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    Christmas adverts of 2021

    Nothing symbolises the start of Christmas like the arrival of our much-loved Christmas ads. The festive season sees retailers pull out all the stops and the adverts are more like 60 second film productions rather than traditional TV advertisements. With the emergence of digital and social media, the adverts are everywhere, with many of them going viral on socials for all the right (or wrong) reasons! Last year we saw a much more subdued, scaled back approach to our beloved Christmas adverts due to COVID-19. This year we were ready with our alarms set for the arrival of the main contenders, but how do they stack up against some of our nostalgic favourites?

    Aldi – A Christmas Carrot

    Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot has become a firm family favourite over the last few years. And contrary to the social media tease; Kevin is indeed back! This time with the addition of Marcus (Radishford) Rashford as they pledge to donate 1.8 million meals to families over the festive period. The advert is based on Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol, featuring characters such as Tiny Tom. We particularly love the cheeky dig at M&S at the beginning of the advert, with Cuthbert the caterpillar being carted off in handcuffs by two ’sour lemons’.

    Marks & Spencer – Percy Pig comes to life

    M&S this year have celebrated Christmas by bringing their iconic Percy Pig to life, with the voice of none other than Tom Holland. The advert sees adorable Percy team up with Dawn French as a Christmas fairy, to explore the aisles of M&S discovering all the festive goodies on offer this year. It absolutely has a magic feel to it, Percy is guaranteed to bring a smile to even the scrooges amongst us. Their luxurious and product focussed advertising highlights their mouth-watering golden blonde Christmas pudding, smoked salmon and of course their sell-out ‘Light Up’ gin. So popular we may have another Aldi court case on our hands. Just months after the rivals went head to head over their caterpillar cakes. As we know, this isn’t just any food, this is M&S food.

    Tesco – This Christmas, Nothing’s Stopping Us

    Tesco’s campaign features heavily the idea of nothing getting in the way of Christmas this year, following last year’s COVID-19 restrictions. We see a festive gran don her motorbike helmet in a mission to make it to her daughters for Christmas dinner, sound tracked by Queen’s “Don’t stop me now”. Out of all the adverts it undoubtedly feels the most relatable, with funny nods to travel restrictions and quarantine. However, in light of concerns around the Omicron COVID variant, maybe it was a bit presumptuous of Tesco to run such an optimistic campaign.

    John Lewis – Unexpected Guest

    The legendary John Lewis advert, it’s safe to say this is a real family favourite, year after year. John Lewis always captures the hearts of the nation with their highly anticipated advert. But did it meet expectations this year? Their out of home advertising in the run up to the launch got people talking, we loved the crashed spaceships that popped up over the UK. The unexpected guest was indeed that, unexpected… we see an alien experience her first Christmas with the help of mince pies and a novelty light up jumper. It definitely has a magical feel, but I think we can all agree our favourite John Lewis adverts include the cute, cuddly animals!

    Coca Cola – The Holidays are coming & Chimney
    Advert 1 
    Advert 2 

    The Coca Cola advert unquestionably marks the start of Christmas for many. The advert sees the lit up, bright red truck emblazoned with Coca Cola trundling through the snow. It’s probably not the most exciting of the advertisements but hey, nothing quite signals Christmas like the “Holidays are coming” soundtrack! I think this is something that Coca Cola are well aware of, which is why they actually ran two adverts this year, so as not to disappoint the expectant masses by scrapping the old-school classic. Their “Chimney” ad is more in line with the ‘short film with purposeful, emotive narrative’ we’ve come to expect in our Christmas ads. It sees a young boy worrying about his apartment’s lack of a chimney, and subsequently DIY’ing one with the help of his neighbours. It has a lovely – if not a little cliched – twist, highlighting the importance of sharing. A very wholesome advert that’s sure to give you goosebumps!

    And there we have it, a round-up of our top Christmas ads this year. As the old saying goes ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ – it’s no surprise the retailers have the urge to improve year after year, but I think the likes of Coca Cola prove often it’s best to stick with the classics. In the past, they have trialled different visuals with their synonymous soundtrack, but eventually came back full circle and returned to the family favourite truck. Then we have John Lewis, who can seemingly go with anything, and the nation will go crazy for it! The Christmas jumper featured in their ad sold out, just hours after the advert launched. We certainly approve of their teaser OOH advertising in the run up to the launch, which is an added bonus on an already successful blueprint.

    There needs to be a special mention to the retailers who have made light, and poked fun at the COVID-19 restrictions which ruined Christmas for all of us last year. It’s clever without being too controversial and brings a much-needed sense of camaraderie. Whichever Christmas ad is your favourite, we hope our blog has left you feeling suitably festive and seasonal as you head into the holidays, and from all of us here at C21 we wish you the best for 2022!