Just as you thought the last of the Christmas ads had arrived, brands have made late entry’s to the festive party. Whatever happens in the next month or two, Christmas 2020 will be like no other before it. As advertisers grapple with how to stand out during the festive season, you can keep up to date with the best seasonal creative right here.
Okay, so Christmas 2020 isn’t what we dreamed of, with the coronavirus doing its utmost best to be the Grinch that stole Christmas.
While it will be a lukewarm Christmas this year, brands have been over-delivering to ensure the Christmas ad showdown isn’t a letdown, and although moods will be dampened, they have been taking the opportunity to encourage people to get behind good causes.
To inspire people to make the most of leftover food, Hellman’s has teamed up with Animal Crossing to create an island where players can convert virtual food waste into nutritious meals for people in need this Christmas.
To raise awareness of the bad causes pension investments inadvertently fund, Richard Curtis has enlisted the help of Harry Potter actor Jason Isaacs, and the Big Issue has launched its first-ever Christmas to garner support for its network of magazine vendors who are facing an unprecedented period of hardship this winter.
Cheerios has revisited its famous 1999 commercial, with a pandemic twist. And, has a relatively unknown Dutch pharmaceutical company taken the 2020 Christmas ad crown? Well, if Twitter is anything to go by, then DocMorris’ moving Christmas spot has stolen people’s hearts, racking up over 8 million views since it went live.
As we get ready to shake the dust of the boots of 2020, The Drum will be exploring the in-depth strategies brands are taking to engage with customers amid what’s sure to be a holiday season like no other.
In the meantime, we’ll be rounding up the crème de la crème of Christmas creative for you each day, right here. Scroll down to see what brands have come up with already and click on the images to watch the ads in full.
Feed the #UnstuffedBears
Campaign title: #UnstuffedBears
Creative Agency: St. Luke’s
Executive Creative Director: Richard Denney
Creatives: Howard Green, Darren O’Beirne, Philip Meyler, Darren Keff
Agency Producers: Andrew Thorne, Roy Hyndman
Managing Director: Ed Palmer
Chief Strategy Officer: Dan Hulse
Account Director: Rob Evans
Agency Planner: Tara Ellis
Production Agency: Tag Collective Arts
Business Director: Tom Bird
Media: Spark Foundry (UK, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan)
Producer: James McLaughlin
Director of Photography: Joe Douglas
Editor: Pete Hills
Post Producers: Andy Salem, Nick Foote
Colourist: Jonny Tully
Sound Engineer: Scott Little
Music: Bird Brain
Music Producer: Jake Buckley
Composer: Frederico Solazzo
Senior Project Manager: Ridhi Amin
Digital Director: Sena Verdi
Senior Designer: Rachael Nichols
Senior Developer: Konrad Pichalski
Production Company: Taylor James Interactive
This Christmas season, one in five children may go hungry worldwide. Dole Packaged Foods Europe is taking action with the launch of its #UnstuffedBears campaign to help raise awareness and funds to feed UK families in need.
Dole acts on global promise to make nutritious food accessible to 1 billion people by 2025. Unstuffed Bear’s global social film campaign will raise awareness and funds to help feed the 1 In 5 children that may go hungry over the Christmas season, with monetary donations benefiting UK families via Save the Children.
Santa’s gift for the NHS
: ‘The Gift’
NHS’ latest Christmas campaign, ‘The Gift’, shows that even Santa is in awe of NHS staff and volunteers working tirelessly to keep us safe.
Created by Iris in partnership with major brands such as Starbucks, Marmite, Kindred and Batiste, the work aims to help raise more vital funds for the NHS Charities Together Covid Appeal.
Jack Wills’ ode to the hoodie
: ‘Defined By You’
In a year marked by lockdowns, Jack Wills has launched a Christmas campaign that celebrates the comfort and confidence of the hoodie. The campaign follows three influencers – actor Sophie Simnett, illustrator and model Ocean Lewis and singer Byron Langley – as they relax at home enjoying their private creative passions of photography, drawing and music.
Inspired by Jack Wills’ belief that clothing should be lived in, not looked at, the hoodie was positioned as an item of clothing that allowed them to fully express themselves —a place you can be totally you.
Channel 4’s first-ever Christmas brand campaign will reflect what a difficult and challenging year 2020 has been, while also raising a smile and encouraging everyone to be a little more accepting of each other.
It opens with Santa’s Head Elf breaking the disturbing news to his unusual office co-workers that, given everything that is happening, Santa is thinking about cancelling Christmas. Upon turning to his co-workers (The Holiday Mascots comprising of the Easter Bunny; Tooth Fairy; St Patrick’s Day Leprechaun; Cupid and the Halloween Ghost) and asking them for ideas, the group descends into a bickering row as they argue how best to ensure Christmas goes ahead.
The Big Issue’s first Christmas appeal
: ‘Remember Me?’
The Big Issue has launched its first-ever Christmas appeal film to help raise awareness of the need for support for its network of magazine vendors who are facing an unprecedented period of hardship this winter.
The film features the fond recollections of Big issue vendor Martin McKenzie has of his customers before the pandemic and contrasts it with the far emptier streets that he faces when out selling the magazine in present times.
: ‘Take Care ‘
Has a relatively unknown Dutch pharmaceutical company taken the 2020 Christmas ad crown? Well, if Twitter is anything to go by, then DocMorris’ moving Christmas spot has stolen people’s hearts, racking up over 8 million views since it went live.
Created by Jung von Matt/Saga, ‘Take Care’ follows an old man, presumably bereaved, who for a reason unbeknown to the viewer or his neighbours, starts training with a heavy kettlebell – a dusty remnant from his more active glory days.
Refusing to let his older body hold him back, the viewer sees the old man endeavour to keep going with this new fitness regime. Is he training for an older gentleman Olympics, or is this some kind of Covid-prevention technique, the viewer ponders. By the sweet revelation, the viewer is helplessly invested in the old man’s story.
Will Santa Claus Still Come To Town
: ‘A Jolly Safe Christmas’
To mark the strangest Christmas in recent history, Innocent drinks and creative agency BMB have created a children’s storybook that answers the big question on the lips of children around the world: given the events of 2020, how will Santa be able to visit every household, safely and without contravening government rules?
In ‘Will Santa Claus Still Come To Town’, a-less-than-jolly and slightly fretful St. Nick is left pondering how he’ll be able to execute his present-giving duties, imagining a series of fantastically ridiculous alternatives to his usual sleigh-based delivery method, before innocent saves Christmas, by delivering him The Santa Safety Suit; combining ‘hazmat level PPE’ with handy repellant features like ‘sprout-tech’, which emits the wafting smell of everyone’s favourite (or not) festive veg to keep rule-breaking festive revellers at bay, as well as a satsuma pouch in which to store his citrus booty.
: ‘Holiday Traditions ‘
Over 20 years since the original, Cheerios has revisited its 1999 commericial that starred a doting grandma who has travels a long distance to spend Christmas with her grandchild. She uses Cheerios to map out where the hungry baby’s various family members live.
Now unable to meet due to the pandemic, the pair convene online after the grandma sends a box of Cheerios to her grandaughter. “No matter where Grandma lives, we’ll always be together for Christmas,” she tells her.
Make your pensions matter
: ‘No Nasty Surprises ‘
Set up by Richard Curtis, Make My Money Matter is a campaign that demands the trillions of pounds that are invested in UK pensions goes towards building a better world. This Christmas, it has enlisted the help of Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy in Harry Potter) to raise awareness. He plays Guy Burne-Wood – a chief exec of a ficticious company, aptly named Forestry Felling Syndicate (FFS).
Why? To encourage people to contemplate where they are investing their pensions, which are being used to fund businesses that are destroying natural habitats.
“I want to thank people like you, for collectively investing hundreds of millions with us. Your pension funds, no matter how piddly, all add up,” Burne-Wood says to the camera, against a festive backdrop. “And with all your cash, we’ve been able to destroy most natural habitat than we ever thought possible.”
The campaign points viewers in the direction of a petition, that urges the pensions industry to commit to Net Zero targets and deforestation free portfolios.
FC Barcelona’s message of hope
: ‘FC Barcelona’
Art Director: Xavi Lozano
Cinematography: Albert Pons
Producers: Laura Montero & Laura Gonzalez
Editors: Xavi Lozano & Oriol Cid
Colourist: Marc Ibáñez
FC Barcelona has launched a Christmas campaign to show that despite the fact that we are living in a weird time, the club is a meeting point for its members and fans.
: ‘>Soap ‘
JDO is using its creativity as a force for good to raise awareness of hygiene poverty this Christmas.
With the belief that hygiene poverty is a problem that can be tackled together, JDO created a personal care concept called ‘>Soap’ – an ethically-sourced soap brand that illustrates how, as a society, we are greater than hygiene poverty. >Soap advocates change through community, cleanliness and compassion.
Nuts about Christmas
: ‘Nuts About Christmas’
KP Nuts has launched its festive campaign – ‘Nuts About Christmas’ – in partnership with Bauer Media.
Created by Starcom, the campaign is a multi-channel partnership celebrating the things the KP Nuts audience are ‘nuts about’ this Christmas, involving various on-air radio promotions that will run across Bauer Media’s radio stations and shows.
Hellmann’s mayo Island
: ‘Hellmann’s Island ‘
To inspire people to make the most of leftover food at Christmas and give back to those in need, Hellmann’s has created its very own island in collaboration with Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizon.
Players can explore the new Island and convert their virtual food waste into real nutritious meals for people in need this Christmas. For every spoiled turnip donated on the island, Hellmann’s will make a financial donation to fund the equivalent of two meals distributed by FareShare, a UK-based charity fighting hunger and food waste.
Just Eat has a Doggy Christmas
: ‘Doggy Doggy Christmas ‘
He’s been Snoop Dogg, Snoop Lion, DJ Snoopadelic, Snoopzilla, and now he’s Doggy Dog – a hairy Doberman that spits bars from his festive mansion, where he orders gold leaf burgers that arrive on a solid gold tray, on a solid gold sleigh.
Equipped with a tagline you can’t help but hum, Just Eat has unleashed its secret weapon upon the festive season, leveraging the rapper’s popularity to draw attention to its food delivery service this Christmas.
Listing off items from Just Eat’s menu of restaurants, the viewer’s stomach helplessly rumbles as ’Doggy Dogg’ raps about dough balls, burritos, and hot jerk chicken in a laid back tone, instructing them – ’whatever the venue, hit up the menu’.
KFC produces a Lifetime Christmas movie?
: ‘A Recipe For Seduction’
A lot of odd things have happened this year, but the news that Mario Lopez (Slater from Saved By the Bell) is to play a ‘hot’ version of KFC founder Colonel Sanders in a Lifetime Christmas movie titled ‘A Recipe For Seduction’ is high up on the list.
While some brands have dialled down efforts this Christmas, KFC has turned the oven up to 100 degrees, serving its chicken fans with a parody short film due to debut on Lifetime this Sunday (13 December).
While ‘Colonel Sanders’ and ‘hot’ are only uttered in the same sentence when talking about KFC’s spicy wings, the dramatic trailer for the short-film conjures up an entirely different image of its prized mascot. Falling afoul of a pair of malevolent elites, who try to pluck his secret chicken recipe, this Colonel catches the attention of a young heiress, drawn in by his spiciness.
Now TV recreates Love Actually
: ‘Greetings Gram’
Since first gracing our screens in 2003, Love Actually has become a Christmas cult classic. Latching onto the hype, Now TV has enlisted the help of Martine McCutcheon, who played the endearing secretary (and love interest) to the Prime Minister (Hugh Grant) in the original film.
Aiming to spread Christmas cheer to friends and families who can’t meet in person this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the ‘Greetings Gram’ service sees McCutcheon recreate a famous scene in which Mark, played by Andrew Lincoln, uses large cue cards to declare his love for Keira Knightley’s character, Juliet.
Singtel helps seniors go digital
: ‘Seniors Go Digital Too!’
Singtel has shifted from its usual emotional storytelling videos for its annual Christmas videos for 2020. Instead of buskers dressed as Santa Clauses and errant teenagers, this year the telco is showcasing how it is helping senior citizens make sense of the digital world.
Three seniors are featured in the video, namely Aunty Lilian, Aunty Shirley and Uncle Andrew, and they explain how Singtel has helped them stay in touch with their friends and families during the Covid-19 lockdown in Singapore, known officially as ‘Circuit Breaker’.
Aunty Lilian is taught how to record herself singing, which is her favourite pastime and Uncle Andrew is shown how to create Zoom video calls. Meanwhile, Aunty Shirley is given a crash course on the TraceTogether app, Singapore’s primary method for contact tracing which relies on people scanning QR codes before entering any establishment.
Co-op tugs on the guitar strings
: ‘Round Are Way’
The Co-op is tugging on heartstrings this Christmas with a sweet tale of two young brothers who bring much-needed community cheer by singing Oasis anthem Round Are Way outside their local store.
The low-key Christmas 2020 TV ad debuted on YouTube, racking up over 6,000 views drawn by the duet performed by 12-year old Austin and his younger brother Roco, aged just six, who delight shoppers after finding the courage to perform in public.
Hammering home the importance of community at a time of crisis, the sentimental piece was created by Lucky Generals as a demonstration of the difference individuals can make by combining their talents.
Great Ormond Street gets kids home for Christmas
: ‘Home For Christmas’
Brand: GOSH Charity
Project/Campaign name: Home for Christmas
First Air Date: November 17 th 2020
Deputy Director (Brand & Content – Hospital and Charity) – Nick Radmore
Digital Content Manager – Charlotte Young
Brand Manager – Miranda Williams
Head of Digital Engagement – Dave O’Carroll
Filmmaker and Photographer – John Stead
Senior Innovator – Oliver Field
Senior Business Development Executive – Amy Perkins
Creative Agency: adam&eveDDB
Chief Creative Officer: Richard Brim
Executive Creative Director/s: Mike Sutherland and Ant Nelson
Creative: Simone Warme and Jeppe Vidstrup
TV/Online: Nikki Cramphorn
Print/Digital/OOH: Chris Battye
Joint CEO: Mat Goff
Managing Partner: Charlotte Wolfenden
Executive Strategy Director – Nick Hirst
Planner/s: Stuart Williams, John Blight
Business Director/s: Jo Lorimer
Account Director/s: Bea Kenyon-Jones
Account Manager/s: Dorothy Tang
Project Manager: Lara Harper, Clare Dimmock
Senior Paralegal: Trine Odin
Business Affairs: Gemma Davies
King Henry Design:
Designer: Paul Knowles
Design Studio Manager: Rob Wallis
Senior Creative Artworker/Deputy Studio Manager: Dave Callow
King Henry Retouch:
Studio Manager: Dan Sandles
Retouch: Gemma Lawton
Studio Manager: Marc Dolby
Artworkers: Tony Hutton & Jonny Young
Studio Manager: Richard Bryne
Media agency: Hearts & Science
Production company: Partizan Films
Executive Producer: Duncan Gaman
Producer: Leo Green
Director: Marlies Van Der Wel
Animators: Marlies Van Der Wel, Manuel Ferrari, Taco Potma
Illustration & Design: Marlies Van Der Wel
Background Illustration: Freek Verhagen
UGC Post Production: Untold Studios
Post Producer : Ian Berry
Cain & Abel – James Ireland
Sound Design & Mix : James Utting – Factory
Audio Producer – Lucy Spong
Soundtrack Name and Composer: Home Sweet Home – Pieter de Graaf
Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity has brought out an animated film to bring to life the journey patients make from hospital to home at Christmas.
The film features a patient named Mia and her sister Amy who were treated at the hospital years apart for the same rare condition, chronic demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP). Mia was just three weeks old when she was admitted to the hospital with the rare neurological condition, returning home just in time to meet her big sister on Christmas Eve.
Hendrick’s Gin embodies Victorian surrealism
: ‘Hendrick’s Gin Curiosity ‘
Hendrick’s Gin has aired its first-ever television advert that aims to delight consumers this Christmas season.
The short animated film is a visual fantasy that embodies Victorian surrealism and invites gin drinkers to heed the call of their curiosity. It depicts a butler, who happens to also be a hammerhead shark, at his daily tasks. Intrigued by a martini-glass-shaped crack in the wall, his curiosity helps him discover the secret, magical world of Hendrick’s Gin.
The Body Shop raises awareness for female homelessness
: ‘Unseen Kingdoms’
Marking its first-ever Christmas TV campaign, The Body Shop has teamed up with Channel 4 to illuminate the issue of female homelessness in the UK through the medium of spoken poetry.
‘Unseen Kingdom’ shines a light on a hidden world all around us of 110,000 young people who exist in the background shadows of daily life, according to 2019 research by Centrepoint.
Showcasing the talent of spoken-word artist Rasheeda Page-Muir the campaign gives life to this statistic by communicating individual tales of survival such as the story of Jamie who became homeless in her late teens but is now a dancer.
Joules partners with The Woodland Trust
: ‘A Woodland Tale’
Following the launch of its new festive ‘Woodland Edit’, Joules is to plant a tree with the Woodland Trust each time a product is sold from the range during the Christmas period.
To complement the initiative, Joules has produced a Christmas animation titled ‘A Woodland Tale’ which aims to raise awareness of the charity, the need to give back to nature and to protect the endangered species who make an appearance in it, including the red squirrel, pine marten, capercaillie and door mouse.
Parcelforce delivers its Christmas ad
: ‘Delivering With Care ‘
To highlight it’s role in delivering packages from businesses of all sizes to consumers across the UK and beyond, Parcelforce Worldwide has revealed ‘Delivering With Care’ – its Christmas advert for 2020.
No coal for Tesco shoppers this Christmas
: ‘No Naughty List ‘
As a brand, Tesco has always aimed to reflect the mood of the country in its advertising. That angle has never been more prescient than at the current moment, with Brits in dire spirits under varying degrees of lockdown, and an especially strange Christmas on the horizon.
Developed by agency BBH, and directed by Raine Allen-Miller from production company Somesuch, the ad absolves customers of anything that might have landed them a place on the ‘naughty list’ this year – from bad video call etiquette to buying too much loo roll – and instead encourages them to indulge as much as they want this Christmas.
Sainsbury’s phones home
: ‘Gravy Song’
Sainsbury’s has invited audiences into the homes of three families to establish what the holiday means to people on a personal level. Evoking a more carefree age symbolised by family, laughter and lashings of gravy, its Christmas campaign aims to celebrate the true stars of Christmas dinner.
The first of these, ’Gravy Song’, recounts a daughter’s excitement for her dad’s gravy tempered by his penchant for singing. Combining home-video-style footage and phone conversations, the campaign seeks to honestly reflect modern life.
The John Lewis advert that almost wasn’t
: ‘Give A Little Love’
Inspired by the response of the British public to the pandemic during the first wave and the ‘acts of kindness‘ that emerged from communities, for this year’s campaign John Lewis and Waitrose have come up with a pandemic theme of kindness and giving to charity, rather than giving presents, which dovetails with its new five-year purpose-led strategy.
Through ‘Give a Little Love‘ the partnership aims to raise £4m for the two charities, boosting FareShare‘s efforts to support those facing food poverty and Home-Start‘s initiatives for parents who need support. A further fund of £1m has been created to bring the charity partnership to life in-store.
The broad campaign is complemented by a two-minute spot, created by long-term advertising agency partner Adam&eveDDB, which features nine different vignettes created by eight different artists, offering support to the creative industries that have struggled at the hands of the pandemic.
A Christmas Kiss
: ‘Bells to Blossoms’
For the first time in 31 years, Hershey’s is adding a new twist to its classic Kisses Bells commercial. The Hershey Kisses Bells spot has long been a regular part of the holiday season, but behind the scenes, it was cookies topped with Kisses that were the real icon – warming hearts and homes.
As people are baking more than ever these days, this year, Hershey’s is honouring baking traditions with an evolution of its Bells commercial.
A DIY Christmas
: ‘Giving More This Christmas’
In an effort to raise awareness and support two of the most prevalent issues the UK is currently facing, hunger and homelessness, Papa John’s launched its ‘Giving More This Christmas’ campaign, which sees the pizza delivery chain donating a chunk of their creative and marketing budgets to Crisis and the Trussell Trust.
To put the money which would have otherwise been spent on creative designs and production costs to better use, Papa John’s instead, enlisted help from internal staff to design and create the assets for its Christmas 2020 campaign.
From limited-edition pizza boxes to the creation of its TV advert, the assets include simple hand-drawn and festive illustrations from the Papa John’s team, all printed in black in order for the brand to give more back.
The advert is set to the popular Christmas song, Deck the Halls, and features a simple creative concept, including pizza boxes decorated with marker pens.
A Christmas you can believe in
: ‘A Christmas You Can Believe In’
Building on the success of Lidl’s Christmas campaign last year, this year’s advert uses an amusing parody in an animated world to support the same sentiment.
The ad nods to the unbelievable and unrealistic nature of Christmas ads whilst interrupting these Christmas advertising tropes, and side-stepping them for great Lidl products, at great prices.
The ad continues in this theme by making playful references to ‘emotional gravy’ and moments designed to make viewers sad.
Deliveroo says Christmas is on
: ‘Christmas is On’
Celebrating its first-ever major UK Christmas campaign, Deliveroo’s latest spot ‘Christmas is On’, was created in-house by the food-delivery company, and highlights that no matter what uncertainty lies ahead the next few months, Deliveroo will be here to deliver this Christmas.
Throughout November and December, a brand new festive menu on Deliveroo features exclusive dishes from loved chains to local neighbourhood favourites. From Pret’s legendary Christmas sandwich to Burger King’s Festive BBQ King and Pizza Hut’s Christmas Pizza, these limited-edition dishes are available only on Deliveroo.
The campaign also celebrates the festive grocery favourites available for delivery on-demand in as little as 20 minutes from mince pies to prosecco, from the likes of Co-op, Waitrose, Aldi and Morrisons.
Burberry is ‘Singing in the (London) Rain’
Fashion house Burberry is making a splash this Christmas with a timeless rendition of Singin’ in the Rain, infusing the Gene Kelly classic with the brand’s distinctive urban edginess.
Produced by RiffRaff Films and directed by MegaForce, the classical climatic dance-off has been choreographed by dance collective (La)Horde, amping up the thrill factor by introducing falling blocks of ice for the fleet-footed quartet to circumnavigate.
Evading a descent into tired schmaltz and cheese the short film brings the 1950s straight into the 21st century with a hailstorm on London’s Petticoat Lane.
Keen to fashion more than just a video, Burberry is aiming to celebrate its capacity to provide social good, signified by a partnership with footballer and activist Marcus Rashford to finance a network of British youth centres.
Boots hones in on hygiene poverty in ‘What the World Needs’
Boots has launched its Christmas campaign, centred around acts of kindness, care and great value for all. Boots ‘What the World Needs Now’ campaign recognises that it has been a year like no other and acts of care and kindness are what is needed most.
To help, Boots will provide hygiene essentials to some of the millions of people in the UK living in hygiene poverty, with a donation of £1m worth of products to The Hygiene Bank. Boots is also inviting customers to donate hygiene items to support those most in need this Christmas.
The American Egg board gets in on the Christmas yolk
Zalando celebrates hugs
Against the backdrop of a challenging year of uncertainty and separation, Zalando is celebrating the hug as the ultimate expression of human connection and solidarity. Created by Anomaly Berlin, ‘We Will Hug Again’ is devised to convey a feeling of optimism and hope across Europe.
This message of hope will be depicted across numerous formats. Firstly, it will be brought to life through a series of Hug Portraits which will appear as large unbranded murals in visible urban locations across Europe. It will also include a heartwarming film, ‘100 Years of Hugs,’ directed by Vincent Haycock, and set to the track ‘Godspeed’ by Frank Ocean.
Barbour pushes sustainability
: ‘Father Christmas to The Rescue’
For the second year running, Barbour has returned to the popular children’s book Father Christmas, written and illustrated by Raymond Briggs.
The film follows a young boy whose dog has chewed his father’s beloved Barbour wax jacket. The boy writes to Father Christmas to say that he doesn’t want a present this year, he just needs his help to repair his father’s jacket in time for Christmas. Father Christmas realises he can’t mend the jacket himself but has the bright idea of taking it to the Barbour factory in South Shields to see whether they can assist. The Barbour customer service team set to work repairing the jacket and give it a rewax too, so it looks as good as new.
The film is based on the true story of Dudley the dachshund who chewed his owner’s much-adored Barbour jacket. His owner sent it back to Barbour with a note from Dudley to say he was sorry.
Disney gets the tears flowing with heartwarming family tale
: ‘From Our Family To Yours’
Disney’s Christmas charming Christmas ad is inspired by the themes of traditions and family togetherness in a year that has upended both. Exploring the relationship between a gran and her granddaughter, the animation is certain to tug at the heartstrings.
Running across 26 markets in Europe, as well as Australia, New Zealand, North America and parts of Asia, ‘From Our Family To Yours’ holds the same production values as any Pixar movie would.
Based on insight from consumers that traditions, family and nostalgia were the most important things to them in the run-up to this Christmas, the short sees the introduction of two characters – a grandmother, Lola, and her granddaughter.
The Drum spoke to the entertainment giant’s brand and creative marketing director for EMEA, to find out more about its year-long creative and production process.
Dobbies goes full Flashdance… with mince pies
Dobbies has departed with Christmas tradition to launch ‘The Joy of Dobbies’ brings to life the magical experience of a trip to the retailer during the festive period.
Abstract, impactful and unexpected, it features a bauble-filled hot-tub, sledging poodle and raining mince-pies. All an entertaining ode to the fact that nothing that beats the feeling of a trip to a Dobbies garden centre at Christmas.
At its core is a disruptive marketing strategy from ODD that centres around short, shareable film content that will catch attention on TV as much as stand-out online. The films also feature original scores from the acclaimed Jazz musician, Ola Onabulé.
Three’s mobile ode to 2020
: ‘Your Phone’s Seen A Lot This Year’
Three’s holiday campaign, directed by award-winning director, Simon Ratigan, shows 2020 through the eyes of our phones – from heartfelt kisses on video calls to working from home and virtual quizzes, all voiced by a choir that sings what unrelenting hard work it is to be a phone.
In the end, the lead drops her trusty phone, just in time to get a deal on a shiny new one from Three.
Notonthehighstreet celebrates the magic of small gestures
Notonthehighstreet, the UK’s curated online marketplace for the UK’s best small creative businesses, reveals its first airtime TV Christmas advertising campaign in three years.
The ad, which focuses on ‘The Magic of Small Things’, taps into the national, pandemic-accelerated shift towards supporting small, local businesses, and to cherishing simple moments of connection that have become even more important in 2020.
Kevin the Carrot makes it back home in time for Christmas
Aldi has finally premiered its Christmas ad from McCann which sees Kevin the Carrot return to screens to mark the start of the festive season, bringing with him some much-needed wonder and magic.
The country was left on tenterhooks and rooting for the plucky carrot’s safe return following his appearance earlier this week in a teaser advert. Just days ago, Kevin set the sky alight, Top Gun style, in a fighter jet escapade with co-pilot Turkey.
He was left perilously adrift with a flaming parachute, leaving fans asking Where is Kevin, and will he manage to get home to Katie and family in time for Christmas?
M&S bags Olivia Colman and Tom Hardy for charity-led twist on its ‘food porn’ ads
In a year when charity funding has declined almost 25%, this Christmas M&S Food has announced it will donate £2m to good causes, saying it’s not a year for “Christmas advertising fairytales”.
Central to this, M&S Food is shining a light on a number of important charities, partnering with nine world-famous actors who have added their unmistakable voices to nine brand new Christmas food ads, shot in its signature ‘food porn’ style.
The star-studded voiceover cast — which includes Tom Hardy, Olivia Colman, Helen Mirren and Chiwetel Ejiofor have all chosen to work with M&S, selecting charities close to their hearts to which M&S Food will make a donation on their behalf.
And M&S is doing the same for customers. Every time a customer signed up to its sparks loyalty scheme shops at M&S in-store or online at M&S.com, it will donate to their selected charity, from a range of 35 different causes.
M&S Food will also donate an additional £1million across a diverse range of charities including Shelter, Together for Short Lives and the 35 Sparks charities that M&S supports. Through Sparks, M&S has donated £7.3 million since 2015.
Very unveils tongue-in-cheek spot from Grey
Very.co.uk has launched a funny Christmas campaign, its first from Grey London, which encourages people to embrace every single moment in the countdown to December 25 instead of focusing on the clichéd portrayal of Christmas day.
The charmingly honest film sends the message that the best thing about Christmas is not just Christmas day but the combination of all the wonderfully festive moments in the build-up to Christmas, from Christmas lights and the all-important tree to Christmas jammies.
Javier Campopiano, chief creative officer Europe and creative chairman London at Grey, said: “It’s a different Christmas message, a message that offers the unfiltered point of view of someone who truly loves everything about Christmas, every single bit that makes it such a magical season.
“Not only is it different to what the brand and its customers have seen before, but we’re confident it’ll resonate right now when we’re facing the prospect of a very different festive period.”
Magical Argos campaign hones in on ‘Book of Dreams’
: ‘An Evening with AbracaDaisy & The Incredible Lucy’
ECD: Yan Elliot
Creative team: Matt Wood & Tom Loveless Head of Integrated Production: Charles Crisp Agency Producer: Andy Roberts
Managing Director: Gary Simmons
Senior Account Director: Lucy Almond Account Manager: Lizzie Healey
Planning Partner: Rebecca Munds
Senior Planner: Matt Shaw
Director: James Rouse
Producer: Benji Howell
Production Manager: Tim Steele
Director of Photography: Antonio Paladino Production Designer: David Lee
Set Stylist: Poppy Luard Wardrobe Stylist: Selina Wong
Editor: Art Jones
Editor Assistant: Rain Keene Editor Assistant: Miles Watson Producer: Ellie McNaughtan Executive Producer: Ben Tomlin
VFX Supervisor: William Bartlett
Flame: Andrew Salter
EP: Helen Hughes
Producer: Alexia Paterson
Prod co-ordinator: Emma Hughes
Despite scrapping its paper catalogue in June after 47 years, Argos has brought out the second chapter in its ‘Book of Dreams’ campaign, which once again taps into the nostalgia that people feel for flicking through the pages of its Christmas gift guide.
Though the original ‘Book of Dreams’ is currently out of print, Argos has brought out a Christmas gift guide to replace it. In the spot, two girls spot a box of magic tricks on the pages of the guide, which transports them off to the furthest reaches of the imagination, to a world where they have their own extraordinary magic show.
Last year saw Argos introduce the ‘Book of Dreams,‘ dropping its playful ‘Christmas Fool‘ character in favour of a more family-oriented spot. Both were created by The&Partnership.
“Last year‘s Christmas ad performed extremely well for us,” explains Argos‘ senior campaign manager, Rob Quartermain. “This year, we‘ve taken that idea on another step. It felt like a really powerful and strong idea and something that‘s uniquely Argos.”
Amazon sets the barre high
: ‘The Show Must Go On’
This year Amazon tells the inspiring story of a determined young ballerina who inadvertently brings her community together amid the challenges of this year.
Set to an arrangement of Queen’s ‘The Show Must Go On‘ the film features 17-year-old French ballet dancer, Taïs Vinolo as her character is forced to train from home due to the pandemic.
While her dreams of dancing a lead role are cancelled due to Covid-19, she doesn’t let this hold her back and she continues to practice her routine – dancing wherever and whenever she can. Inspired by her resolution and resolve, her sister and the community around her pull together to give her a stage and an audience in an emotional finale.
Last year, Amazon released a Love Actually-style spot, that featured a little girl playing Everybody Needs Somebody to Love, a flirty couple and its hallmark singing parcels.
TK Maxx debuts stylishly dressed ‘Lil’ Goat’
: ‘Lil’ Goat ‘
CD: Hollie Walker & Cal Al-Jorani
Creatives: Francesca Van Haverbeke & Florence Deary
Group Account Director: Matt Owen
Account Director: Alice Shaw
Account Manager: Tom Campbell
Agency Producer: Richard Adkins
Business Affairs Manager: Alex Coomer
Production Company: MJZ
Director: Matthijs van Heijningen
Executive Producer: Dickie Jeffares
Production Company Producer: Sara Nouman
Director of Photography: Molly Manning Walker
Home Interior Stylist: Jane Field
Editing Company: Work Editorial
Editor: Jono Griffith
Edit Executive Producer: Ben Tomlin
Visual Effects Company: Moving Picture Company
VFX Head of Production: Louise Unwin
VFX Creative Director / Head of CG – Carsten Keller
Animation Director: David Bryan
Colourist: Philip Hambi
Sound Design & Mix Company: Factory
Sound Designer: Anthony Moore, Jack Hallett
Sound Producer: Lucy Spong
Music Supervision: Jake Buckley @ Birdbrain
For its Christmas ad this year, TK Maxx has introduced ‘Lil’ Goat’ – a sassy, enviably dressed little goat.
As ‘Lil’ Goat’ struts across a snowy landscape, her farmers watch her go by. The wife questions her husband, “Did you buy the goat a designer outfit?” Gary, instead of conforming to the stoic farmer type, looks on tenderly with a tear in his eye and replies, replies proudly, “Yes, she’s had such a hard year. She bloomin’ well deserves it if you ask me”. The ad concludes with the jubilant goat sliding freely across the icy terrain, embodying the off-price retailer’s spirited and often humorous nature to deliver an important message – after the year we’ve had, everyone deserves to feel special this Christmas.
Last year TK Maxx adopted a daredevil skier called TK to show how shoppers can enter autopilot in its stores.
Lego goes on an adventure created by children as they play
The Lego Group celebrates the magic of the everyday as experienced by children through play. It showcases families coming together and experiencing the joyful, humorous adventures that children create and explore as they build, unbuild and rebuild with Lego products.
Part of its ‘Rebuild the World’ brand campaign, the playful storyline is set to a bespoke reimagining of ‘What a Wonderful World’
In the whimsical adventure, every story, animal and vehicle in the fun-filled celebration of children’s creativity are based on existing Lego products; princess knights calm dragons, astronauts celebrate their marriage with dinosaurs and giant chicken, and a Star Wars AT-AT takes a nap mid-crusade.
Pepsi Max gets all hip-hop
: ‘Christmas Refreshed ‘
Adding to the list of brands producing spots soundtracked with grime and hip-hop, Pepsi Max has partnered with artists Kamakaze and TrueMendous who star in its Christmas spot.
‘Christmas Refreshed‘ sees Pepsi shatter old Christmas traditions, offering an alternative view. ‘Traditional is so cliché‘ the rappers declare, and throughout the ad longstanding Christmas tropes are replaced with cool alternatives – Santa‘s sledge is replaced by a hench sound system, a festive jumper transforms into a sick Pepsi jacket.
Facebook enlists football legend Ian Wright
: ‘Ian Wright & Family’
Portal from Facebook launches a brand new holiday campaign with national treasure and footballing legend, Ian Wright.
Each family moment in the campaign showcases how a different feature of Portal is helping the Wrights feel like they’re hanging out together. From the AI-powered Smart Camera, AR filters, through to Group calling and Rooms, Portal’s technology allows the family to focus on what matters; coming together during the holidays and keeping their family traditions – like making fun of Dad – alive.
Asda celebrates the Christmas we all need
: ‘That’s An Asda Price Christmas’
This year, Asda was one of the first of the major supermarkets to launch its Christmas ad.
With England on the eve of its second lockdown, many are looking to the festive season to bring a little cheer to the end of 2020. Featuring the tagline, ‘the Christmas we all need, at the prices we want’ the spot sees the return of Asda super-fan Sunny and his wife and children as they try to bring some seasonal cheer to their Scrooge-like next-door-neighbor, Christine.
The spot has won praise for its no-frills approach to this year’s festivities, acknowledging that “Christmas is going to be different this year so let’s really make the most of it.”
Merry Crispmas from Walkers
Walkers Crisps has released its Christmas offering starring YouTuber and Christmas No.1 holder, LadBaby, with supporting roles from East 17’s Tony Mortimer, Walking in the Air singer Aled Jones, and Walker’s mainstay, Gary Lineker.
In the spot, the gang performs a medley of Christmas carols with lyrics adapted to herald the arrival of Walker’s new sausage roll flavoured crisps.
The ad was created in partnership with The Trussell Trust, the charity which supports food banks across the UK. The crisp brand has pledged to help LadBaby raise more money than ever in its name this Christmas. Walkers had already pledged £1m to The Trussell Trust earlier this year, as the charity needs more support than ever due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic.