsbury’s, ‘Mog’s Christmas Calamity’, was a big success for them (31 Million YouTube views). This year’s politically correct instalment is about a man who realises that the most important thing about Christmas is not work, the presents, or the food; it’s spending time with your family. He also happens to own a small factory, where he goes to build contraptions to do all his Christmas shopping so he can spend time at home.
Paul says: “The animation is great and James Corden’s soundtrack for it (which is set to be Christmas number one) is fun, emotive and annoyingly catchy. It’s already gaining a lot of praise and attention for Sainsbury’s but my question is whether it is relevant enough to be a commercial success when it comes to Sainsbury’s Christmas takings…”
Burberry – The Tale of Thomas Burberry
A truly epic advert that takes the form of an Oscar-winning film trailer, the Tale of Thomas Burberry stars Domhnall Gleeson as the titular character. Costing £10 million to make, it explores the 160 years of Burberry history by exploring how his garments were used in the late Victorian era and early twentieth century. The film also stars Sienna Miller as his wife as we explore their relationship from its beginning. Dominic West stars as Ernest Shackleton, the famous explorer who took a crew to the Arctic, wearing warm protective clothing made by Burberry himself. The advert is fantastic at encapsulating the history of Burberry in a dramatic way, from his personal life to his involvement with historical events. One such moment being Burberry standing in the trenches at the Battle of the Somme as he watches young soldiers go over the top wearing the waterproof capes he designed. The calibre of acting and grounded, dramatic style raises this above ordinary Christmas adverts to something more similar to an award-winning short film. Tonally, however, this is not a Christmas advert.
Rob says “It’s not the most Christmas-y advert, however, I think it’s a great looking advert with superb actors and would make a fantastic feature film.”
Marks & Spencer – Mrs Clause
M&S deliver a very heartwarming, expensive and unique take on the Christmas advert. We follow Mrs Clause who receives a letter just after she wishes her husband farewell on his Christmas Eve travels. It is from a little boy called Jake who realises how much he irritates his sister; including spraying her with water, feeding one of her shoes to the dog and jumping out to scare her. He asks Mrs Clause if she would help him make her Christmas. Mrs Clause then dons a stylish red cape and dress, gets in a helicopter and flies to Jake’s house to deliver a present from Jake to his sister. It turns out to be a pair of replacement shoes from the ones the dog devoured. Jake’s sister hugs her brother lovingly. Father Christmas returns home the next morning to find his wife asleep on the sofa. He has no idea.
Sam says: “I really like this advert. It combines the typical sweet and sentimental side of a Christmas advert with extravagance and an exaggerated sense of humour. It captures perfectly the relationship between siblings and how Christmas is a time for reminding those we love how much they really mean to us. Plus, it doesn’t rely on an animal that they can sell toys of.”