Top 10 Festive Marketing – Christmas Advert

What we can learn from the best

It’s slightly less than a month to Christmas and adverts are appearing on our Youtube feed! Besides the festive celebration itself, Christmas adverts from major brands have become something that most of us look forward to. What started off as simply an ad to publicize offerings for the season have taken a more story-telling approach with well-crafted adverts that sometimes do go very viral.

Here we compiled the top 10 Christmas adverts so far for this season! We ranked them according to their number of views on Youtube but needless to say, every advert is amazing in their own ways. From viewing these 10 adverts, we saw a couple of things that were interesting and worthy to learn from:

The beauty of storytelling – as seen from all the following adverts, a good story plot is a key to success. With an overflowing amount of information on the net, a memorable storyline is what sets a brand different from the others and remain top of mind in consumers!

The power of emotions – regardless of the character (animations, cartoons, bears, people), an emotional ad incite a series of emotions and influencer viewers’ perception towards brands. The power of emotional advertising cannot be overlooked, after all, we are all emotional creatures!

The importance of hashtags – read on and you’ll find out that a common trait among these adverts is the strategic use of hashtags eg: #HeathrowBears, #ChristmasTogether. It can be either character specific or generic phrases, hashtags will help to spark conversation and build engagement on social media.

*Videos statistics as of 27th Nov.

1. John Lewis – #MozTheMonster

8.7 million views (63k likes, 12k dislikes, 7364 comments, 132k subscribers)

Monsters under the bed – a nightmare for most, if not all children. We all grow up with that silly but all so real fear as a kid, thinking that something nasty lies under our bed as we sleep. However, these monsters are perhaps not as scary as we think they’d be.

John Lewis assures us that #MozTheMonster living under our beds is nothing but a huge and friendly blue monster. This Christmas advert brings us through the relationship between the tiny human and Moz.

Recently, the author of Mr UnderBed has claimed that Moz the monsters is very much similar to the character of his children’s picture book back in 1986. Nonetheless, everyone still loves Moz the monster and if you’d like to get Moz plushie, find it here!


2. Marks & Spencer – #LoveTheBear

6.4 million views (57k subscribers, 19k likes, 4k dislikes, 2619 comments)

In Marks & Spencer’s ad, it stars everyone’s favorite bear – Paddington mistaking a burglar for Santa Claus. They went on to return all the stolen presents and in the process, Paddington showed the burglar the true meaning of Christmas, leaving everyone feeling warm and fuzzy inside at the end of the video.

The advert caused a little commotion when users misheard the words the burglar said to Paddington at the end of the video, thinking that he scolded a swearword. All’s good now though after Advertising Standards Authority’s check.


3. Sainsbury’s – #EveryBitOfChristmas

4.2 million views (95k subscribers, 7k likes, 5k dislikes, 2331 comments)

Supermarket chain, Sainsbury’s took a different approach this year for their Christmas advert in the form of a light-hearted music video. The advert features the song “Every Bit of Christmas”, a wonderfully fun and festive song, sung by people all over Britain. There’s even a karaoke version for viewers who wants to join in the fun with the catchy song!

However, it seems like the advert is receiving mixed reviews and there are almost as many people who liked it as those who did not! Just check out some of the comments on the Youtube video.

Among the comments, many compared the music video to the advert Sainsbury’s has done the year before in 2016 and it’s not hard to see why users had a high expectation of them.


4. AldiUK – Kelvin The Carrot

2.4 million views (8.4k subscribers, 7k likes, 1k dislikes, 528 comments)

Not the highest performing of the lot in terms of subscription size but AldiUK manage to receive a whopping 2 million views for their Christmas advert. Featuring the carrot, Kevin, who went on an adventure across the dinner table to reach his beloved not before encountering some dangerous flying peas! As he traveled across the table, he was greeted with a spread of Christmas delicacies which can all be found in Aldi chains.

5. Argos – #ReadyForTakeOff

2.1 million views (33k subscribers, 448 likes, 68 dislikes, 74 comments)

A subsidiary of Sainsbury’s (rank number 3), Argos is a British catalogue retailer operating in the United Kingdom and Ireland. In this advert, Argos gave us a tour around Santa’s toy factory with all the elf workers. When one robot toy dog got left behind and flying delivery jets departing, one elf rushed to make sure every kid receives their Christmas present on time. This is definitely one way to promote the importance of its same day (from as little as 4 hours) delivery services during this festive season


6. Waitrose – #ChristmasTogether

1.9 million views (135k subscribers, 5k likes, 2k dislikes, 1077 comments)

Waitrose is a chain of British supermarkets, which forms the food retail division of Britain’s largest employee-owned retailer, the John Lewis Partnership (rank number 1). The advert brings us to a deserted neighborhood experiencing heavy snowfall.

As time passes by and the people trapped in the house, everyone got together and started preparing a Christmas feast together (with Waitrose products of course). With a filled table, help arrived but it was clear that no one wanted to leave as they are ready for a #ChristmasTogether.

7. Loterias y Apuestas del Estado (Spanish lottery) – #Danielle

1.6 million views (18k subscribers, 18k likes, 3k dislikes, 2075 comments)

Different from other adverts, this is more of a short 18 mins film by the Spanish Lottery. Titled “Danielle,” it tells the tale of an alien who comes to Earth as a human woman, and awkwardly tries to assimilate into the human world. Rather than a lively and feel good advert, this tells a heartwarming story between the two from different worlds and how they connected on a deeper level.


8. Debenhams – #YouShall

1.4 million views (8.2k subscribers, 7k likes, 4k dislikes, 246 comments)

British multinational retailer Debenhams released the Part 1 trailer to their Christmas advert, teasing viewers of the upcoming love story between the two characters who parted at the train on a snowy Christmas Eve, leaving behind a crystal heel! In Part 2, the fairytale continues from where they lost each other.

The two proceeded to do what boys and girls do nowadays, by turning to social media to find each other using #FindMyShoe and #FindThatGirl. After missing each other a couple of times, they eventually reunited on a magical night like how all fairtytale should end happily ever after!


9. Boots UK – #ShowThemYouKnowThem

963,078 views (18k subscribers, 874k likes, 65k dislikes, 50 comments)

Boots UK – A beauty, health and pharmacy chain with an emotional Christmas advert this season. It takes viewers through the journey of a pair of sisters from young to adulthood. Like most sisters, they experience the different stages of growing up together with mixed memories. As they reunite again during Christmas, one sister is seen presenting a gift to another where she exclaimed “How did you know?” before sharing a hug. Afterall, no one knows you better than your loved ones.


10. Heathrow Airport – #HeathrowBears

452,815 views (17k subscribers, 2k likes, 57 dislikes, 160 comments)

Last on the list but definitely, my personal favorite is an advert from Heathrow Airport. The only nonconsumer product chain store – who knew that our top 10 list would include an ad from an airport? Last year was the first of the #HeathrowBears series which shows the couple arriving home just in time for Christmas (video below).

This year, the advert brings us back to the beginning and showed us the love story between the #HeathrowBears. From a relationship of a passenger and stewardess to falling in love and forming a family of their own, the #HeathrowBears were seen sharing numerous heartwarming moments at the airport every Christmas!


Whether it’s going back to the fundamental meaning of Christmas with a festive song or an elaborated and heartwarming animation, these Christmas adverts are all months worth of effort by the brands.

As major brands in the UK are seemingly “competing” for the best Christmas advert, consumers’ expectations are bound to increase every year. Regardless, let’s just enjoy the amazing content these brands are bringing to us and look forward to the beautiful season!

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