The Battle of Xmas TV Ads

As the encroaching festive season shocks us into getting prepared, High street stores and Supermarkets, more than ever, are doing all they can to encourage us to part with our hard-earned money and splurge at Christmas.

There’s nothing like the excitement of Christmas in your tummy when you see the first advert for it on telly. Usually, it is one of the traditional and timeless ones, like the globally renowned Coca-Cola ‘Holidays are Coming’, or the cute Kelloggs one (the one where the little girl steals Santa’s cornflake), remastered from the 80s.

However, this year there has been an explosion in Christmas Ads from all manner of our most famous stores, with companies going all out to have the ‘best’ one.

The most memorable of these are from our department Stores. John Lewis premiered the £7million ‘The Bear and The Hare’ on prime time Saturday night television to sound off the klaxon that begun the fight for advert supremacy. This animated piece, featuring vocals from British stalwart Lily Allen, has used cutting-edge technology to tell the animated story of a Bear celebrating his first Christmas while not in Hibernation. Heartwarming and uplifting, it brings a tear to the eye, reminiscent of children’s classics Watership Down and Bambi.

As if this wasn’t extravagant enough, M&S replied with a star-studded fairytale themed 120 second feature, managing to secure Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Helena Bonham Carter and David Gandy for their first Christmas campaign.

And not only does it reach out to its adult audience with its array of products from warm winter coats to festive feasts on display; inspired by a series of classic fairytales, it cleverly appeals to the younger viewers as well.

These two companies have trail-blazed the competition in terms of capturing the extravagance of Christmas, especially as the offerings from the major supermarkets have been extremely disappointing (here’s looking at you Tesco and Asda), perhaps not expecting the bar being raised to such a high level this year.

There is one exception however. The adverts ran by Sainsbury’s this year have been neither extravagant nor big-budget. All the same, they have brought this writer to tears, and had the whole country talking about what Christmas really means for most of us.

Featuring Home-made videos from families, the ultimate is a group of children singing a song to send to their father who is off serving in the Armed Forces abroad. To their surprise he shows up at the end, with screams of joy and jubilation, teaching us all a very simple message about the festive season.

Not only should we be grateful for everything we have when we are together with our families, we should also bear in mind those who are less lucky to celebrate with their loved ones.

Sorry Lily Allen, Miss Bonham-Carter and Mr Gandy, Sainsbury’s wins. Merry Christmas!

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