Holidays are coming: The best Christmas adverts


From Starbucks’ red cups to Pret A Manger’s Christmas sandwich, we rely on advertising ploys to get us festively aroused, with nothing working quite as instantaneously as a TV ad. For me, nothing marks the beginning of Christmas quite like the glorious Coca Cola ‘Holidays are Coming’ advert, and we’ve all been swept up with the recent hysteria over the two-minute, £7 million John Lewis commercial. It’s time to unashamedly admit that we love a Christmas advert, and if this means we’re slaves to the vehicles of capitalism, then so be it. After all, ’tis the season to be jolly, and all that. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the greatest Christmas commercials to have graced our screens.

There are many incarnations of the aforementioned Coca Cola ad, but they all inspire the same seasonal joy. As the jingle bells begin and the red trucks emerge, feel yourself regress to that Christmas Eve childhood ecstasy.

Toys R Us will forever be associated with the festive season for me. Entering the spacious store as a child was equivalent to entering Father Christmas’ actual workshop. Needless to say the advert is slightly weird looking back (why is there a giraffe running around the store?).

I’m unsure if this Kellogg’s Cornflakes advert has ever aired in the UK, but it’s certainly been a good YouTube find. The little girl receiving a cornflake from Father Christmas is ridiculously cute.

The nostalgia of the Tipps family will never get old. The chimpanzee family which made regular appearances in adverts for almost half a century were involved in many Christmassy situations but this simple sing-song is one of the best.

As illustrated by the John Lewis example, companies are putting huge budgets towards their festive commercials nowadays, and Cadbury’s won’t be letting anyone miss their offering this year. After the kids have unwrapped their neighbourhood, the tagline ‘Unwrap Joy’ almost as sickly as the chocolate they’ll be shifting by the sleigh-load this December.

Sainsbury’s has compiled a series of home videos for their advert this year, following all the Xmas events – including leaving carrots out for the reindeers – to the perfect timings for the dinner. It’s a lengthy advert, but watch until the end to see the elated kids’ faces which encapsulate the spirit of Christmas.

By 2003 it was clear that Yellow Pages themselves realised their catalogues of contacts were a bit useless, and instead decided to market them through alternative uses. This memorable and simple shot was aired on several occasions from 1992 onwards, with the little boy being mistaken for a young Robbie Williams. Alas, it’s not him, but still a good ad.

How else could a list of the best Christmas adverts end than with John Lewis’ best broadcast from 2011. As the little boy impatiently waits for Christmas, we see him getting more and more frustrated, but in the end it’s all because he’s so excited about giving a present to his parents. It’s an adorable and heart-melting twist, bravo John Lewis!

What’s your favourite Christmas advert? Let us know in the comments below.


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