Ho Ho Honey’s Favourite Christmas Ads
‘Tis the season to be jolly and for SCA students that means one thing: looking out for this year’s Christmas ads (sorry Sainsbury’s, you got it all wrong this year). But what are the Christmas ads that have stuck with us over the decades? Let’s find out…
John Lewis -The Bear and the Hare (2013)
I guess this is predictable but as soon as someone says “Christmas ad” this is where my brain goes. Surely that’s a testament to just how good it is. The alarm clock twist will always strike a chord with me.
John Lewis – The Long Wait (2011)
Extremely sticky, I will never forget this ad. 10/10 from me!
Sainsbury’s – The Big Night (2018)
Imagine thinking you’re the star of the show by being dressed as a literal star but then a kid dressed as a plug steals all the spotlight.
Allegro – English for Beginners (2016)
Is it a rip off of the Colin Firth storyline from Love Actually? Potentially. Does that bother me? No. A funny old man doing funny little things all to learn English for his granddaughter. Hits you in the feels.
Amazon – Kindness, the Greatest Gift (2021)
Portrays a black person/black family in an authentic but beautiful way. Shows the true heart of Christmas.
Pulled their ad this year and used the budget to form a partnership with Your Local Pantry.
Metz – Judderman (2000)
One of the most fantastic, eerie adverts. Beautifully art directed, like nothing else. Beware the Judderman my friends…..
Posten – When Harry Met Santa (2021)
Great storytelling, a celebration to love. If kids are seeing this, they’ll know why Santa won’t come this year…
Jamaal, Andrew, Fred, Aimee, Charlie L, Anu & Issie
Sainsbury’s – 1914 (2014)
Jamaal:Brilliant tonally/visually. I remember it years later and still think it’s gooood.
Fred: Woof. Who let this doggie out. Such a gem of an ad that pulls on my cold heartstrings like no other.
Aimee: Bringing different nations together with a sensational ad. Despite the differences between each soldier, Christmas has a way of bringing both together as they share an unexpected bond over football. The advert is very heartwarming and humanising compared to traditional advertising.
Charlie L: 100% agree with the others on this choice. Sainsbury’s showed a nation what Christmas should really be about with this one, and I’m sure it stopped people in their panicked frenzy tracks, and made them shed some of the superfluous crap we all think we need to do.
Anu: The choice of characters and the way they have shot this beautiful story from one soldier’s eyes amplifies the sentiments. The little details such as the barber scene, also elevate the emotion, by highlighting the truth that all of mankind are the same, with the same needs.
Issie: Wanted to put my name forward for this one too because oh my god. INCREDIBLE ad.
Coca-Cola – Chimney (2021)
An incredibly wholesome story. You can feel the Christmas energy and it’s really drilled home with a beautiful proposition- “Christmas is magic when we share it”. Really well art directed.
H&M – Come Together (2016)
I can often be found slagging off Wes Anderson films as pretentious, confused and overly self-indulgent but this is just the most beautifully shot Christmas ad; playful, colourful, and joyful, it’s everything a Christmas ad should aspire to.
Adam Sandler – Hannukah Song (1995)
I’m not Christian nor am I from a place with a rich tradition of Christmas ads, so here’s what all of us North American jews were obsessed with during this time of year.
Gwen & Nabeel
Yellow Pages – Mistletoe (1992)
Gwen: One of my favourite Christmas ads because of its simplicity. It’s effective, memorable and gives you a dose of warmth and nostalgia.
Nabeel: My reasons for choosing Mistletoe are explained perfectly above. Which makes writing a sentence really easy, but making it sound interesting is hard.
Air New Zealand – A Very Mirry Christmas (2017)
Get the Kiwi to post a Kiwi Christmas ad, very original I know. On the bright side, this one’ll be new to the Brits among us, so give it a whirl. World’s sexiest accent, baby.
(Unfortunately this was actually made by an Aussie shop, but we won’t hold it against good old Air NZ. Well, not too much…)
Irn-Bru – The Snowman (2011)
On first glance this is ridiculously ridiculous, but then strangely emotional. The lurid fizzy drink becomes magical. Almost… celestial. RIP Raymond Briggs, you bizarre, wonderful man.
PJ & Nesu
Coca-Cola – Holidays Are Coming (1997)
PJ: This ad for me has what is known as ‘mental availability’. Say Christmas ad and this is what I think of. A shamelessly commercialised American Christmas ad that is oh so simple and memorable.
Nesu: Gets me in my feels, fell in love with Christmas because of this ad.
Migros – Finns Parents (2018)
The winter period is usually the only time I get to see the parents and the rest of the family. Always a treat to be able to go and see them.
John Lewis – The Bear and the Hare (2013)
Classic John Lewis Christmas Advert 2013 The Bear and the Hare
I think it’s the same as other people’s choice in this SCAB, but it was one of the first ads I couldn’t get out of my head and, to this day, when I think of Xmas I think of it.
Edeka- How to bring the family back together (2015)
An old man misses his children so much, they are adults now, live all around the world, and just won’t visit him as they are always busy, so he gets creative to bring the family back home for Christmas. Beautiful and simple storytelling. This ad makes me cry a river and miss my home.
Jess & Ali U
John Lewis – Monty the Penguin (2014)
Jess: Would this be my favourite ad without Tom Odell’s Real Love? Probably not. But the combination of the song and the montage of the little boy with the ridiculously cute penguin just makes me well up. Classic John Lewis Christmas magic.
Ali U: I think that the hook, twist and punch is used very well in-terms of bringing in the emotion, also who doesn’t like cute penguins.
Guinness – They Dream Of A White One – Christmas 2014
It’s short and simple yet communicates lots. It’s not the classic Christmas ad vibe which makes so much sense for Guinness. A heartfelt ad that doesn’t feel forced but is quite refreshing and naturally on brand.
Hafod Hardware Christmas Advert (2020)
There’s something so brilliant about an independent hardware store releasing popular Christmas ads. These are always charming but this one is my favourite.
Sam Teale Productions – #TheGoKart (2022)
Really beautifully written and you get taken on a journey of emotions. I like that this wasn’t done with a huge budget and still carries the story well
HSBC – Eels (2007)
I know there should really be a thoughtful, colourful reason behind liking it, but in the end I remember thinking it was just simply a hilarious situation (for a bank to be utilizing anyway) – I’ve always been a very hungry hungry hippo so personally I also slightly envy the position he’s in. Just stuck with me over the years.
Coca-Cola – la lettre au Père Noël (2020)Taika Waititi.
I like the magical aspect of the ad and I think I always love the Coca Cola Christmas ads.
Coca-Cola – A Coke for Christmas (2016)
This ties into a simple truth that people who care for others would appreciate being cared for and it has stuck for 6 years now.
A twist on a classic Christmas tale. I love Kevin the Carrot – he’s just very cute.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
Love Honey x