Few things stoke that warm Christmas glow like the arrival of Christmas advert season, equally nothing sparks more heated debate than the age-old M&S vs John Lewis seasonal showdown. However, whilst these two titans of Christmas past, present and future have delivered countless sob-worthy ads, some of the jolliest jingles and most charming commercials have sprung in the most unlikely of places.
We’ve collected some of the most endearing, adventurous, nostalgic and kitsch campaigns from the past decade. So whether you’re nursing a Christmas dinner food baby or a Boxing Day hangover we have got a heartwarming selection of Christmas ads to keep you in the festive spirit.
GUCCI 2020 – ‘GIFT’
When it comes to high fashion, the Christmas ads tend to be mediocre at best, and always seem to have the same quality of storytelling as most perfume adverts. Nevertheless, once in a while an all-time great fashion house will craft an all-time great Christmas ad that will poke its head above the typical milieu of snooty gold-centric campaigns. That is exactly what Gucci did last year with their kitschy 70s style Christmas party that sees a kooky yet relatable cast of colleagues slap together the most well dressed Christmas party of all time.
IKEA 2019 – ‘SILENCE THE CRITICS’ FT. D DOUBLE E
Perhaps the most iconic Christmas advert of all time, at least it is in my household! Ikea shocked the world back in 2019 by partnering with Grime scene legend D Double E for a hilarious animated edition of his track ‘Fresh N’ Clean’. As D Double shells down a punchline filled verse about the state of his owners home as the MC takes the form of numerous holiday decorations. The real beauty in this advert is the fact that such a large company as Ikea recognised the value of the grime scene and the hilarious originality of D Double and decided to embrace it to the nth degree. Rather than having him appear simply as a cameo, he has clearly been heavily involved in forming the whole concept of the ad.
LOUIS VUITTON 2021 – ‘HOLIDAY HOUSE’
LV truly understood the assignment this year. In a year that tragically saw LV creative director Virgil Abloh pass away, the French fashion house has leaned on the Christmas spirit of childish innocence and unshackled imagination for its winter campaign. This ad sees two kids build and discover new snow-filled worlds as they open and stack iconic pieces of LV luggage on top of each other. A huge LV luggage castle, an alpine ski village filled with LV skiwear, and a new world unfolding with every case. It’s beginning to look a lot like the chicest Christmas ever!
BURBERRY 2016 – ‘THE TALE OF THOMAS BURBERRY’
Burberry are masters of marrying their own history and lineage as one of the UK’s older fashion houses within their cinema-standard adverts. Whether it be the soul-stirring acting debut of Romeo Beckham in their 2014 campaign or last years grounded street dance-inspired ad, Burberry continues to fold in the many aspects of the contemporary culture they have impacted into their Christmas campaigns. No ad better represented the all-encompassing bond between British history and Burberry better than their 2016 ‘Tale Of Thomas Burberry’.
Starring Domnhall Gleeson and Sienna Miller, we join Thomas Burberry for a waltz across history as he forms Burberry and begins outfitting Ernest Shackleton on his trek to the North Pole. As we twist and turn through the annals of Burberry history we see the brand and the man provide trenchcoats for the soldiers of WW1 and dresses Amy Johnson as she embarks on her world record solo flight from London to Cape Town. Whilst this may not be the most Christmas-centric campaign, (after all Thomas does leave his wife for Amy Johnson in it), however, the level of blockbuster-style execution and quintessentially British aesthetic totally revolutionised the standard of Christmas adverts.
ADIDAS 2012 – ‘THE CAUTIONARY TALE OF EBENEZER SNOOP’
This absolute gem popped up in 2012 and epitomised a new style of Christmas ad that leaned on humour and beloved celebrities to explore the more jovial aspects of Christmas. Uncle Snoop stands centre stage to read us a classic Christmas tale around the fire and too wish us all a ‘Happy-Hollidizzle’. David Beckham, Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose guide Ebenezer Snoop around the Christmas Parties of his life, an experience he wishes would be ‘Feliz Navidone’ already. Adds like this broke down a wall for future hip-hop MC’s like D Double E, TrueMendous and Kamakaze to all get their own respective Christmas ad debuts.
TOMMY HILFIGER 2012 – ‘HOUSE PAR-TAY’
This is not your standard Christmas office party. Hitting somewhat like a mid-2010s Jack Wills fever dream, this ad suits Tommy’s brand identity of adolescent frivolity and minimalised high fashion to a tee. As the Christmas party rages on within a stunning countryside mansion, beautiful people wearing beautiful clothes cut loose to the classic anthem ‘All Night Disco Party’. That is until a giant droopy eared basset hound cuts the power. Although there are definitely some questionable dance moves, the clothes and overall aesthetic of this ad is spot on. If anyone gets a plus one to the next Tommy Hilfiger Christmas party let us know, please!
BARBOUR 2021 – ‘PADDINGTON’
Two defining pillars of British culture, Barbour and Paddington Bear, unite for a tear-jerking tale that sees Paddington search for the perfect gift for his owner. After a brief stint of hazardous mishaps, Paddington sets his sights on rewaxing his owners favourite Barbour jacket, a messy but worthwhile endeavour. As he hands over the completed jacket we catch a brief glimpse of a tag reading ‘Thank you for looking after me’ as Paddington is reminded that just like a good Barbour, he is a part of their family. I’m not crying, you’re crying!