Monday 19 February 2018

WATCH: From the Clydesdale horses to Monty - top 12 Christmas TV ads of all time

Kellogs Christmas ad (1990)
Kellogs Christmas ad (1990)
John Lewis (2014)
Coca-Cola (1990)
The Guinness ad (2004)
A still from the traditional Budweiser Christmas TV ad.
The 2014 John Lewis Christmas TV ad
Cornflakes (1990)
Sainsbury's 2014
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Let's face it, ads are pants most of the time, whether they're trying to flog car insurance via a nodding dog or get you to switch washing powder brand for whiter whites.

We're not very forgiving when it comes to TV advertising, cynical audience that we are, but when it hits December we're a little more willing to allow our emotions to be manipulated by brands, all in the name of nostalgia and Christmas goodwill.

Here are some of the best Christmas ads from the 80s to today...

Edeke German Christmas ad (2015)

German supermarket chain Edeke is this year's winner in the Christmas ad race as their tale of a lonely grandfather is likely to draw tears from a stone.  His adult children, who are living all over the world, busy with work and family, cancel on coming home for Christmas.

When they then find out their father has passed away, they rush home, and there's a twist that tugs rather violently on the heartstrings...

John Lewis - Man on the Moon (2015)

Featuring another lonely grandfather type figure, John Lewis' latest ad is characteristically emotional.  He's the solitary man on the moon who gazes down at earth but can't communicate with anyone.  A little girl gazes back up at him through a telescope from her bedroom, waving to no avail, and eventually she sends him a hand-held telescope so, finally, he has company.  Highlighting the loneliness of many elderly people at Christmas, it's hugely affecting.

Spanish Lottery Christmas ad (2015)

The animated film sees the nighttime caretaker in a mannequin factory making his daytime colleagues' lives a little happier and what they do in return will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside...

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 No Man's Land on Christmas Day.  This one will be remembered, and shared, decades from now.  It has racked up 17m views on YouTube.

John Lewis - The Bear and the Hare (2013)

Another animated ad that tugs on the heartstrings, it told the tale of a friendship between two animals with different hibernation patterns.

John Lewis - Monty the Penguin (2014)

Not quite as emotional as the previous year's effort, Monty the Penguin - the simple tale of a boy a his toy penguin - still stole quite a few hearts (14,500 people on social media said it made them cry).  John Lewis released trailers for the ad prior to its arrival last year and ITV and Channel 4 battled to be the first to show it.  Channel 4 came up trumps.

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

This one has been around since the 80s and was revived in 1996 so if you're of a certain age it's synonymous with the exciting lead up to Christmas.  It's a simple, sweet animated tale of a little blonde boy awaiting Santa's arrival.  If you're not already singing 'Penneys, got a whole lot of things for Christmas, got a lot for the family' you will be after you watch it.  You're welcome for the ear-worm!

Budweiser - Christmas 1987

First shown in 1988, it's an ad that has become so synonymous with the holiday season that it inspired a Facebook page called 'It's Not Christmas Until the Budweiser Ad Is On TV'.  Never was a truer statement said.  Those Clydesdale horses, the snow, the jingle - it's magic.

Guinness - Dream of a White One

We're obsessed with a white Christmas despite the fact we rarely get one and when we do the country can't cope.  The Guinness ad was only meant to run for two years but has run every year since 2004 due to its success.  "Even at the home of the black stuff, they dream of a white one" says the voiceover and there you are staring out the window daydreaming about a blanket of snow and maybe a pint in hand.  Genius.

Kellogs Cornflakes - Waiting for Santa (1990)

Shot in soft-focus with twinkling lights and and twinkling music and the cutest blonde child awaiting Santa's arrival, this ad never gets old even though it landed a quarter of a century ago. 

Coca-Cola - Holidays are Coming (1990)

The advertising geniuses at Cornflakes and Coca-Cola could never have anticipated that their creations in 1990 would still be aired today.  Once you hear that 'Holidays are Coming' jingle from Coca-Cola's classic ad, which has been refreshed once or twice over the years, it throws you back to a time when anticipation of Christmas and Santa's arrival was almost overwhelming. 

Irn Bru - The Snowman (2006)

The Snowman released in 1982 and mesmerized children and adults alike.  It's still shown every year and the clever crew at Irn Bru harnessed the inherent loveliness of the animation for their 2006 ad.  On paper we disapprove, but it's actually quite funny...

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