War of the Christmas Adverts – Unwrapping 2023’s Winner

In the realm of Christmas festivities, the highly anticipated adverts we all love, have become an annual battleground for major retailers and brands, each vying for the coveted title of the most heart-warming, entertaining, and memorable campaign.

As the festive season approaches, we find ourselves once again immersed in the festive fervour, surrounded by Ant and Dec’s laughs and your Saturday night Strictly binge, which aims to capture the spirit of Christmas.

So, if you’re ready to hear about how this year, heavyweights like Tesco, M&S, Coca-Cola, and John Lewis have stepped onto the battlefield armed with storytelling, humour, and a dash of nostalgia, keep on reading…

Tesco’s Christmas Advert – Heartfelt Family Connection

Tesco, a stalwart in the Christmas advert arena, has struck a chord this year with a heart-warming portrayal of familial connections. Their advert unfolds like a mini-movie, depicting the journey of a stereotypically grumpy teenager who rekindles his Christmas spirit after bonding with his Father over a childhood memory.

The advert holds tasteful humour, in that when people finally embrace Christmas they turn into giant Christmas trees, pudding, and snowmen.

The metaphorical message aside, this beautiful story not only weaves in themes of love, togetherness, and the joy of giving, but is relatable to parents and teenagers all over. Tesco’s choice to focus on the emotional core of Christmas resonates with audiences, creating a sentimental atmosphere that lingers long after the advert ends.

Give it a watch here:

M&S Christmas Advert – Embraces Quirky Traditions

This year Marks & Spencer has taken a playful turn this Christmas, but the argument is – did it pay off or backfire?

Their advert introduces viewers to the idea that Christmas should be fun and doing things you don’t enjoy because you feel like you should, is actually just robbing you of the Christmas spirit. Including clips of people throwing board games into fish tanks and booting Elf on the Shelf off the roof, the message is strong and clear.

However, M&S did fall into controversy over a clip of green, white and red party hats burning in fire, which some felt resembled the flag of Palestine. The unfortunate timing of this Christmas AD and the tragic events taking place in Gaza led many angry individuals to take to social media to announce their disgust.

Following the issue, Marks and Spencer have removed that clip from the advert and apologised for any upset caused, claiming the advert was filmed earlier in August, before the attack on Palestine.

If nothing else, this advert is a reminder to double-check- scrap that- triple-check, your content before it goes out!

None-the-less, M&S cleverly invites the audience to revel in the joy of being a little bit different during the festive season. This departure from their usual style showcases M&S’s versatility and ability to connect with a broader audience. Yet, it begs the question- does this potentially run the risk of isolating their usual customers?

Give it a watch here:

Sainsbury’s Christmas Advert – Keeping it Sweet and Simple

Another great contender in the Christmas advert spectacle is Sainsbury’s. Their advert plays on the innocence of children at Christmas time and how they often are the ones who bring the magic to adults.

The scene is set with a little girl sneaking off from her mother to make an announcement over the customer service speakers in Sainsbury’s. She poses the question, which gets all the grown-ups pondering, what does Santa have on his Christmas Dinner?

With a dash of festive humour, Sainsbury’s have managed to create an easy watch this year, that is sweet, merry, and nicely showcases some of the mouth-watering food options available this Christmas, such as a charcu-tree board!

Give it a watch here:

Morrisons Christmas Advert – Delivering a Feel-Good Sing-a-Long

Morrisons’ Christmas advert, similar to Sainsbury’s, has also played it safe. The advert portrays the likes of Christmas through the point of view of oven mitts, in the various scenarios they find themselves in from dusting icing sugar on mince pies, to pulling the roasties out of the oven.

The mitts are mouthing the words to the beloved Starship classic, ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now’.

The reaction to this fun-filled AD is nothing short of positive, sparking the idea that ‘playing it safe’ isn’t always a bad thing. Especially around Christmas time, people love tradition, and sometimes sticking to what you know and what people expect can work in your favour.

Give it a watch here:

Asda’s Christmas Advert – Pulls Out All the Stops

Featuring Christmas icon, Michael Bublé as the Chief Quality Officer for the supermarket, the advert has been described as a no-nonsense all-round Christmas advert that “does the heart good”.

With sparks of humour and fun, the advert truly does embody Christmas and is a feel-good watch. From Bublé’s witty commentary to the playful interactions among colleagues, Tesco’s campaign strikes a perfect balance between emotional resonance and light-hearted entertainment. It is a testament to the supermarket’s understanding of the diverse emotions that the Christmas season evokes and their commitment to delivering a memorable and heartwarming Christmas experience for their customers.

Bublé’s charismatic presence adds an extra layer of charm to the narrative, making it a delightful experience for viewers.

Give it a watch here:

Aldi’s Christmas Advert – Iconic Kevin the Carrot Saga Continues

Aldi has become synonymous with the Christmas season through its lovable character, Kevin the Carrot.

This year, Aldi continues the adventures of Kevin in a cinematic-style advert that pays homage to the classic film, ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, or in this case, ‘Kevin and the Christmas Factory’.

Instead of sweets and chocolate, it’s sprouts and gravy, with Kevin earning himself the ‘cheese’ to the factory for his authentic Christmas spirit!

The use of humour, with a sneaky innuendo for the adults as the AD comes to a close, combined with Aldi’s signature vegetable friends, creates a campaign that is both entertaining and endearing. Aldi’s consistency in featuring Kevin the Carrot has solidified its place in the hearts of viewers as a festive tradition in itself- not to mention the marketing benefits of building a sellable character to profit from!

Give it a watch here:

Coca-Cola’s Christmas Advert – Christmas Classic

No discussion of Christmas adverts is complete without the mention of Coca-Cola. The iconic Coca-Cola truck makes its annual appearance, signalling the official start of the season for many.

Despite the evolution of advertising trends, Coca-Cola’s commitment to its timeless and nostalgic Christmas truck campaign remains unwavering. The sight of the illuminated truck has become a symbol of festive cheer, marking the arrival of Christmas in communities around the world.

Their advert this year embraces the warmth of good-heartedness this Christmas in claiming anyone can be Santa. There is a strong sense of celebration for the season of giving within this advert, with the tagline ‘The world needs more Santas’ to leave their audience thinking and feeling all things Christmas.

Give it a watch here:

John Lewis’s Christmas Advert – Emotional Resonance

And last, but certainly not least, John Lewis.

This year John Lewis delivers yet another emotionally charged campaign. Known for its tear-jerking narratives and soul-stirring soundtracks, John Lewis takes viewers on a journey of self-discovery and kindness.

The advert, often treated as a cultural event, captivates audiences with its poignant storytelling and high production values. John Lewis’ ability to create an emotional connection has become a hallmark of the Christmas season.

The 2023 AD features a Venus fly trap- yes you heard that correctly! But we won’t spoil any more, just give it a watch and see what you make of it…

War is Over, But who’s Our Winner?

The war of Christmas adverts always showcases the diversity of approaches employed by retailers and brands to capture the essence of the festive season. From heart-warming family tales to animated spectacles and humorous escapades, each advert brings a unique flavour to the tableau.

As audiences eagerly await the arrival of Christmas, these campaigns not only serve as a marketing strategy but also contribute to the collective spirit of joy, unity, community and goodwill that defines the magic of the season.

In the end, the winner of this festive battle may not be determined by sales alone or social media likes but by the lasting emotional impact each advert leaves on the hearts of viewers, creating cherished memories that endure long after the tinsel has been packed away. It’ll be different for every individual, and we think that’s kind of lovely!

Be sure to sign-up to our newsletters for more discussions like this!