Can you hear the bells ringing? Christmas is here with our round up of the adverts of 2021
The Creative Team here at Social have sifted through the big brands’ Christmas adverts and have given their thoughts on this years’ favourites.
John Lewis – Unexpected Guest
The John Lewis Christmas advert is always the tipping point into Christmas and is eagerly awaited each year to see what they pull out of the bag. Unfortunately, this year we weren’t too impressed. The ‘unexpected guest’ feels like an ET/Iron Giant rip off and didn’t ‘wow’ us as previous years have done.
We love the strapline of ‘Christmas like it’s your first’ but feel like the video could have been executed much better. Our favourite part of the video was the use of a soft piano cover of ‘Together in Electric Dreams’ by 20-year-old singer Lola Young, as they have undoubtedly catapulted a young musician’s career.
M&S Food – Percy Pigmas
Marks and Spencer have released not one, but TWO Christmas adverts this year – one for their food offering and another for their clothing and gifting departments. The humorous M&S Food advert certainly comes up trumps as they have finally brought Percy to life in true Pinocchio style! M&S also brought out the top guns for this with Dawn French voicing the Christmas fairy and Tom Holland as the nation’s favourite Percy Pig. Note to self: Add Percy Pig sweets to shopping list.
Boots – #BagsOfJoy
Firstly, we’d all like to receive a bag like that for Christmas! Boots brought in an A-lister this year, with former Doctor Who star Jenna Coleman being gifted a bottomless bag from her Nan (which she opens BEFORE Christmas Day might we add). This bag covers the length and breadth of what Boots has to offer over the Christmas period and even leaves a lump in your throat when she goes to repay the gift to her Nan, gifting her a bottle of her favourite perfume, reminding her what “love” feels like. *gulp*
Disney – The Stepdad
With a few keen Disney fans within the team, we were quite disappointed with Disney’s effort this year. It’s a lovely idea of once again teaming up with the Make a Wish charity and showing a new stepdad as he moves in with his new family, but after watching the ad nothing stood out and it feels very ‘non-memorable’. The most we could take from it was that the soundtrack sounds like a rip-off from the stage show Hamilton.
The ad follows on from last year’s, in which a little girl bonded with her grandmother over their Christmas traditions – that little girl is now the grown-up shown with two children of her own, as we only discovered after reading about it. While this is a nice touch, the link did not appear to be very clear.
Barbour – Paddington, Please Look After This Bear
For the first time Barbour collaborates with Paddington Bear for the cutest advert this season. We follow Paddington as he double checks his Christmas shopping list, realising he still needs to purchase a gift for Mr Brown. But not any gift will do, he chooses a sentimental gift which is re-waxing the Barbour coat Mr Brown wore when he found Paddington Bear.
At a time when sustainability could not be more important, this advert celebrating their Re-Waxing Centenary not only shows that Barbour products last a long time when looked after, but that Christmas gifting doesn’t have to mean something new, something pre-loved means just as much.
ALDI – Ebanana Scrooge
Kevin the Carrot just will not go away will he? It’s great to have a raft of new characters to Aldi’s renowned adventures of Kevin the carrot, whose stuffed toys result in large queues and instant sell-outs every year. A real highlight of this is the special cameo from Marcus Rashford, or should we say ‘Marcus Radishford’ which was also trending in the UK on Twitter on the night of the advert release. The use of the Dickens’ Christmas Carol story entwined with Marcus Radishford and the partnership with children’s charity Barnados really does hit the spot this Christmas.
Oh, and don’t forget their caterpillar cake Cuthbert being arrested by two police-lemons, a not-so-subtle dig at their rivalry with M&S.
JD – Welcome to JD Street
JD speak directly to their target audience with this advert, relevant influencers appear non-stop throughout the video in the latest designer sports gear including KSI, Jadon Sancho, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Aitch and Maya Jama with the campaign aiming to reflect youth culture today. Although we’re not too sure that many people leave their turkey buying to the very last minute and leave it to the teenager of the house to go out and get it…
Celebrations – The Lonely Bounty
A refreshing take on Christmas comes from Celebrations, the staple red circular tub of chocolates gives us the lonely Bounty and his friend, Brussel sprouts. In a Love Actually parody, Mars tells the story of the Bounty who struggles to find love at Christmas and finds his match in Christmas’ other divisive food, the Brussel sprout.
This ad is in actual fact a launch of their Bounty return scheme, as according to research Bounty is the most unloved of all Celebrations chocolates. From January 17th you’ll be able to swap them for (in our opinion a top-tier Celebration chocolate) Malteser miniatures in Glasgow, London and Manchester.