Christmas Adverts: Best of the Rest


Yesterday we took a look at the seasonal adverts on offer this year from UK breakdown providers. Today, let’s take a look at what everyone else is using to shill their Christmas wares.

I have to say, the standard of adverts this year doesn’t seem as high as last year. There are a distinct lack of sparkling celebrities and some of them just feel plain lazy. Honestly, I can’t distinguish between any of the supermarket Christmas ads and the large high street stores are producing adverts I can best describe as simply ‘meh.’

Following last year’s most popular Christmas advert from John Lewis, with the strap line ‘for gifts you can’t wait to give’ featuring an adorable little boy preparing for Christmas and presenting his parents with a gift early on Christmas morning, there seems to be a trend of less glitzy, more empathetic and genuine adverts this year. The John Lewis ad worked well last year because it was different from the shiny, glossy ads everyone else was doing, but a lot of the adverts seem to focus on rather generic, middle class, family Christmas periods and there are an awful lot of people that can’t or maybe don’t want to identify with that.

For example, both Asda and Morrisons have a very mum-centric commercial. It is definitely not just mums that have money to spend at Christmas.



John Lewis

Oh, John Lewis, how the mighty have fallen. Last year’s advert was adorable, heart-warming and had a beautifully unexpected twist. This year? Well, I think a lot of people were disappointed.

This advert relies on us having a white Christmas, which hardly ever happens. Plus, if you live in the middle of nowhere, you’d be ordering from John Lewis online, surely? The best thing about this advert is the soundtrack and that’s a little too reminiscent of the Twinings advert with the slow tempo cover of Wherever You Will Go by The Calling and a cartoon girl in a boat. Granted, it had a lot to live up to from last year, but their more recent advert with Paloma Faith playing over the top and a couple split between 1925 and present day with the strapline ‘never knowingly undersold‘ would have been more suitable for Christmas.

Oh, and Ann Summers created an appalling spoof of this ad even before it appeared on TV.

My favourite advert this year?


Boots have produced a series of adverts using real people (or so I’m told). I like them because they each tell a story with the Boots¬†products secondary. The stories seem realistic and not contrived. The variety could appeal to a wide demographic, from the single mum who’s daughter encourages her to look for love again, to the put out housemate discovering his friend’s girlfriend’s friend after suffering the seemingly endless presence of his housemate’s girlfriend, to the friends who have gone away for New Year and find a fantastic party. The season isn’t just about spending time in a house packed with your siblings, parents, offspring, and grand-parents for a lot of people, it’s about spending time with your friends or a couple of family members or a load of other niche situations that I probably don’t even know about anymore.

So here’s a beautiful compilation of my favourite series of Christmas ads from this year.

Boots, yeah, you win for me this year. I’ll be checking out your 3 for 2s shortly.

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  • Miss Digwell December 4, 2012, 8:58 am

    I think Littlewoods have also scored an own goal. The store is using Mylene Klass to front the ad. Last year she was the M & S face of the season, so, maybe M & S is benefitting from the change. I certainly have made the mistaken association.

    • Jo Darby December 5, 2012, 9:20 pm

      I totally agree with you. She would now be better suited to a non-clothing brand and they should have gone for someone who isn’t associated with on of their main competitors.