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THE BEST CHRISTMAS ADS 2022
- 16 Nov 22
Photo Credit: www.thesun.co.uk
Grab the mince pies and warm up the mulled wine – it’s the most wonderful time of the year. That’s right, it’s time for our annual Christmas ads round up, featuring all the clever brand campaigns that hope to get the public parting with their cash this festive season.
Historically, John Lewis were the big pioneers in this field, paring emotive storylines with acoustic versions of much-loved hits (think: Ellie Goulding doing Elton John, Lily Allen covering Keane etc). But the rest of the advertising industry quickly caught up and we’ve enjoyed a plethora of inventive storytelling ever since. We mean, who can forget Boots’ ‘Special Because’ ad? Or Sainsbury’s heart-wrenching ‘1914’ campaign?
So, what do the likes of Amazon, Tesco and TK Maxx have to say this year? Why does Alison Hammond hate Christmas pudding so much? And just where is Kevin The Carrot going on his holidays? Find out in our round-up of the best Christmas commercials 2022.
Xmas Adverts 2022
- Sainsbury’s – Once Upon A Pud
- Asda – Have your Elf a Merry Christmas
- Morrisons – Farmer Christmas
- Tesco – The Christmas Party
- Aldi – Feast of Football
- John Lewis – The Beginner
- Boots – #JoyForAll
- Barbour – One of a kind-ness
- Amazon – Joy Is Made
- TK Maxx – Christmas Nailed
- Sports Direct – Football Starts Here
- Smyths – We Really Wanna Go To Smyths Toys
- JD Sports – King of the Game
- Lidl – The Story of Lidl Bear
- Very – Gifts For All Your Christmases
- Disney – The Gift
- M&S Food – Duckie
- M&S – Gifts That Give
- Liverpool FC
- Argos – They’re coming, get ready
- Heathrow – The Gift
- Celebrations UK – Bring Back Bounty
- McDonald’s – The List
- Sky – Christmas Carole
- Waitrose – It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
- The Binge Shop – Christmas with Cat and Dog
- Cadbury – Secret Santa
- Lego – Build A Playful Holiday
- The National Lottery – A Christmas Love Story: Just Imagine
- Shelter – Brave Face
- Pepsi – Pilk and Cookies
- Lily’s Kitchen – A Proper Family Christmas
- Air Canada – Together for the Holidays
- Tim Horton’s - Kindnest
- National Energy Action – Baby It’s Cold Inside
- Solace Women’s Aid – 7 Years of Christmas Appeal
- The National Trust – Stay Cosy
- Samsung Galaxy – Quick Share the Holidays
- Subway ANZ – Merry Cookiemas
Sainsbury’s – Once Upon A Pud
Sainsbury’s secured This Morning-presenter and all-round national treasure Alison Hammond to star as ‘The Countess’ in their humorous Christmas 2022 ad.
The premise is this: while personally taste-tasting Sainsbury’s festive Taste The Difference range, Alison announces she dislikes Christmas pudding and challenges the young chef to come up with an alternative (or else). Thankfully for him, he creates a caramelised biscuit variety and his life is spared by The Countess, with a conciliatory, “Ooo that's a bit of me – well done babs.”
To compliment the Tudor-style banquet setting, Sainsbury’s commissioned a courtly version of Wheatus’ pop-rock anthem ‘Teenage Dirtbag’, complete with lutes and pipes.
Asda – Have your Elf a Merry Christmas
What could be more Christmassy than getting Buddy the Elf to beckon in Christmas for your brand? That was the rationale behind Havas London’s ad for Asda, which transports Will Ferrell’s classic character into a UK branch of the supermarket, as Buddy attempts to secure a job over the festive season.
Chaos ensues, but Buddy succeeds in spreading plenty of festive cheer amongst the staff and customers, plus he secures the job! In the background you can hear a swinging, big band version of ‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.’
Find out more about how Havas London created the ad, using footage from the original film, over on The Drum.
Morrisons – Farmer Christmas
In a pun so good we can’t believe it’s not heard more often, the star of Morrisons’ Christmas offering is (drumroll please)… Farmer Christmas! Returning for a second year, the self-proclaimed “grower, provider and lover of fantastic Christmas food”, sets out on his fairylight-festooned tractor to see how Santa’s Elves (Morrisons staff) create the banquet customers will be enjoying come December 25th.
Created by Publicis•Poke, the spot features magical orchestral music with plenty of sleighbells to mirror the snowy landscape.
Tesco – The Christmas Party
One of the funniest ads this Christmas, Tesco’s offering is a party political broadcast with a difference: it’s for “The Christmas Party”.
Narrated by Simon Farnaby (AKA the brilliant St Paul’s Cathedral security guard in Paddington 2), Tesco’s Christmas Party are aiming to tackle an alleged joy deficit by pledging “more pigs in more blankets for more people”, dogs in Christmas outfits and “all bedtimes to be scrapped.” The commercial climaxes with a mass wheely bin dance in the snow, obviously.
To communicate the ad’s playfully motivational concept, music supervisors turned to hair metal legends Europe and their classic track ‘The Final Countdown’.
Aldi – Feast of Football
McCann UK’s seasonal offering for Aldi kills two birds with one stone: Christmas and the World Cup. Featuring returning hero Kevin the Carrot – plus new football-themed fruit and veg pals Ronaldi the Lemon, Maca-rooney and Marrowdonna – it sees him racing through the airport to make his flight to the World Cup.
In a fun nod to Nike’s 2002 Football film, soundtracking the ad is the JXL remix of Elvis' 'A Little Less Conversation'.
John Lewis – The Beginner
We defy you not to cry at this year’s John Lewis ad. Taking the hint that rampant consumerism might not sit well with a cost of living crisis, John Lewis shifted their focus to the idea of the ultimate gift: giving a happy home to a child in the care system.
Created by adam&eveDDB, with input from partner charities Action for Children and Who Cares? Scotland, ‘The Beginner’ follows the progress of a man learning to skateboard – the big twist being that he’s only learning so that he can bond with Ellie, the child he’s set to foster.
Continuing the tradition of John Lewis commissioning melancholic covers of big pop hits, ‘The Beginner’ features Mike Geier’s low-key reinterpretation of Blink-182’s pop-punk stalwart ‘All The Small Things’.
Boots - #JoyForAll
Imagine if you could get a head-start with your Christmas shopping with the help of some magic spectacles? This is precisely the premise of Boots’ 2022 Christmas advert, which stars Lydia West of 2021’s big TV hit It’s A Sin and was directed by Academy Award-winner Tom Hooper.
After picking up Santa’s glasses on the bus, our protagonist is able to escape the drab reality of the everyday and glimpse loved ones living their best lives with a little help from Boots’ beauty products.
The song soundtracking it all is Hall & Oates’ pop-rock classic ‘You Make My Dreams’.
Barbour – One of a kind-ness
After taking tea with the Queen Elizabeth II as part of the late monarch’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, everyone’s favourite cartoon bear is back, this time to endorse Barbour’s “unique re-loved jackets”.
In the British clothing brand’s animated ad, Paddington succeeds in spreading a little Christmas cheer in the life of the Scrooge-like Mr Curry, gifting him a coat with the inscription, “This jacket is one of a kind, just like you.”
Hand-drawn and painted, the commercial was directed by againstallodds and produced by triple Academy-Award-winning production company PASSION Pictures. Meanwhile, the accompanying instrumental is a festive feast of swelling strings, harp and sleighbells.
Amazon – Joy Is Made
Jeff Bezos brought out the big guns for Amazon’s holiday campaign, securing Thor: Ragnarok-director Taika Waititi to direct. Waititi aims straight for the heart strings with this short film about a child who takes her beloved snow globe everywhere, and her dad’s decision to recreate it on a much bigger scale.
Playing alongside the touching visuals is a sweet acoustic indie-folk ditty called 'You Hold Me Up' by The Bones of J.R.Jones.
TK Maxx – Christmas Nailed
Quirky is the watchword for TK Maxx’s ‘Christmas Nailed’ ad, which was created by Wieden+Kennedy and director Max Siedentopf.
Featuring a young woman called Sam whizzing around a town, receiving high fives for her superlative gift giving skills, energy levels are kept high by Cerrone’s 70s disco classic ‘Supernature’. Watch TK Maxx’s latest masterpiece below.
Sports Direct – Football Starts Here
Declan Rice, Mason Mount, Thierry Henry, Eric Cantona, Gabriel Jesus and commentator Clive Tyldesley join forces on Sports Direct’s surreal trio of ads, which fuse World Cup anticipation with festive themes.
As the only Hollywood actor of the piece, Cantona takes the lead role, playing a tyrannical version of himself who demands, ‘Give me football,’ at every possible opportunity. Music ranges from pared -back classical piano to epic orchestral pieces.
Smyths – We Really Wanna Go To Smyths Toys
Get ready for a mix of live action and CGI, in this Smyths Toys commercial which features life-size L.O.L. Surprise! dolls, dancing Playdoh, and walking Harry Potter Lego.
It also features an original pop song, commissioned especially for the spot.
JD Sports – King of the Game
It doesn’t get much more star-studded than JD Sports’ annual Christmas commercial. This year it’s set in an amusement arcade and features (deep breath) KSI, Anthony Joshua, Trent Alexander Arnold, Chunkz, ArrDee, Bugzy Malone, Central Cee, Ms Banks, Kojey Radical and Slowthai all acing various games.
The ad’s banging soundtrack comes courtesy of grime classic ‘P’s and Q’s’ by Kano (who also makes a cameo, in the bowling alley at the end).
Lidl – The Story of Lidl Bear
This year we’ve been treated to quite a meta Christmas campaign from Lidl, who repeatedly break the fourth wall in this ad about a teddy bear’s rapid ascent to celebrity status. Happily, he’s returned to his rightful owner at the end.
Soundtrack-wise it’s a Home Alone-inspired orchestral affair, albeit with a little techno interlude in the middle as Lidl bear charters his own private jet.
Very – Gifts For All Your Christmases
In this lightly comic advert, Very give us a fun look at the many different types of Christmas celebrations, from ‘early Christmas’ to ‘kid-free Christmas’.
Accompanying the visuals is a bona fide Christmas classic: the joyous glam-rock of Wizzard’s ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day’.
Disney – The Gift
Disney’s ‘The Gift’ is practically a mini Pixar movie in itself. Following the story of a young girl as she nervously prepares to meet her baby sibling, it’s a heartwarming tale about family and giving. Inventive product placement includes the Mickey Mouse toy that brings both her and the baby comfort, plus some pretty covetable Olaf baubles.
In the background you can hear ‘A Little More’, an original ballad performed by Jessica Darrow, and written by Parkwild, Sofia Quinn and Rose Tan.
M&S Food – Duckie
Dawn French returns for a second outing as M&S’ Christmas fairy, this time joined by her comedy partner Jennifer Saunders, who voices a duck dog toy.
The accompanying music is suitably magical.
M&S – Gifts That Give
What better Christmas gift than Harry Styles?
Sadly, it’s just a song rather than the man himself, with M&S highlighting the community causes they support via the former 1D-man’s hit ‘Treat People With Kindness’.
Because we’re all a bit distracted by the World Cup at the moment, the tables have been laid for Christmas lunch, but none of the players are around at Liverpool FC. Poor Jurgen Klopp is mournfully counting down the days on his desk calendar as he sits alone in his office. But what’s this? Fan faves John Aldridge, Ian Rush and Chris Kirkland make the most of the deserted pitches to have a celebratory kickabout at the AXA training centre in jolly Christmas jumpers, as Jurgen looks on with a wry grin, accompanied by jaunty comedy music.
The second instalment is based on the quiet build-up to Christmas, soundtracked by a pared-back ‘Silent Night’. Anfield is still largely deserted, but assistant manager Pep Lijnders tries to distract players Matip and Adrian with a festive formation, which looks pretty fun, actually. They seem unimpressed, though. C’mon, guys, where’s your Christmas spirit?!
Argos – They’re Coming, Be Ready
Most of us have missed having the full friends, family and neighbours holiday get together over the last couple of years. Argos has imagined the reunion from the perspective of one couple who are getting ready to welcome – well, hordes of people. They stream from every corner of a small estate, in party hats and festive outfits, PJs, sequins, aprons, racing towards the house and shaking the Christmas tree to its roots in the process.
With horror, the couple realizes, ‘there’ll be babies!’, ‘squirty cream!’ (*boak*) and all the other traumas of a Christmas when you’re hosting. But then they realise they can get extra stuff to cope by using the Argos app. ‘We’re gonna need a bigger bowl’ declares the man, giving a determined look that says he’s up to the task.
The gleeful chaos of kids armed with Nerf guns, grannies toting trifles and guests spraying champagne around whilst dashing towards the door is really joyful. Argos has gone with an orchestral version of cheesy Europop classic, Opus’s ‘Life is Life’, complete with Christmas bells.
The ad was created by The& Partnership, with Argos’s Head of Marketing Campaigns saying, ‘we know how difficult the last few years have been for everyone, so we really wanted to bring a smile to viewers’ faces by highlighting the fun and comedic moments of Christmas get-togethers, along with the unique experience of being able to bring everyone, from all ages and backgrounds, to share a wonderful Christmas together at home.’
Heathrow – The Gift
More family reunions from Heathrow, as a couple aim to celebrate their first Christmas ‘without the kids’, toasting each other with champagne, and wandering round the Duty Free outlets together. Mum’s putting on a brave face, but it’s obvious Christmas isn’t going to be quite the same. But no need to worry – Dad’s sorted out a surprise: the kids are there after all, and they’re all jetting off on a holiday trip together.
The backdrop is provided by a few sparse piano notes – the pared-back music suits the low-key emotional mood of the ad, with a build at the end for the payoff.
The ad was created by agency St Luke’s and directed by Molly Burdett, who has worked with Arlo Parks, and whose film ‘Have a Word’ for the Mayor of London went viral in March this year:
Celebrations UK – Bring Back Bounty
It seems as though nearly every year, there’s some big Chocolate Controversy. Is it OK to only want The Big Purple One or the Green Triangle in your Quality Street tin? Should the wrappers be more eco-friendly? In 2022, the festive scandal is Bounty being removed from Celebration tins. 39% of consumers wanted them ‘banished’, apparently – hence last year’s The Lonely Bounty spot:
So, the ‘no Bounty’ Celebration tubs were trialed across 40 Tesco Christmas Market locations in November. The story generated a huge amount of press coverage – is it wrong that we find the findinngs from the survey kind of hilarious? Anyway, in order to make all those Christmas Grinches feel bad about turning Bounty away from their doors, there’s this brilliant ad.
Poor Banished Bounty (a man literally dressed in an oversized Bounty wrapper) leaves his Celebration house and makes a camp in the woods. Found by a kindly lady, she offers him shelter where he tries (and fails) to put up paper chains and take up knitting, and spells out ‘unloved’ on the Scrabble board. Sob! Then he sees a news report about the ‘missing chocolate bar Bounty’, complete with people waving placards saying, ‘Bring back Bounty’. He dashes home to be welcomed to the Christmas table by his Snickers and Maltesers chums. ‘You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. Join the debate #BringBackBounty’ is the sign off.
The heartwarming homecoming tale is perfectly illustrated by a piano-led ballad entitled ‘Christmas isn’t Christmas’ by Lora Martyr.
McDonald’s – The List
McDonald’s have gone for the full John Lewis-heartstrings-well-and-truly-tugged approach for this year’s ad. A little boy, Alfie, is looking enviously at a kid on a bike. ‘Why don’t you make a Christmas list?’ suggests his mum. The boy then proceeds to make the most epic list ever, involving all the crayons and glitter in the house, decorations and hundreds of pieces of paper stuck together. He keeps adding to it as they visit family members and it’s wrapped round the tree and flutters out of a window.
The family are walking through the town centre as Alfie wonders, ‘how do you send it to Father Christmas?’ when disaster strikes – the wind catches it and it flies out of his hands! Noooo! The poor little chap is in tears. His mum spots a McDonald’s and they go in to cheer themselves up. Emerging into a now-snowy scene, Mum asks, ‘What was on your list anyway?’ Alfie shows her the only piece that remains: a drawing of the three of them outside the block of flats they live in. No, you’re crying.
Agency Leo Burnett UK tapped into many people’s anxiety about spending this year by emphasizing that it’s the little things that mean the most at Christmas. The ad was directed by Oscar-winner Tom Hooper (Les Miserables, The King’s Speech) and has a classic cover – Yazoo’s ‘Only You’ (a Christmas No. 1 for The Flying Pickets), covered by chart-topper Becky Hill. Every UK download of the track from now until Spring 2023 will generate 10p to the BBC’s Children in Need appeal.
Sky – Christmas Carole
Another small child gets excited by crafting in Sky’s Christmas Carole ad. She sees her opposite neighbour, an elderly man, who seems to be lonely and lacking in Christmas cheer. She gets busy with the craft card, glue and glitter, and trots over to his house to give him her homemade decorations, a wreath and a carefully-wrapped present.
As she stands on the doorstep, his face lights up, ‘For me?’ he asks, as our hearts melt, and the girl looks delighted. Then he raises the cardboard bell she’s made and declares, ‘What a load of old crap!’ HA. We’ve been duped by our heroine’s valiant efforts to be kind, and the soothing cover of ‘Walking in a Winter Wonderland’ that’s accompanied it. Nope, this is actually an ad for Sky’s festive comedy drama, Christmas Carole – aka Suranne Jones, aka ‘the new Scrooge in town’ in a modern take on A Christmas Carol. A clever twist from Sky.
Waitrose – It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
Waitrose have gone with the authentic Bing Crosby, ‘It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas’ for their Christmas ad this year, as you might expect from a brand which prides itself on tradition and authenticity.
The ad aims to showcase the care that they put in all year round to make Christmas so special. From raising pigs in rainy February to cutting sprouts in the depths of November, Waitrose Partners, farmers and suppliers work tirelessly to bring customers the best festive food – from the minute the previous year’s wreaths and Christmas trees have been binned or put in the chipper.
The ad was created by adam&eveDDB, and was shot by director Henry-Alex Rubin.
The Binge Shop – Christmas with Cat and Dog
OMG, prepare yourself for a cuteness overload if you’re an animal lover. A ginger cat and a dog prepare to spend Christmas together while their owners are away (they’re joined by a tiny hamster chum).
Look at the adorable stockings hung up! Go ‘awwwww’ as Dog brings a string of lights for the tree over in his mouth. And give a ‘(Christmas) hats off’ to whoever came up with the genius way that Cat threads decorative ribbon down it. Hammy’s scoffing some seasonal walnuts on the fireplace, while Cat and Dog help themselves to milk and cookies. The two then cuddle together in front of the fire to wait for the excitement of Christmas morning. It. Is. Adorable.
A version of the Christmas classic, ‘I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas’ with a female vocal seals the deal.
Cadbury – Secret Santa
Welcome the Secret Santa Postal Service, where you can spread some festive cheer by anonymously gifting a bar of Dairy Milk or Fruit and Nut. Being an integrated campaign, this spot is more of an explainer than a traditional ad, seeing our Cadbury’s postie describing how you can get involved, simply by scanning a QR code on a poster. His booth shown popping up in a random selection of locations around the UK – including a high street, a seaside promenade and a train station – while members of the public busily prepare for the holidays, all soundtracked by a 1920s-style jazz recording of ‘Deck The Halls’.
Developed by VCCP London in conjunction with production partners Bernadette and Girl&Bear, the campaign totally avoids the headaches of advertising during a cost of living crisis. By focusing on the idea of giving a token gift to someone special rather than splurging, Cadbury truly capture the spirit of Christmas – a fact backed up by cold hard data. According to brand consultancy firm Kantar, ‘Secret Santa’ was 2022’s “most effective” Christmas ad. How do they work that out, you ask? By analysing feedback from over 3,750 consumers and using facial recognition technology to read their emotional responses (eek).
And the altruism doesn’t stop there. Cadbury have partnered with The Trussell Trust for the third year running, donating 75,000 bars of chocolate to over 200 food banks in the Trussell Trust network.
Lego – Build A Playful Holiday
Imagine you could see your Lego creations come to life on a giant scale! That’s the premise for the Danish toy company’s latest holiday spot, which sees a group of children creating their own wildly imaginative present-delivery vehicle and watching it materialise for real, driven by Katy Perry wearing a Lego dress. Playful and inspiring, the ad has a soundtrack to match, utilising Perry’s uplifting 2010 megahit ‘Firework’.
As Chief Product and Imagination Officer Julia Golden explained, ‘At the Lego Group, children are our role models – they inspire us with their creativity, curiosity and imagination, so who better to turn to for our holiday campaign?
‘Our new campaign is a celebration of the creative power and optimism that children possess. They see endless possibilities for play and show us the difference play can make to the world as they rebuild it for the better. We want to inspire people of all ages to prioritize play over perfection and unleash a childlike joy this holiday season.’
The National Lottery – A Christmas Love Story: Just Imagine
Grab the tissues for this three-and-a-half minute weepy telling the story of a couple who meet by chance on a train, fall in love and swap numbers on the back of a (winning) Lottery ticket. Created by agency adam&eveDDB and directed by Oscar-winner Tom Hooper (The King's Speech, Les Miserables), it’s a heart-wrenching will-they-won’t-they story, imbued with some lovely light humour in the shape of some enjoyable slapstick (the ticket exchange scene) and the Crazy Frog ringtone. Spoiler alert – they do, with the pair reunited on New Year’s Eve and the boy reunited with his winning Lottery ticket too.
The orchestral love theme in the background is actually a new arrangement of George Michael’s ‘Faith’, performed by Sleeping At Last.
Shelter – Brave Face
In their powerful winter campaign, housing and homelessness charity Shelter tell the story of a little boy teaching himself to smile in the face of adversity. We see him practising his brave face all day at school, after experiencing a locker mishap, receiving a low test score and being too late for pudding at lunchtime. But the kicker comes later when we see him moving into inhospitable temporary accommodation with his mum.
As she turns to him and sadly says, “This is where we're spending Christmas, love,” he smiles to reassure her it’s all ok. Shelter then explain, “No child should have to put on a brave face but without a home, over 119,500 children do.”
The ad’s heartbreaking message is strengthened by its soundtrack. The cosy sounds of Dean Martin’s ‘When You’re Smiling’ are juxtaposed with the cold, harsh reality our protagonist finds himself in.
Pepsi – Pilk and Cookies
Fresh from starring in the festive Netflix movie Falling For Christmas, Lindsay Lohan is heading up Pepsi’s divisive Christmas campaign. Why divisive, we hear you say? Well, it revolves around Lohan sneaking downstairs after Santa’s been to find he’s added Pepsi to the glass of milk she left for him. Instead of disposing of the “Pilk” hybrid like most would, she takes a big sip and smiles. “That is one dirty soda, Santa.”
The good news for the ad makers is that this surreal spot has certainly set tongues wagging. According to Insider, Pilk has gone viral on TikTok, spawning several hashtags which have racked up more than 400 million views. And it turns out Pepsi didn’t invent Pilk: it’s been popular in South Asian communities for years.
Soundtracking the ad is a Christmassy track featuring lots of sleighbells, strings and a choir.
Lily’s Kitchen – A Proper Family Christmas
With an estimated 17.4 million households in the UK now including a furry family member, pet food company Lily’s Kitchen aim to support pet parents as they travel home for Christmas. Travelling with pets can be stressful but with the help of Rory the Vet, they’ve put together some handy tips to keep cats and dogs happy on the Christmas commute.
They’ve come up with a neat acronym, P.E.T.S., advising ‘preparation’ (try to get a walk in before setting off); E is for entertainment – it’s not just little kids who get bored on long journeys, so bring their favourite toy. T is for trial run – get your dog accustomed to the sights and sounds of travelling, ahead of time. And put your cat in a carrier at home, covering it with a blanket to make them feel safer. S is for socialising – not every pet wants a bunch of strangers saying hello to them and trying to pat them!
The upbeat info is accompanied by a jaunty track that’s full of Christmas bells and chimes.
Air Canada – Together for the Holidays
FCB Canada have put together an adorable animation for Air Canada, featuring a family of Loons flying south for the winter. The youngest gets blown off course by a snowstorm and separated from its parents. Luckily, it ends up in Santa’s workshop, where it makes friends with a duck pull-toy.
Even more luckily, Santa’s sleigh is, of course passing by where the little Loon’s parents are, and the small family is reunited on a beach (with their new friend, the duck). The theme is ‘together for the holidays’, putting all the loneliness of the last two years hopefully behind us.
FCB’s executive creative director, Jeremiah McNama, said, ‘Being together is what the holidays are all about. We wanted to tell a story that would capture the hearts and minds of Canadians, and thought the best way to do that was through one of our most iconic and beloved animals – the loon.’
They worked with animation company Zombie, and in keeping with Air Canada’s tradition of using Canadian music to soundtrack their holiday ads, the track features two Canadian performers. ‘Where You Are’ is by acclaimed country star Tenille Townes, and Juno Award-winner Charlotte Cardin sings ‘Les échardes’. Plus, of course, there’s the distinctive, haunting sound of the Loons themselves.
Tim Hortons – Kindnest
Sticking with birds is Tim Hortons, Canada’s largest quick-service restaurant chain, famous for its coffee. The ad tells a timely story about having to leave home under difficult circumstances. A white goose gets rejected by various birds, including a vulture and a macaw, before alighting outside a cosy-looking house in the snow where a family are decorating their tree. The next morning, a friendly Canada goose appears, and takes her to the lake to join the other birds, including an owl and a pair of budgerigars.
The Canada goose shown welcoming this variety of birds taps into, ‘the shared values and traditions of Canadians being kind to each other and making everyone feel welcomed and included… kindness is a gift we all have in us to give’, according to Hope Bagozzi, Chief Marketing Officer of Tim Hortons. The animation was co-developed with Veronika Kotyk, an illustrator and graphic designer who made her journey to Canada from Ukraine in June 2022.
The campaign also includes a children’s book, A Nest in the North, with 100% of the proceeds from its sales being donated to the UN Refugee Agency.
The track used is the suitably-titled ‘It’s Gonna Be Alright’ by British singer-songwriter Andreya Triana, a heartfelt piano-led ballad.
National Energy Action – Baby It’s Cold Inside
For too many people this year, the warmth of a traditional Christmas is going to be hard to find.
This simple, but hard-hitting film from National Energy Action and creative agency Brave rewrites the lyrics to the classic holiday hit ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ and accompanies them with stark black and white photos of some of the nearly seven million households across Britain who will be experiencing fuel poverty.
From reading by candlelight whilst wearing bobble hats to ice forming on the inside of windows and doors, the cold inside is just as brutal as that outside. National Energy Action is a charity working to end fuel poverty and this spot should certainly help to raise awareness.
Solace Women’s Aid – 7 Years of Christmas Appeal
Another ad making a shocking point is Solace Women’s Aid’s seasonal campaign film. Did you know, it takes a woman, on average, seven years to leave an abusive relationship? Mercury Prize-nominated singer-songwriter Self Esteem has a haunting take on the traditional ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ song as an animation tells the story of Maya, who goes from falling in love to being threatened by her partner over a seven-year period.
It's undeniably bleak, but Solace, a charity that has been supporting women and girls in London for nearly 50 years, support nearly 30,000 women each year in London alone.
Jon Leney, Executive Creative Director of MBAstack, said, ‘When we learnt that it takes an average of seven years for women to leave an abusive relationship, we knew this would make a compelling jumping off point for a powerful and emotive film. And by changing the words to a familiar Christmas song, sung by one of the UK’s leading female artists, combined with animation to tell Maya’s story, we’ve been able to bring this horrific fact to people’s attention, this Christmas.’
The charity recognises how challenging it can be to leave an abusive partner, especially during the cost-of-living crisis and with many still feeling the impact of the pandemic and say, ‘we want to show them that they are not alone, we’re here to offer support and help when they are ready.’
The National Trust – Stay Cosy
If you’re after the kind of incredibly cute stop-motion animation that’ll give you Bagpuss vibes, then we can recommend The National Trust’s ad. There’s an adorable washing line, with tiny thermals and a miniature Santa suit pegged to it.
Soon there are white felt mice having squeaky fun, a bee in a party hat, a squirrel, robins and even the world’s smallest Rudolph. If you want a more conscious Christmas, then shop at the National Trust. The soundtrack is a bright, orchestral version of ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas.’
Samsung Galaxy – Quick Share the Holidays
Sharing is a kind of magic, according to Galaxy. A pair of bored tweens at their respective parties across a snowy street start to share their photos via their Samsung devices.
As they have more and more fun, both the houses suddenly start to quake and they’re on the move – by the end of the ad, the two are able to chat over their balconies. It’s fun, with a dash of unexpected SFX, and soundtracked with a classy cover of Elvis Presley’s ‘If I Can Dream’.
Subway ANZ: Merry Cookiemas
More animation, and another brand that’s tapping into combating loneliness this Christmas.
Subway Australia’s ad features a lonesome Easter Bunny, who’s foil-wrapping chocolate eggs, whilst bombarded with news about how Santa is crushing it. He sits down to a dinner for one of a solitary carrot. But he’s reckoned without Santa, who’s put choc chip cookies in a tin and sets off across hill and dale to get to Bunny’s burrow in a forest to let him know he hasn’t been forgotten.
Subway ANZ partners with charity Friends for Good to recognize the millions who are feeling lonely during the festive period and the ‘Cookiemas’ campaign aims to spur a ripple effect of generosity and connection. The soundtrack is a calming ballad with a soulful male vocal.
The Gift that Keeps On Giving
For more Christmas-themed content, check out the Best Christmas Ads of 2021 and our run-down of the Best Christmas Movies For Kids. There’s a whole heap more inspiration to be found over on our blog The Edit, which features articles helpfully categorised under the banners News, Inspiration and Expertise.
Need help downloading Christmas music or finding the right track for your next project? Discover the Best Christmas Music in our catalogue plus themed playlists including Winter Warmers, Christmas Party, Traditional Christmas, Classic Christmas, Christmas Love and Modern Christmas. Head to our Playlist Hub, or check out the very latest albums and collections, where you’ll find an abundance of brilliant, pre-cleared music perfect for TV and film, advertising, digital entertainment and branded content.
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This page was updated on 22/12/2022
Everything is awesome! We love the LEGO Group and its fantastic ads. From the all-LEGO ad break for the movie, to the 80s LEGO Maniac song, these are the little brick’s best bits.
What are the best Chinese New Year ads? Take a look at brands from Coca Cola to Nike and Tiger Beer as they focus on one of the most important events in the Asian calendar.