Best Christmas Adverts of 2020
With just five weeks to go before Christmas is officially here, and all the big brands have begun to broadcast their festive adverts. Christmas adverts typically kick off the festive feeling for many Brits, signalling the festive period has begun and it is acceptable to tuck into your first of many Christmas treats.
The broadcasting of Christmas adverts from brands such as John Lewis, Sainsbury’s, Coca Cola and Disney starts the race to promote the right message in order to win over consumers and promote their brand. Following the challenging year, we have all faced, brands have pulled through to lift spirits amongst a deflated nation. Tear-jerking and humorous festive advertisements have already been showcased with many more still to come.
How has COVID-19 affected Christmas ads?
This year thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, Christmas advertisements would have to be different. How would the major retailers tackle the annual push to convince consumers to part with their cash at Christmas, whilst we are all enduring a global pandemic and economic downturn?
There is always a huge anticipation every year surrounding Christmas ads. All the big brands usually launch big-budget campaigns to celebrate the festive season and encourage spending. But with a recession looming, big brands like John Lewis couldn’t be seen to spend millions of pounds on advertisements whilst they lay off thousands of staff. So, in light of this, what adverts have brands brought out this Christmas to promote themselves and encourage us all to spend our hard-earned cash at their store?
Here is our rundown of the top Christmas ad’s we have seen so far
John Lewis – Give A Little Love
John Lewis and Waitrose begin the festive season with their “Give A Little Love” charity campaign, which focuses on kindness rather than gift-giving. It aims to help families that are struggling amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The heart-warming advert shows “how acts of kindness, large and small, can multiply and positively impact the world in which we live as we pass them on to others.”
John Lewis and Waitrose have announced that all profits will go to their partnership charities FareShare and Home-Start, which both help parents in need of support. With 1,390 roles cut and the closure of eight John Lewis department stores and four Waitrose supermarket sites due to the pandemic, the ‘Give A Little Love’ aims to raise £4m for the chosen charities. The range of ‘Give A Little Love’ merchandise aims to target consumers and includes a heart umbrella featured in the advert.
Tesco – No Naughty List
This year Tesco have brought the humour that we have been waiting for. The Christmas ad shows the community admitting to their naughty secrets this year, hoping that they won’t make the naughty list. But following the challenging year we have faced, there is no naughty list even if you did stock up on the toilet roll. The Britney Spears “Oops I Did It Again” soundtrack encourages us all to forget about the “naughty” things and treat ourselves at Christmas after such a difficult year.
Sainsbury’s – Gravy Song Christmas 2020
Sainsbury’s are connecting with consumers this Christmas on a more personal level. Their nostalgic Christmas adverts showcase three short films to get viewers into the Christmas spirit. The first short film shows a father and daughter reminiscing about Christmas and their excitement about spending it together this year over their favourite food. Each of the three short films ends with the line “Food is Home. Home is Christmas.”
Head of broadcast marketing at Sainsbury’s Emma Bisley said: “We know that this year has been different for everyone, so we wanted to take a different approach with our Christmas campaign by simply reminding people that Christmas dishes are gestures of love and care, served by up by those who matter most. It’s our memories of these dishes, prepared by the people we love, that have the power to transport us home – whether we’re there or not.”
Coca Cola – Christmas 2020
If you haven’t already shed a tear from any Christmas adverts this year, Coca Cola’s ad definitely will. The ad was directed by Oscar-winner Taika Waititi, which showcases a father trying to deliver his daughters Christmas letter to Santa. Despite the challenges he faces along the way, the father doesn’t stop to get the letter to Santa – only for his daughter to have one wish, for her dad to be home for Christmas. The Coca Cola advert ends with “This Christmas, give something only you can give.”
With the difficult year due to the pandemic, the fizzy drink brand promotes the message that whether it is in person, a video call, or a text message, making time for the ones you love is what makes Christmas truly the most special time of year, no matter how you do it. The ad captures the iconic Coca Cola truck, which kick-starts the countdown to Christmas for many.
Disney – From Our Family to Yours
Disney has tugged on heartstrings yet again, in an animated short film. The three-minute ad is in support of the children’s Make-A-Wish charity. The short film tells the story of a grandmother, her granddaughter and the family traditions they have experienced throughout the years. The ad builds on nostalgia, Christmas traditions and sentiments.
The Christmas ad features the vintage-inspired Mickey Mouse soft toy and Disney-inspired ‘Easter Eggs’. Consumers will be able to purchase the limited-edition vintage Mickey Mouse toy from The Disney Store and online store with proceeds going to support Make-A-Wish.
Aldi – Kevin the Carrot
Popular every year, ‘Kevin the Carrot’ and his family are back and bringing with him some much-needed magic and wonder. The ad focuses around Kevin who is trying to get home to his family in time for Christmas and features a number of friends he makes along the way who try to help him get home. This ad provides some much-needed light-hearted comic relief this year and touches on the topics of family and togetherness with the line ‘Now more than ever, there’s nothing quite like Christmas together’.
Amazon – The Show Must Go On
This year Amazon has created a heart-warming and inspiring advert which shows how the coronavirus pandemic has affected people in many ways, and highlights the positive effects of communities coming together.
Set to the soundtrack of Queen’s ‘The Show Must Go On’, the ad tells the inspiring story of 17-year-old French ballet dancer Taïs Vinolo who’s dreams of dancing a lead role in a ballet are cancelled due to Covid-19. She doesn’t let this hold her back though and continues to train at home, dancing wherever and whenever she can. Inspired by her determination and resolve, her sister and her local community come together to provide her with a stage and an audience so she can perform her dance in an emotional finale.
Amazon’s ad perfectly captures how many people have been left disappointed this year due to cancelled plans and lost opportunities. But it also shows the importance of community spirit and how acts of kindness can make someone feel that little bit better during these tough times.
What makes a great Christmas ad?
Christmas adverts are the start of the festive period; it begins the countdown to Christmas and sets off the Christmas spirit. Some are tear-jerking, others are humorous and some are cinematic, all of which make a memorable and effective Christmas advert. So, what makes a good and memorable Christmas advert?
They tell great stories. Often the most memorable Christmas adverts are the ones that are portrayed through a child’s eyes. It shows the emotion and excitement children experience that resonates with so many. Whether the story conveys emotion, humour or nostalgia, it all becomes a part of a memorable ad that is shared with others. The story plays an important role in connecting with the audience to create a sense of festivity and excitement for the months to come. Especially with the difficult year we have all experienced. Brands more than ever have showcased that festivity we all have been waiting for.
They have a meaningful message. Over the years, brands have moved away from focusing on products and towards meaningful concepts such as love, giving and Christmas traditions in order to resonate with consumers more. Nearly half of the ads released at Christmas use a meaningful message to promote their products, rather than a regular ad. More and more brands each year choose to support charities throughout the festive period, not only does this promote a meaningful message it also brings awareness to causes that need support and is a great way to promote a positive brand image. They tend to portray the true meaning of Christmas to connect with a variety of consumers to promote their brand and products in a more subtle way.
They have clear branding. John Lewis, Marks and Spencer and Sainsbury’s are just a few brands that have clear branding strategy’s off the back of their Christmas advertisement. The Christmas ad has become a time where brands push boundaries of their advertisement, whether that is pulling on the heartstring to purchase John Lewis’s “Give A Little Love” range or shopping at Disney for the new Mickey Mouse limited edition soft toy. With the right Christmas ad promoting the right message, brands are able to increase sales and create a sense of exclusivity around their products.
They sometimes include a call to action. Many Christmas adverts end with a call to action. Whether this is “This Christmas, give something only you can give” from Coca Cola or “Food is Home. Home is Christmas” from Sainsbury’s they tell the viewer what to do next. The most successful ad communicates the spirit of Christmas and the brand values, with the intention that you will visit their website and make a purchase. If a purchase is not made immediately, the Christmas ad will generate brand awareness and build trust with the consumer.
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