Christmas Adverts 2017: Who comes out on top?
The Christmas advert has come a long way since its inception with adverts becoming more meaningful, bigger and cinematic as the years go by.
2017 is no different, with a vast selection of Christmas adverts dropping in the first week of November, giving students the perfect excuse to start those celebrations early! But which one is your favourite?
The John Lewis advert has become something of a British tradition that could be argued is more widely watched or seen than the Queen’s speech. This year John Lewis gave the British public Moz the Monster. Moz sleeps under young Joe’s bed. After a brisk shushing disagreement, a friendship is born and they play together every night. Joe is quickly becoming sleep deprived. On Christmas morning, Joe spots a humorously wrapped present under the tree. It’s a nightlight from Moz. When Joe goes to bed that night, he switches the nightlight on, only to find Moz has disappeared from under his bed.
Although it seems apparent Joe has to simply switch the light off for Moz’s return, this is a bittersweet tale of friendship and reminisces to John Lewis’s previous adverts that gained acclaim due to their story and charm.
The advert is supported by a beautiful score of The Beatles’ Golden Slumbers covered by Elbow. John Lewis have also released six pieces of merchandise that can be purchased instore and online including Moz himself.
Aldi have decided to bring back last year’s much loved Kevin the carrot, yet again dodging another Christmas dinner. Only this time, he finds love along the way in the form of Katie the carrot. The advert, set on a train, echoes the newly released Murder on the Orient Express. Kevin sets out on a small adventure to save Katie from being splattered by a flying pea. The advert ends with a homage to a very iconic film scene.
Music is taken from the main titles of Edward Scissorhands - soundtrack by Danny Elfman. The story is narrated by Jim Broadbent who students will know best as Harry Potter’s Professor Slughorn.
Marks and Spencer
Marks and Spencer decided to have Paddington Bear as the star of their advert, marking the release of Paddington 2. The advert follows Paddington accidentally hitting a noisy 'visitor' when he opens his bedroom window. The visitor is a burglar who has already hit several houses, evident from the stolen presents in his sack. Mistaking the intruder as Santa (it doesn’t help that the burglar decided to wear red), and as an apology, Paddington insists he helps ‘Santa’ deliver the presents, even using the real Santa’s sleigh to finish the job.
The burglar undergoes a change of heart when he witnesses how happy a young girl is when she receives a present on Christmas morning that he had originally stolen. Paddington offers the burglar a marmalade sandwich and they part ways. A news report delivered by Angela Rippon the next morning comments on Santa being seen with a bear. The press come to Paddington’s the next day, likely to question his adventure.
M&S gain full marks on naive and charming comedy. Paddington is voiced by Ben Whishaw who voiced Paddington in the 2014 film and its newly released sequel.
Argos decided on a very different pace to the other 2017 advert competitors. In a futuristic warehouse, elves are sorting out thousands of presents for Christmas. One elf notices a robotic dog that has fallen off the conveyor belt that should be on a sleigh flight just about to take off.
The elf drastically jumps over the production line and dives through the closing gap that leads out to the shuttle sleigh, already on the runway. The elf drives something similar to a baggage cart to reach the sleigh and successfully throws the dog that lands upon the rest of the toys in the sleigh. Mission accomplished. The advert informs viewers on its Fast Track Same Day delivery.
Toys R Us
Toys R Us’ advert opens with its famous and regular jingle of ‘Magical Place’.
Their 2017 advert sees Santa park his sleigh and reindeer outside a Toys R Us store. He is greeted by Geoffrey at the main door and invited in. Santa has come to the store to stock up on a few last toys. Both return outside and notice the reindeer have disappeared. The reindeer have snuck inside and are heavily distracted by all the toys and games within the store. Santa has a light bulb moment and Geoffrey becomes the sole (and not quite the best) flyer of the sleigh. Geoffrey helps Santa deliver all the remaining presents before returning to the store. A sweet advert that uses the store's mascot as its source.
Very’s advert follows Anna giving out Christmas presents to all mentioned on her Christmas list. Ulfie, a soft plush wolf toy with part of his right ear missing, goes everywhere with her. Anna appears to go to sleep, and then, she is in the snowy wilderness, on an adventure to deliver the last present on her list. Ulfie falls out of Anna’s bag and when she realises, she comes face to face with a real Ulfie, who becomes her noble steed in delivering the last present. The pair are separated when the present falls out of her rucksack as Ulfie goes back to retrieve the gift. The wolf transforms back to a soft toy and is seen attached to the said present, coming to a stop at Santa’s feet. Anna wakes up in bed noticing Ulfie is missing. She spots a present that has been left for her on the window. Inside, it’s Ulfie with his ear fixed. Also, within the box is Anna’s Christmas list with Santa’s name now ticked off.
This charming story and my love of wolves certainly helped put a smile on my face watching this! The tone of this advert is strengthened by a song very similar to the music used during the beautiful montage at the beginning of Pixar’s Up.
Sainsbury’s’ advert encompasses all aspects of Christmas into a fun karaoke song sung by people from all over Britain, featuring appearances by Kermit the Frog and Ricky Tomlinson (The Royal Family).
TK Maxx plant a treasure hunt that customers are able to take part in, in their advert. A grandfather narrates how he shopped at TK Maxx for his gifts. This included finding a ‘White Christmas’ snow globe, that looks around a metre or so in length.
The reason being is that TK Maxx’s in store globe treasure hunt launched on 17th November. Customers are invited to try and find one of the limited snow globes in store in a hope to win a ‘White Christmas’. TK Maxx’s snow team will arrive at your house and cover your garden with real snow.
Debenhams adapted Charles Perrault’s Cinderella into cheesy, Romance ‘You Shall’. A woman with heavy shopping rushes to get to a seat on the train. The man sitting opposite her is about to ask her her name. And in true Romance fashion, she realises it’s her stop and rushes off, unknowingly dropping a glittery silver heel.
A hashtag trend is started by both parties - #FindMyShoe, #FindThatGirl. They finally bump back into one another - thanks to the narrator Ewan McGregor making a physical cameo as a street electrician, turning off the main power supply apart from the Christmas lights that guide them back together.
Sky Cinema honour the family movie tradition by creating a montage advert that follows a mother and daughter’s relationship through time, from the daughter as a young girl, adolescent and then as a woman with a child of her own, watching their favourite: The Sound of Music (1965).
Asda keeps food at the forefront of their festive advert with nods towards several family film favourites. A grandad takes his granddaughter to a factory (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). They manage to sneak past the main guard, but in the moment, the girl leaves her bag by the desk. The pair start investigating the factory.
The grandad uses a spyglass (Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events) to watch the minute-size workers at work (The Borrowers). The granddad and granddaughter somehow transform to that smaller desired size to walk into Asda’s pop-up cookbook and watch how Christmas dinner and dessert are made. Security returns the bag to the granddaughter and takes her and her grandad up in a glass lift for them to see the entire working factory.
Annnd the favourite is...
There is certainly an array of inventive and charming adverts for Christmas 2017. Personally, I have a few favourites. But Kevin the Carrot (Aldi) is the star on top of the tree for me.