The advertising highlight of the year is, of course, the festive Christmas period. It is a battle ground for advertising agencies and their chance to entice customers with their festive cheer. So, let’s have a look at the main Christmas adverts for 2013.
1. John Lewis
With over ten million views on YouTube, the story of the bear and the hare was brought to life by Disney animators. According to the Guardian; ‘The animated advert cost £1m to make’ and in my opinion it was worth every penny. The painstakingly made advert features an unlikely friendship; the bear has never seen Christmas, and with the help of a John Lewis clock – a present from the hare – the bear awakens to view its first Christmas day. There is a beautiful quality to this heart-warming advert and, I have to admit, it’s quite a tear jerker. It surely will stick in my mind for Christmases to come.
2. Marks and Spencer
This advert focuses on the characters portrayed by model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and features different aspects from Alice in Wonderland, Aladdin and the Wizard of Oz. During the transitions between the three sections we are introduced to a range of M&S products, which works well with the blend of stories. Despite this, I felt the underwear scenes were randomly placed and seemed out of sync with the rest of the advert; the first underwear scene was introduced too early before the Christmas vibe was fully developed. Overall, I enjoyed the creative use of the traditional stories, however, I’m not sure that it truly captured Christmas.
Morrisons have enrolled the help of Ant and Dec this Christmas in their advert which makes use of ‘Be our Guest’, made famous through Walt Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. The song has been altered in order for it to be made more fitting for promoting food products. This advert is light hearted and fun to watch, with animated animals and little chefs; the star of the show is a gingerbread man who sings throughout the advert and may or may not have been eaten at the conclusion of the advert.
Morrisons’s rival, Tesco, have taken the nostalgic route with their Christmas advert for 2013. It simulates old family Christmas videos and displays them back to back, showing the families’ development over the years. It captures the enjoyment of spending time with family during the festivities and truly embodies the family vibe.
Another fellow rival on the supermarket front is Asda and they use snowmen in order to make a direct comparison between themselves, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons. In order to place themselves higher than the rest, the snowman representing Asda (depicted by the green scarf) is a robust figure, sporting a wide smile, which stands out against the sad-faced, smaller snowmen. However, the advert fails to engage the British public in the Christmas spirit; they merely aim to place themselves on a higher pedestal in comparison to their rivals.
Sainsbury’s, in difference, focuses primarily on the importance of family. There are scenes of excitement and enjoyment when children are waiting for the arrival of Father Christmas and joy as they open gifts. There are also snapshots of the various ways people spend Christmas day, ranging from an open water swim to accurately planning the timing of the Christmas dinner. The family vibe is certainly achieved within this advert.
Sophisticated and of a high quality is how I would describe the Christmas advert for Debenhams, whose slogan for their Christmas campaign is ‘Wishes made fabulous’. The advert follows the romance of a young man and woman and throughout features a range of clothing available for the festive party season. Illustrative sketches are also infused into the advert which gives it an interesting, artistic twist. It features traditional Christmas scenes of parties and ice-skating so, overall, they have created an appealing advertisement.
8. Harvey Nichols
The Harvey Nichols advert sent tongues wagging with its unconventional attitude towards Christmas. The campaigns slogan is ‘Sorry, I spent it on myself’ and the advertisement itself is humorous. It makes use of everyone’s fear at Christmas; having to react positively to a gift which has truly left us feeling disappointed. There are numerous awkward scenes as people are left disheartened after receiving their gifts and it makes for a light hearted advertisement.
Of course I wouldn’t forget about the Coca-Cola Christmas advert, whose appearance assures people that Christmas is only round the corner. This year the advert makes great use of animation in order to tell its story of how we should help those around us at Christmas time. It explicitly focuses on the moral attitudes people should take at Christmas time. I think it achieved this effectively.