The Christmas 2022 Adverts Are Here!


It’s the beginning of November, and in the truest Pam Shipman style, we’ve been given 7 weeks to enjoy our holiday offerings from the places where we usually do the big shop! 

Every year, we look forward to the Christmas adverts, putting our hatred of capitalism to one side and shedding a tear as an Oliver Twist-esque child receives a train set or a dog bounces on a trampoline with a monster. It really is all the hope and joy we have, and as the first autumn leaves fall from the trees, we begin wondering, “Which secular and incredibly non-Christmassy song has John Lewis turned into a holiday hit this year?”

For someone who thought it was still September, I was slightly spooked to see the hubbub of Asda’s Christmas advert on Twitter. People were singing its praises, ‘It’s a cinematic masterpiece,’ said no one, but that’s the impression I got. I always imagine there’s an isolated marketing team in supermarkets that start work on the Christmas adverts on New Year’s Day because it’s such a big deal. It’s basically the Olympics! So I was ready to hand over the trophy for best advert to Asda simply by the reaction to ‘Have Your Elf A Merry Christmas’, but I was sorely disappointed!                                                                                                                                                                                    

Will Ferrell as Buddy The Elf
Via Asda

The one minute ad features Will Ferrel’s insanely popular character, Buddy the Elf, as he navigates working in a store in a world that isn’t as Chrismassy as the North Pole. He sings over the intercom, causes chaos in the car park, and in the final scene, decorates the store. ‘Creative’, ‘Hilarious’, and ‘Love’, are words that are being thrown around far too flippantly for something that has literally just ripped off the movie. And seeing Buddy the Elf in Asda is actually quite depressing. The law department probably worked harder with all the copyright legislation than the marketing team. But it’s Christmas, so I appreciate the amount of editing and acting skills it must have taken to conceptualise this. Visually, it’s fantastically done, but creatively, it’s boring.


Alison Hammond in ‘Once Upon A Pud’
Via Sainsbury’s

Sainsbury’s have gone down a similar route of using recognisable characters, but to better results. Stephen Fry narrates the story of ‘Once Upon a Pud’, set in a fairy tale land ruled over by the Queen herself, Alison Hammond. She is brought offerings of delicious looking food, probably brought from Sainsbury’s because we all remember the time Cinderella ran from the ball and picked up a Red Bull from her local branch for the taxi home. All hell breaks loose, however, when a Linguini from Ratatouille look-alike serves Allison a Christmas pudding. Allison HATES Christmas pudding. Set to a classical instrumental version of Wheetus’ ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ (an odd, but great choice!), the chef works hard to impress Allison, and impress her he does, and also me! I quite like ‘Once Upon A Pud’: it’s funny, magical, and also sticks to the point, because after all this is an advertisement for food. 

Since 2013, Marks & Spencer has taken advantage of Westies during Christmas time, and now, just dogs in general. M&S also has a penchant for magicalness. Dawn French has reprised her role as a fairy, who is appropriately named, Fairy. She brings the family dog’s toy, Duckie, to life, who is voiced by comedy legend and half of French and Saunders, Jennifer, you guessed it, Saunders! This gives the ad major comedy points, as well as its satirical one-liners against tacky tree decorations, but what it has in cosey-ness and loveable characters, it lacks in watchability. In fact, it’s too much of an advert for food. Sorry Marks & Spencer, but the weirdly sensual images of food dripping in jam, and whatever else posh people eat, isn’t working anymore! 

Lidl Bear
Via Lidl

Lidl’s advertisement is by far my favourite, just by the insinuation that a toy bear has become famous and gone off the rails. Reece Shearsmith narrates the downfall of Lidl Bear, as he tastes fame and then ends up leaving parties with fit models and *maybe* takes drugs on a plane. Happy Christmas! Lidl Bear ends up being reunited with the lonely little girl who misses him very much, and this is sweet, but it’s the sheer ‘lols’ that this ad provides. Christmas isn’t always about love, family, and giving. Realistically, Christmas is about the laughs! 

Last, but not least, is the King of Kings of Christmas ads: John Lewis. For years ‘JL’ has been the GOAT of holiday cheer, creating heartwarming, and sometimes funny, adverts. John Lewis was the last of the supermarkets to unveil their end of year project, and we really were left the best to last! This year, the department store has gone down a more subtle route. We start by watching a middle-aged man fall off a skateboard, which seems pretty funny. After numerous scraps and falls, the doorbell goes. A young girl, with her skateboard in tow, and her social worker appear. As the girl and the dad bond over skating, a message pops up: ‘Over 108,000 children in the UK are in the care system’. This year, John Lewis are using the huge platform, they’ve created responsibly, to raise awareness and support families. The ad is sensitive, heart-warming, and sweet, and is sure to be an emotional watch for many. Oh, and the song is Blink 182’s ‘All The Small Things’, sung by Mike Geier. John Lewis, great job, Sir! (Assuming Mr Lewis is an actual person?!)

Another year, another tear, eh? We’ve seen all the emotions in the bleakness that is 2022; joy, sympathy, the loneliness the sudden fame of a teddy bear can cause, but the main message we’ve learnt is that Christmas is all about the festive spirit. And if you are a future Christmas advert creator, whatever you do, please don’t rip off another Christmas movie, use your power for good! 

You can watch the John Lewis Christmas Advert here:
Via The Guardian


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Editor in Chief 22/23 & Fundraising, Events, and Publicity Officer 21/22, and occasional Deputy Editor :)

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