14th November 2018
by Charlotte Wilson
Christmas, Communications, Festive, Social Media, thoughts
Yes, we know it’s only November, but the Christmas adverts are coming thick and fast through our TV and computer screens, so we thought it was time for a little review of what we’ve seen so far.
As you may remember from last year, we took you through a run-down of the biggest Xmas ads of 2017, including Moz the Monster, Paddington Bear, Asda’s gin emporium and Aldi’s now infamous Kevin the darn Carrot. Now, as we’re all still waiting for the reigning champion of the Christmas adverts, John Lewis, to drop their big Xmas-shaped bomb into the fray, it seemed like a good opportunity to give the other players a chance at Xmas-ad-infamy.
Retail Christmas-adverts are so intricately woven into our festive season now that it just simply would not feel like Christmas at all without them. So, what do we have so far…
Am I biased toward Kevin the Carrot? Do I think he’s the cutest, most likeable and relatable character of our generation? Sure. But I am going to (try) not to let that influence our very balanced analysis of the Xmas adverts this year.
So, what has Kevin been up to for 2018? Sticking to their tried and tested formula, which has steadily been gaining traction since 2016, Aldi have inserted Kevin and his family into another spoof-classic. And boy have nailed their colours to the mast this time – not only have they taken undertones of the Italian job (of Caine not Wahlberg fame) – but they’ve only gone and taken the Coca-Cola classic ‘and then the trucks came over the hill’ concept and put our lord saviour Kevin behind the wheel of ‘Holidays are Coming’ esque truck.
It’s genius. It’s visually dazzling, It’s nostalgic AND relevant. And quite frankly, I don’t think they could have done much better. But, that’s just my humble opinion…
The other cut-price German supermarket chain, Lidl – much like the foreshadowing of Cain and Abel (if you got that reference then BRAVO) – has gone the opposite way and released three different adverts that show the humorous ways in which Christmas can go wrong.
The calamities span across three families who have tried to ‘upgrade’ their Christmas by investing in the likes of a 16-piece orchestra, an ice-rink in a cul-de-sac and a 75ft Canadian fir tree in the living room.
The results are humorous and weirdly relatable, with the adverts kept very short for maximum slap-stick impact. A very nice touch to the Xmas-ad landscape, but whether it’s placed Lidl in the big-boy league of festive advertising remains to be seen.
As a big-name retailer, Asda has a lot of resources at its disposal to attack the Christmas-ad-battle head on, and it has really gone for it production – wise this time. The theme of the advert is about heading home for Christmas and shows a spectacular and hurried display of friends and family hurtling home for Christmas, to the backdrop of the powerfully emotive tones of ‘Baby please come home.’
The advert delivers on eliciting the warm, fuzzy festive feelings that naturally come with Christmas-time and is sure to alight some Christmas spirit in even the most Scroogle-like of hearts.
Sainsbury’s have come through with a claim for the cutest Christmas advert of 2018 by broadcasting a 120-second clip of a group of school children performing in an adorable Christmas show.
The group perform to the New Radicals track ‘You Get What You Give’ and is led by an 8-year old girl dressed as the North Star. The advert is heart-warming and surely very relatable to families all over the UK who will watch their children nervously perform in Christmas shows up and down the country this festive season.
Notably, the comments on the YouTube-hosted version of the video have been disabled, one assumes to protect the souls of the children who performed in the advert from the pitiful trolls who are probably eager to insult them, but I hope this doesn’t serve to dampen the very lovely sentiment of the advert, and all of the children in it.
Currys PC World –
We couldn’t let this post pass without mentioning the Curry’s PC World advert which brings a traditionally Dickensian Christmas bang up to date with the tagline ‘the magic of Christmas upgraded.’
Showing carol singers using tablets and Google Home Hub to play, and read, Christmas carols is a nice touch on the idea that technology can have a positive impact on the progression of humanity, and aid – rather than hinder – people coming together to celebrate and be present in the moment.
Finally we have KFC – not usually a contender in the Christmas advert race, but KFC have been absolutely slaying their marketing communications this year (anyone remember Bidvest-gate? Google their social media response and I guarantee you’ll be impressed) and so their Xmas advert has also had an overwhelmingly positive response so far.
The ad is a standoff in the style of cinematic classic ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly,’ and is between a chicken and a turkey. The protagonist, a chicken, is seen trekking across snowy mountains as ‘Ecstasy of Gold’ plays out in the background. Suddenly he comes across a burly looking turkey and a standoff ensues. The stand-off is as iconic as its predecessors and sees the chicken leave victorious, with the tagline “turkey comes and goes…but chicken’s here to stay.” Brilliant.
There you have it folks, our pick of the top Christmas adverts of 2018 thus far. Do you have a favourite? Or is there an absolute blinder of an advert that we’ve missed? Let us know by tweeting or commenting on this post, we’d love to hear your thoughts!
So, whilst we wait to see whether John Lewis is going to knock Kevin of his Pistachio-imposed throne, why not get in touch with us today to discuss your own Christmas campaign?