It’s the Christmas 2023 advert round-up time!
Homesense was the first to launch the Christmas 2023 Adverts season when it released its tongue in cheek poke at sister brand TX Maxx on October 5.
The ‘There’s No Place Like Homesense (except TK Maxx)’ three-part campaign is by Wieden+Kennedy London, and was directed by Max Siedentopf at Riff Raff. Part one – Candles – asks the viewer if they like the candles at TK Maxx and, if they do, suggests they check out the thousands of different ones at Homesense.
The theme continues with a poke about homeware, with loads of cushions floating in the air above a woman napping on a couch, and the final advert highlights the range of kitchen products available, with a man holding mixing bowls with self-stirring spoons.
Asda – Pop the Bublé!
Plenty of brands have turned to the big names to help them promote their Christmas adverts and Asda gave viewers a sneak peek at multi-platinum-selling global superstar Michael Bublé in the 60 second tease it released on November 1.
Created by Havas London, the Pop the Bublé! trailer sees Asda colleagues relaxing in a break room mid-shift until they’re disturbed by an unusual ‘gurgling’ sound as the clock ticks to midnight.
Journeying through a fantastical festive warehouse to find its source, they eventually reach a door marked ‘MB inside. Do not open ‘til 1.11.23’.
As the door swings open, a lone figure is revealed, silhouetted in the spotlight: it’s Bublé, who turns to the camera and breaks into the classic It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas. “Shall we?” he says with a smile.
Shot by Oscar-winning filmmaker Taika Waititi, the full advert is a delight as it shows the Canadian singer taking over as Chief Quality Officer going around the store checking out everything from flavoured pigs in blankets to sequined tops, measuring rows of individual chocolate and orange panettones and indulging in some delectable brown butter and spiced dark rum mince pies, before joining a choir outside carolling Walking In A Winter Wonderland.
Aldi – ‘Kevin And The Christmas Factory’
It doesn’t quite feel like Christmas until Kevin the Carrot is back for Aldi and this year, in an advert inspired by Wonka, inspired by characters created by Roald Dahl.
On a chilly Christmas Eve, William Conker invites a motley crew of fruits and vegetable friends to visit his gravy-filled wonderland. The ad, which is the eighth consecutive one featuring Kevin the Carrot, opens with five lucky winners excitedly waiting to enter the factory.
Accompanied by Grate Grandpa, Kevin tours the factory, encountering all sorts of mischievous characters on the way. Kevin is joined by the Plumty-Dumptys, a Spoilt Little Sprout, Greedy, Gluttonous Grape and a Naughty Green Kiwi.
All of the characters land themselves in bother, but Kevin is the last carrot standing and wins the final prize: the ‘cheese’ to the factory.
The ad ends with Kevin asking the question: “Can I share my good fortune with everyone?”. It then concludes with the closing message, “Seasonal goodwill was truly in the air as Christmas is a time that’s sweeter when you share”.
We then see some cheerful characters from previous adverts making an appearance, including Ebanana Scrooge and Marcus Raddishford. As in previous years, Aldi also promotes its continued partnership with food waste redistribution charity Neighbourly.
Lidl – A Magical Christmas
Fellow German supermarket retail Lidl’s Christmas 2023 advert features an adorable raccoon.
In the clip a little boy is sad when his favourite monkey decoration is broken, so his mum heads to Lidl where she sees a cuddly toy monkey that’s sure to cheer up her son.
However, she drops it – but her accident is spotted by the raccoon, who then sets off on a mission to take it to the boy, crossing the city by any means possible.
Thankfully the monkey gets there in time for Christmas Day, and everyone is happy.
The advert reminds people about the power of small gestures and is tied in with the return of the retailer’s Toy Bank which saw 80,000 toys donated to children who may not have received a gift otherwise.
Barbour – Shaun the Sheep x Baa-bour
Top clothing brand Barbour goes to another British TV favourite as it recruits the Aardman team and Shaun the Sheep following last year’s Paddington Bear campaign.
Christmas has arrived at Mossy Bottom Farm, and to the Farmer, it’s just like any other year. But Bitzer, Shaun and the Flock, have work to do. The Farmer’s jacket is in desperate need of repair.
The film tells the heartwarming story of them coming together to fix The Farmer’s Barbour jacket for Christmas, but in Shaun’s usual cheeky fashion, not everything goes to plan!
As with last year, the advert highlights one of the company’s key initiatives – Wax For Life. With Barbour Wax for Life, customers can use the Barbour Repair & Re-wax service and have their jackets cleaned, re-waxed, and repaired or hand in an old, waxed jacket in exchange for a £50 voucher with the Barbour Re-Loved programme.
Coca-Cola – The World Needs More Santas
The 2023 Coca-Cola Christmas film portrays a city where hundreds of Santas walk the streets.
Over the course of the film, we see the many Santas helping and supporting others, building to the understanding that, in this world full of Santas, we see a world full of kindness.
The culmination reveals that what viewers have been witnessing was in fact people’s ‘inner Santa’ as they performed acts of generosity and goodwill, closing with the line: ‘The World Needs More Santas’.
John Lewis – Snapper: The Perfect Tree
For their first advert since switching to advertising giants, Saatchi & Saatchi after 15 years working with adam&eveDDB.
This year’s advert contains an operatic song, Festa (‘party’ in English) and is performed by opera star Andrea Bocelli.
A charity single is being released to raise money for children’s charities including The Andrea Bocelli Foundation and the John Lewis Partnership’s Building Happier Futures Charity Partners – which works with Action for Children, Home-Start UK and Who Cares? Scotland.
Directed by Megaforce and produced by Riff Raff Films, the campaign is centred around an energetic and mischievous Venus flytrap plant, characterised as a wannabe Christmas tree named Snapper.
It sees a young boy lovingly nurturing a plant from seed, in the belief that he is cultivating a perfect Christmas tree. The growing plant becomes a life force of its own with its own playful personality, but there’s a tear-jerking moment where Snapper grows too big for the living room and is cast out into the cold.
Check out the advert below to see whether Snapper gets its own Happy Christmas!
Disney – A Wish For The Holidays
Disney has a new ad this year, after its triple instalment of the Make-A-Wish series ended last year which takes inspiration from the soon to be released Walt Disney Animation Studios movie Wish.
It features Cinderella’s A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes, rearranged to enable multiple performers to come together with one united voice. Academy Award-winning actress and singer Ariana DeBose lends her voice to the English verse with six other languages appearing from various locations around the world.
The advert, directed by Grammy Award-winning Nigerian/British director Meji Alabi was shot in South Africa.
It tells the stories of families who are united by a universal wish to be together with their loved ones during the Holidays, recognising a range of festive traditions, including Hanukkah and Diwali.
This year’s campaign still highlights Disney’s charity work with the Make A Wish Foundation with the company donating $300,000 to help grant more life-changing wishes for children living with critical illnesses around the world. Mattel is also donating a share of proceeds from every Disney’s Wish Star Reveals Mini Doll Surprise toy.
M&S Clothing & Home – Love Thismas (Not Thatmas)
M&S has taken a star-studded approach for its Christmas 2023 Clothing & Home campaign, created by newly appointed creative agency MOTHER and director Ally Pankiw, (best known for Feel Good and Black Mirror), it features Queer Eye’s Tan France, actors Hannah Waddingham and Zawe Ashton, plus singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor.
The campaign is inspired by the insight that, for many, Christmas can be a challenge in striking a balance between celebrating the things we love about the holidays, and taking on some things we might not enjoy as much but feel obliged to do anyway.
To bring this to life, this campaign invites viewers to embrace only the things they love about Christmas (and skip those they don’t). The campaign line ‘Love Thismas (Not Thatmas)’ encourages people to join in, deciding what makes Christmas work best for them.
M&S Christmas Food – Mittens
For their Christmas Food advert, M&S has also released a star-studded (voiced) advert, as well as Dawn French’s regular Festive Fairy, we also get to meet Right & Left Mitten, also known as none other than Hollywood superstars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney
Fairy, determined to cheer up the mittens after they were separated from their child owner Lilly and lost in the snow, springs into action and introduces them to the magic of an M&S Christmas.
Keep an eye out for all six appearances of Fairy and the mittens in the lead up to Christmas.
Sainsbury’s – Big Fella’s Christmas Dinner
Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s is another retailer with a famous face as part of its Christmas 2023 advert.
This year’s campaign sees a young girl taking over the Tannoy to ask a question which has Sainsbury’s staff and suppliers rushing to answer it – What does Santa have for his meal on the big day?
There’s a quick cut around the store as staff and customers all offer an opinion on which dishes from the delicious festive range the ‘Big Fella’ fancies before pop star Rick Astley makes an appearance in the cheese aisle – and is told off for suggesting that Santa has cheese before his pudding.
The campaign was created by Alicia Job and Jess Pacey; and directed by Freddie Waters through Pulse Films.
Cadbury – ‘Coins Are Back’
Cadbury joined the Christmas advert train when it announced it was relaunching its chocolate coins after almost 10 years off the shelves.
The company used global agency VCCP London to launch the campaign announcing the return of Cadbury Dairy Milk Coins for this Christmas with a special build billboard in Leeds, created by brand experience agency Energy, featuring a poster that Cadbury just couldn’t stop adding decorations to.
Premature Christmas excitement spills out of the poster as baubles and fairy lights take over the whole building.
Shelter – ‘Good As Gold’
Of course, Christmas also gives organisations a chance to spread a more serious message and UK charity Shelter does just that with its advert campaign in partnership with creative agency Don’t Panic and production company Smuggler.
‘Good As Gold’ follows the story of eight-year-old Maddy who is being as “good as gold” in the hope of being rewarded with the one thing she wants the most for Christmas – a home.
Unfortunately wishes don’t always come true and Shelter’s advert reinforces the sad statistic that in the UK, 131,000 children are in temporary accommodation this Christmas – an increase of 10,000 since last year.
The agency worked with those with lived experience to ensure the advert was authentic as possible.
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