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04 December 2014

Christmas TV Adverts 2014: The Complete UK Guide

Yes, it’s that time of year again. Sharing some warmth to make us feel Christmassy all over. That’s right – those unavoidable UK Christmas TV adverts. We’ve just hit November and retailers have (bang on schedule) aggressively unleashed their own little commercial cracker jumping aboard the battle-train of the Christmas TV adverts. Each taking us on their own emotional persuasive journey carefully designed to make us part with even more cash at Christmas.

From lovable penguins, grizzly bears and family Christmas dinners to snowmen and the good-old Coca-cola brightly-lit lorry with Santa close by, they’ve firmly become an anticipated part of our seasonal viewing. The stakes are high in the Christmas TV adverts scene as retailers winning the hearts of households across the country often gain iconic status in the shopping weeks just before December 25th.

In a recent survey, 65% of shoppers admitted that Christmas TV adverts are genuinely effective. Surprisingly, social media has the least impact of all so clearly, it makes sense for brands to create their own little 60 second seasonal masterpiece and get it on the telly as early as possible. Who’s managed to find their way into our winter hearts? (and wallets). Which brand climbs to the top of the tree this year? You decide.

The best (and worst) Christmas TV adverts of 2014:

1. John Lewis #MontyThePenguin (2m.11secs)

Let’s kick off with one of the big players. John Lewis has gone for a rather emotional angle aiming to really connect with viewers with an all-round delightful tale. Their recipe for success consists of one little boy, one penguin (actually stuffed) and the story of their companionship. Appealing to anyone who’s ever had a childhood teddy.

2.Debenhams #foundit (1m.11secs)

Essentially, the plot is based on a swarm of children who somehow manage to break through a shopping centre’s security system (at night) and go on a shoplifting rampage through Debenhams department store. Where are the parents? That’s what I’d like to know.

3. Marks & Spencer #FollowTheFairies (1m. 41secs)

Bring on the fairies. Out of all of this years’ Christmas TV adverts M&S features the most seasonal sparkle, glitter and magic.Top marks for the unlimited magical dust. Interestingly, who exactly are they aiming this at? Isn’t the M&S cosumer slightly maturer?

4. Tesco (1m. 11secs)

Let there be light. This year Tesco have opted for a “Christmas lights” theme. There are no two ways about it – as we watch and listen to the sound of a brass band playing “What a Feeling” from the movie Flashdance, we’re under no illusion of exactly where to buy this year’s Christmas tree lights.

5. Aldi (1m 01secs)

Where will you be for your Christmas dinner? Aldi simultaneously steps into the homes of lots of British families coming together for Christmas lunch. Right at the end, Jools Holland makes an appearance predictably playing a piano tune wishing us a Merry Christmas. I’m not sure how memorable this’ll be in years to come out of the long list of Christmas TV adverts.

6. Morrisons (1m 01secs)

Unlike many of the other campaigns, Morrisons hasn’t managed to create something special this year. With so much retail choice for the consumer it’s difficult to see what sets them apart from their competitors. A regular Christmas advert that I’ll forget probably before the big day itself.

7. Sainsbury’s #ChristmasIsForSharing (3m. 41secs)

Although the focus of some controversy, many would say this tops the list of all Christmas TV adverts this year. A World War One-themed mini-drama, (which actually happened) when English and German forces stopped fighting known as the Christmas Day Truce. It fully connects with the British public and has a fundamental message about sharing. A stunningly beautiful film – all 3 mins and 41 seconds of it.

8. Boots #SpecialBecause (2m. 01secs)

Simply, a warm meaningful concept of a nurse who has been working on December 25, coming home in the early hours of boxing day to be greeted by her family members. There’s no glamour, sparkle or magic yet this for me stands out as everyone wants a happy ending and a nice story to believe in at this time of year.

9. Argos (1m. 01secs)

Time to get down as Argos have gone for a rocking hip-hop Christmas – a bold move as consumers seem to always expect ringing bells and some magical charm. A clear accent on the “prezzies” making it fun, lively and although not the usual emotionally-driven Christmas ad we may have come to expect this season – it showcases the simple fact of having a wide range of gifts we can all get hold of! How did you feel about it?

10. Burberry “from London with Love” (4m.18secs)

Christmas TV adverts featuring celebrities tell us alot. A full 4 minutes taking us deep into the stylish world of London’s Burberry brand. A warm Christmassy feel with a blend of elegance as beautiful models dance in sync accompanied by the star of the film “Romeo Beckham” busting his breakdance moves for all to admire. Inspires me to put on my dancing shoes and top hat!

11. Harrods “The Land of Make Believe” (1m. 52secs)

Meet Peter Pumpernickel. In terms of cuteness value, Harrods has nailed it! A combination of handcrafted figures and original stop-motion techniques with a splash of novel ideas and design. Setting itself apart with a beautifully created nostalgic Christmas campaign. They’ve even struck up a deal with nationwide cinemas so you can also see this beauty on the big screen.

 12. B&Q (0.56secs)

Santa’s sexy and he knows it and who can resist Rudolf’s final cheeky wink?

So, that wraps it up for a varied look at what households have to put up with in terms of Christmas TV adverts. Do let me to know what you thought of this year’s selection – which were your top 3 crackers? For those still in the mood for more TV adverts of Christmas past, here’s one more seasonal Christmas helping of TV adverts gone by!