IT’S CHRISTMAS – as everyone keeps telling me, whether it be my colleagues, the radio or market full of people just outside our offices. Let us not forget that the Christmas adverts have arrived and the battle of the brands that occurs every December has begun.  The Christmas ads seem to start earlier each year and signal to begin your shopping or risk rush buying your presents on Christmas eve at the nearest garage [Phoebe excitedly proclaiming “Toilet seat covers!” springs to mind].


For many, the John Lewis Christmas advert has become the staple in which the ever-extending run up to Christmas has begun – Christmas songs on repeat can be heard throughout the land, Christmas markets have sprouted up in city centres and mince pies are hitting the shelves in full force. So, how have the Christmas adverts of 2018 faired in the eyes of the public (okay, just my eyes)?


Welcome to the Countdown of the Top 12 Christmas Ads of 2018

Coming in at number 12

12. Cesar: Twinning

Positives: For a starters, who wouldn’t want a matching jumper with their pet?! Secondly, the sentiment of remembering to share Christmas with your pets is a great one (especially at a time of year when we need to remember that dogs, cats and everything in between aren’t just a gift).

Negatives: Going to be honest I am a cat person, from a family of cat people (my mum has 4 cats – it’s the best thing about visiting home) so I suppose you could say I’m a little bias when it comes to judging an advert for dogs. But – it comes across as trying to be funny and falling a little flat. Not the worst I’ve seen, but not the best.

Rating 3/10


11. KFC: Crossroads

Positives:  At first watch I wondered where this advert was going but was pleasantly surprised by the humorous ending and the nod to the age old joke of “why did the chicken cross the road?”

Negatives:  Other than the dramatic icy scenes and the turkey – it was a bit hard to relate to Christmas, still it got a laugh out of me.

Rating: 4.5/10


10. Argos: Christmas Fool

Positives: It’s a clever advert that really pinpoints the trivial annoyances of Christmas (the struggle to wrap presents is a big one for me).

Negatives: I guess this is kind of the point – but the “fool” in the advert is sooooo annoying, making the advert a tad painful to watch. 

Rating 5/10


9. Aldi: Have a Fairytale Christmas

Positives: It’s a cute and funny story, especially if you are familiar with the previous year’s adverts (I very much enjoyed a compilation someone has put together on YouTube including blooper reels). 

Negatives: If like me, the link to previous years adverts didn’t initially click the story seems a little out of place.

Rating 6/10


8. Debenhams: Do a Bit of You-Know-You-Did-Good

Positives: This is a great advert for promoting gift-giving and the positive feeling when you know you’ve got it right (especially when you seem to forget everything you know about someone when you need to buy them a gift…maybe that’s just me).

Negatives: Over the years, Christmas adverts have become an increasingly emotional affair (at least those that leave a lasting impression) – this advert doesn’t quite hit the mark.

Rating 6/10


7. Amazon: Can You Feel It?

Positives: I love the use of the song in this one (it gets stuck in my head every time) and has a really feel-good vibe about it.

Negatives: This advert doesn’t seem quite Christmassy enough – this is coming from the person recognised as the office Grinch.

Rating 6.5/10


6. Sainsbury’s: The Big Night

Positives: This is such a cute, happy advert that shouts out to the traditional Primary school Christmas plays held every year throughout the country (made even better when you watch the behind the scenes).

Negatives: I feel like I need to mention the ‘Plug Boy’ and some people’s bad reaction to this (although personally, I thought that scene was one of my favourites).

Rating 7/10


5. Waitrose: Too Good to Wait

Positives: The adverts really are short and sweet with the right amount of humour – a particular favourite is it’s shout-out to its partner advert (see the Fast Forward link) and even a quip about preferring the 2014 Monty the Penguin ad.

Negatives: We’re in the top 5 now and it’s getting harder to find any negatives – just that they should do more!

Rating 7/10


4. Tesco: However You Do Christmas

Positives: I love that it emphasises that each family or person has different traditions and no matter what you do, you can do it your way – I have to admit the Christmassy cover of Fleetwood Mac music makes this a favourite of mine.

Negatives: I have to admit, the ending of this advert gives me flashbacks to when I was a dotcom picker (Getting up at 3am to do other people’s Christmas shopping is not something I fondly look back on).

Rating 8/10


3. Boots: She’s Me Mum

Positives: I really find this advert heart-warming and for me at least, captures the stereotypical relationship between teenage daughter and mum (I for one also know that my mum would appreciate some No.7 makeup).

Negatives: Uncertain about the adapted song lyrics, but they make it work.

Rating 8.5/10


2. John Lewis: The Boy and The Piano

Positives: Of course, John Lewis was going to up there in the rating of Christmas adverts. I’ve already mentioned that for some, it signals the run-up to Christmas. This year, John Lewis haven’t failed to deliver. It’s beautifully filmed with excellent production value. The ad shows that sometimes, gifts aren’t just things, they can mean far more than that.

Negatives: Although, it certainly meets the John Lewis expectation for a Christmas ad – there have been previous years that have been bigger hit (Man on the Moon was a personal favourite of mine). Plus, I can’t not mention the excellent social media response from Lidl:

Rating 9/10


1. Love is a Gift

Okay…I have to put my hands up here – this is not an advert for a brand but a short film created by Phil Beastall in 2014, that has recently gained traction and gone viral this year. It has made such a huge impact on the public and myself, with some on social media calling for the film’s maker to shoot the next John Lewis Christmas advert.

Positives: It has reminded audiences of some poignant values:

  • Love is a gift and regardless of what you buy someone , it will be the memories made together that leave a lasting impact
  • To remember not only those you’ve lost at this time of year but the loss or struggle of others

Negatives: I guess the negative is that this isn’t an advert – but shows the power of emotion and connecting with your audiences on a greater level.

Rating 10/10

Sooo…that’s it and Christmas is pretty much here with just under a week to go. I hope you have enjoyed my countdown and feel free to let us know if you agree (or disagree, I suppose?). Have a Merry Christmas ya filthy animal! Maybe next year, we can get your Christmas advert into the top 10?