Christmas Adverts – Ads this Festive Season


Whether you think it’s too early to be talking about Christmas, you can’t escape Christmas adverts. Let’s look into advertising in the festive period, below.

So, whilst some may think it’s far too early to mention the C word, the retailers do not agree… Which is why, in the past week or so, you would have seen an abundance of Christmas adverts on the telly (oops, we said it). Yes, Christmas ads hark the beginning of the festive period. All of the big shops have them out, whether it’s John Lewis, KFC or even Iceland, different businesses are going for different things.

In Revive’s latest post, we’re looking at Christmas adverts. More specifically, we’ll be looking at the message behind the ads and how other companies have responded with their own advertisements or on social media. So, if you’re a lover of Christmas adverts then keep your cursor off that back button and scroll down the page.

Christmas Adverts in 2018

John Lewis’ Christmas Advert

Of course, everyone sits and waits with anticipation for the John Lewis ad. Some classics over the years have been the Penguin, the man on the moon and their latest one featuring Sir Elton John. If you haven’t seen it yet, what have you been doing… We’ve linked it below for you (how good of us).

John Lewis’ Christmas adverts always seem to have a significant trait – emotional advertising. Yes, all of the John Lewis ads are heartfelt. They evoke an emotional link with the viewer through a strong narrative, using a memorable song (be it cover or not in the case of this year) and making sure there’s a feel-good factor.

Think about the penguin advert. The narrative is about a penguin feeling romantically lonely, set to John Lennon’s song Real Love (covered by Tom Odell). The ‘feel good factor’ at the end is the penguin being gifted another penguin at the end of the ad. It hits the mark across all points. Sometimes they focus on using animals (the Bear and Hare, Buster and the other animals etc.) but it’s not a yearly occurrence. This year, with the exception of animals and a cover song, John Lewis have stuck to the trend of using emotional advertising at Christmas. Let’s look at another popular ad from the festive period.

Iceland’s Christmas Advert

Whilst you won’t see Iceland’s Christmas ad on telly, you’ve more than likely seen it across social media. And, if you haven’t, you will definitely see it because we’re putting a link to it, right here.

Whilst in the past Iceland have gone for a different front (humorous advertising) this year, they’ve chosen to take on a socio-political issue. They’ve chosen to voice the destruction that the production of palm oil causes. Due to mass deforestation, to produce palm oil, orangutans lose their habitat – it’s estimated that 25 a day die due to deforestation for palm oil. So, this year Iceland have pledged to eliminate any own-brand products that contain palm oil from their shops. Whilst it’s not a ‘Christmas’ advert, in the way that the John Lewis advert advertises Christmas, it’s still a great form of emotive advertising. Whilst the advert has been banned, millions of people have watched and shared the video, even taking complaints to Clearcast – the body that banned the ad.

Sainsbury’s Christmas Advert

Sainsbury’s Christmas advert uses the same techniques that John Lewis does – using a classic song. Watch their Christmas advert, below.

This Christmas ad uses emotional advertising as well, by showing the North Star overcoming her nerves, with the help of her mum in the audience. As well as being an inspiring advert, it’s centred around Christmas, using the traditional primary school Christmas play, as well as using a classic song (like John Lewis).

KFC’s Christmas Advert

Finally, we have something a little lighter to finish off our favourite chosen ads. The KFC Christmas advert is, well put simply, great. Have a watch and see what we mean.

The message of the ad is pretty clear, we shouldn’t have to explain it. This ad still focuses on emotional advertising because it makes you laugh. The dramatic build-up for the comical pay off and finally, the message that appears at the end makes you laugh (well, it should do at least).

You’re probably wondering; ‘what has this got to do with my advertising this Christmas?’. Well, there’s a lot you can learn from the ads we’ve listed above.

Your Christmas Advertising

So, when it comes to developing these advertisements, whilst you may not have the budget for something of their scale, or even video, you can still use emotive advertising within your creation of Christmas adverts. Whether you want to tug the heart strings like John Lewis, convey a social or political issue or even just make your audience laugh, emotional advertising is a powerful tool in marketing.

This Christmas use your ads to make people:

  • Laugh
  • Cry
  • Think
  • Feel
  • Evoke change

Whatever you do, just make sure it’s on brand with your business.

If you need a hand with Christmas advertising, look no further. We can help you develop video, animated or social media campaigns this Christmas – it’s not too late to start! Give us a call.