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It’s the most wonderful time of the year again, but this year is set to be a little different. After a testing time for many around the world, a heavenly host of brands are seeking to add a little festive cheer to their 2020 offerings.
In a year like no other, many brands opted to tackle the pandemic head-on in their messaging, incorporating the highs and lows of a Covid Christmas into some of the year’s biggest campaigns.
With ads from the likes of Sainsbury’s, USPS, Spanish Lottery and more, scroll down to see a selection of this year’s Christmas ads that are addressing the realities of the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Sainsbury’s: ‘Gravy Song’
Sainsbury’s 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 United States Postal Service understands distance – it conquers it every day. So this holiday season, more than ever, USPS has dedicated itself to closing the distance between everyone in the country. Even if we can’t be together in person.
Using previously shot footage and an iconic Christmas song, I’ll be Home for Christmas, sung by Leslie Odom Jr, McCann Worldgroup (MRM New York and McCann New York) partnered with USPS to share USPS employees and carriers all across the country working hard to make deliveries happen. Whether it’s working in a sorting facility, or driving to locations all over the country, USPS goes the distance to deliver holiday connections across America via cards and packages.
The Postal Carriers and Postal Clerks featured were played by actual employees with the United States Postal Service based around the country.
SuperValu: ‘Is He Still Coming This Year?’
With Christmas set to be a different affair for many this year, SuperValu’s Christmas spot tells the story of a child looking for a little reassurance that his favourite person will still come to visit on Christmas Eve.
A familiar feeling for most households in the run-up to this year’s festivities, the ad tugged at the heartstrings of many members of the public hoping to be reunited with family for Christmas.
Spanish Lottery: ‘Sharing as always. Sharing as never before’
The Spanish Christmas Lottery goes back more than 200 years and has now become a tradition that every Spaniard looks forward to, as much as they do for Christmas Eve or New Year’s Day. Unlike any other lottery in the world, people prefer sharing their lottery tickets with others rather than playing in their own, because it represents that special bond that brings them together.
Given that this has been such an extraordinary year, the campaign features a tradition deeply rooted in Spanish society, but also captures the extraordinary circumstances that we are all living in today.
Miller: ‘Farewell, Work Holiday Parties’
Based on a study that mentions that over 50% of full-time office employees say they aren’t sad to see these parties go, and 70% would choose time off from work over a holiday party.
Miller’s Christmas ad celebrates the demise of the turbulent event and says cheers to spending more time with your nearest and dearest instead.
Three: ‘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.
Zalando: ‘We Will Hug Again’
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.
Etsy: ‘Gift Like You Mean It’
Etsy’s 2020 holiday ad campaign features three emotional stories that highlight the power of a meaningful gift.
In the first spot, titled ’Nana’, Etsy shows how a gift can connect family members who are unable to gather in-person for the holidays. In another, titled ’New Guy’, we see how a gift becomes a symbol of acceptance for a same-sex couple. And in the third, ’Shiori’, a gift becomes an object of pride for someone struggling with self-identity.
Each spot highlights a story of connection, inclusivity, and acceptance that everyone can relate to while spotlighting the personalized, one-of-a-kind, gifts you can only find on Etsy.
Deliveroo: ‘Christmas is On!’
This year marked Deliveroo’s first foray into Christmas advertising, with a major campaign, ‘Christmas is On!’
The spot features a rendition of the classic festive jingle, We Wish You A Merry Christmas, through a collection of bells, bongs, clangs, tolls, strikes and beeps create the melody of the well known Christmas carol, in an ode to festive deliveries.
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.
Tesco: ‘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, 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.