Wednesday 21 March 2018

'Got a whole lotta things for Christmas' - 14 of the best festive ads of all time from Ireland and beyond

Kellogs Christmas ad
Kellogs Christmas ad
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Brace yourselves - the onslaught of Christmas advertising has already begun with the release of John Lewis' latest offering featuring a seven year old boy and his cuddly monster mate.

M&S, meanwhile, has teamed up with Paddington bear this year for a sweet little offering perfectly timed to coincide with the release of the movie on Friday and there will be more. There will be many more.

The commercialisation of Christmas is a travesty, yes, but brands do offer us one thing - the opportunity to wallow in faux nostalgia and feel-good emotions and, sure, we love it.

Having spent the year enduring intolerable adverts featuring singing toilets and singing canaries and talking tastebudes and the likes, we've earned a decent ad or two.

Here are some of our favourites from Christmases past...

Edeka Christmas ad (2015)

Forget John Lewis, Sainsburys and all the other Christmas ads - this German ad from supermarket chain Edeke was the most emotional of the lot in 2015.  It tells the story of a lonely father and grandfather whose kids, who are living all over the world, busy with work and family, cancel on coming home for Christmas at the last minute.  When they find out their father has passed away they rush home.  This one draws real, salty tears.


Allegro Christmas ad - English for Beginners (2016)

We nip over to Poland for this ad from last year which went viral.  An elderly man learns English from scratch in order to be able to speak with his grandchild who lives abroad.  Sniff.


Sainsbury's Christmas ad (2014)

The supermarket chain teamed up with The Royal British Legion to depict one of the most famous events of WWI when the Brits and the Germans emerged from their trenches and played a game of football together on Christmas Day.  All the more effective as its based on fact and the true goodness of the human spirit.


John Lewis - The Bear and the Hare (2013)

John Lewis can be relied upon to come up trumps every single year and the Bear and the Hare, an animated tale of friendship between two animals with different hibernation patterns, was intense.  It received over 13m views on YouTube.


John Lewis - Man on the Moon (2015)

Another salty tear-inducer, the Man on the Moon tells the story of Lily who spots a man living alone on the moon and decides to send him a message to let him know someone on earth is thinking of him.  With a soundtrack performed by Aurora singing the Oasis hit Half the World Away it's pure magic.


And another John Lewis - Buster the Boxer (2016)

After the Man on the Moon, John Lewis felt they needed something a little more uplifting last year and Buster the Boxer warmed the cockles of our heart with his unbridled joy jumping on a trampoline.

The advert, which has come to be recognised as signalling the start of the festive season, has made a celebrity out of its leading man... Buster the boxer dog.  It landed a day after Donald Trump's US election win and gave everyone a bit of a lift on a very dark day.


Penneys - Got a Whole lot of Things for Christmas (1996)

Genius advertising - the jingle is still chanted by Irish people every year as it has become synonymous with Christmas for most of us since it first arrived in the 80s. And the animation so cutesy it's painful.


Budweiser - Christmas 1987

Those horses, that jingle....


Guinness - Dream of a White One

We're not getting a white Christmas this year.  Fact.  But we can dream.  In other news, according to the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland the proposed Public (Health) Alcohol Bill will see the ad banned.  Better watch it while you still can.


Kellogs Cornflakes - Waiting for Santa (1990)

A quarter of a century after it first aired we still love this little blonde kid and her secret meeting with Santa.  She made us all BELIEVE!


Coca-Cola - Holidays are Coming (1990)

Oooooh the 'Holidays are coming!'.  Coca-Cola is still dining out on this ad.  The Coca-Cola Christmas truck is actually doing a tour of Ireland.  We kid you not.  (And we'll be there with bells on taking selfies don't you know). 


An Post - The Snowman

The Snowman IS Christmas so it's no wonder it has been harnessed by brands from An Post to Irn Bru...


O2 Christmas Ad - Christmas with Love (2011)

It has everything - snow angels, bobbly hats, hugs, fluffy slippers, that lovely fuzzy feeling.  Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick.


Sky Cinema Christmas ad (2017)

We all love our mammies and this ad charts the relationship between a mother and daughter from the 90s to present day as they watch The Sound of Music together every Christmas.  Beautiful.


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