Amidst the slew of adverts that have bombarded our small screen in the build up to Christmas, Roo Pitt and Emma Kurton have taken it among themselves to review them and give us a rundown of their all time favourites…
John Lewis is well known for its beautiful and heartwarming Christmas television adverts, but is this years up to scratch? It takes time before this advert starts to feel Christmassy, this could easily be an advert for any time of the year. That wonderful John Lewis Christmas feeling is somehow not present in this advert. This year it feels much more like the marketing campaign for a toy than an advert with a message. As for the message, it is arguably difficult to make out what the meaning is behind this year’s advert. Usually these adverts tackle real issues, like the elderly being lonely at Christmas, but this year John Lewis seems to have missed the mark.
This year we are introduced to two bears, Edward and Doris, who meet on a flight that lands at Heathrow in 1967. As we move forward through the next fifty years to the present day, we see Edward and Doris’s relationship grow and develop, along with their family getting gradually larger each time we see them. This replicates the journey Heathrow has been on over the last fifty years beautifully, with its key message at the core of every scene as well as written clearly at the end: Closer This Christmas. It’s reminiscent of those traditional scenes in Christmas movies where families, friends and loved ones are reunited in time for the holidays. A truly magical and heartwarming advert that pulls on every heartstring.
This year’s M&S Christmas advert features the well-loved and well-known bear, Paddington. We see Paddington mistaking a burglar for Santa and then helping him to deliver the presents back to the people they were stolen from. In doing this, he saves Christmas and helps to change the ways of the criminal. This advert has a wonderful Christmas atmosphere, with a snow-covered London, festive colourful lights, Christmassy music and a wonderful story of change for the good. Having Paddington as the main character adds a wonderful sense of nostalgia that works well at this time of year.
Sainsbury’s has taken a different approach this year, and it has definitely paid off. This year’s advert simply consists of a singalong featuring members of the public, Sainsbury’s staff and a few special guests. The song is sung by an array of different people, all singing about the same things, showing that Christmas is something that brings us all together. There is no need for fancy cinematography, and apart from some animations of Christmas food, it is all shot at an amateur level, making it feel like a cheesy Christmas home movie, and reminding us what Christmas is all about.
This year Greenpeace have sought to use Coca-Cola’s gravitas against them by producing an alternative Christmas advert. Instead of the Coca-Cola Truck, a large red refuse truck is driving down the road, full of waste plastic and Coke bottles. Finally, it pulls up on the beach and dumps the recyclables into the sea, whilst the driver sips a cola himself, belching loudly. It is an important message about waste at this time of year and its impact on the world around us.
Our all-time favourites
Emma: Personally, the 2014 Sainsbury’s Christmas advert is my favourite. This advert was created with the Royal British Legion, and features the story of the Christmas football game in the no-man’s-land of WWII. The hauntingly beautiful rendition of silent night, sung by both English and German soldiers as the two sides walk over to each other, is breathtaking. The happiness shown throughout the football game is bittersweet as you know they will have to go back to fighting the following day. The overall message of sharing is beautifully put across, in a memorable and heartwarming way.
Roo: For me, the original ‘Holidays are Coming’ Coca-Cola advert is my favourite, as it encompasses everything that is magical about Christmas! The excitement builds throughout the advert with snow covered houses and fairy-lights galore. As for most people, I’m sure, the advert rekindles memories of being an excitable child at Christmas and truly signals the start of the year’s festivities.