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  • Ronan McQuillan (composer)

15 of The Best Modern Day Christmas Ads

Updated: Sep 12, 2022

Think back and remember what were your favourite Christmas adverts as a child. Why do they stand out? How did they make you feel?

Christmas adverts are so memorable because they did something to our tiny little commercial kids’ brain. They meant Santa. Toys. Food. Presents. All the good stuff.

And the fact that they appeared once a year, often for many years in a row, helped cement them in our heads.

Things are a bit different nowadays. We have so many brands using strong, invested in, film quality adverts that it’s easy to feel swamped under a tide of commercialism. With less people watching TV and the rise in ad blockers, you may have missed some of the most clever Christmas adverts around right now.

But fear not – I have collected them here – scouring the internet and watching almost 100 Christmas adverts just so I could bring the best to you. I’m good like that.

My favourite ads are the ones that make you feel you are not being directly advertised to. Getting the conversation going about the ad’s content is the aim of many brands – the best at this, and who have become renowned for their Christmas adverts over the years, is of course, John Lewis.

It’s all about story. About emotion. About music.

And that is what I’ve gathered here.

Some are clever. Some are a new spin on old ideas. Some carry important messages and some are just good fun. I hope you enjoy.

ALDI Australia - Santa crash lands in the outback.

This quirky and humorous ad from Sydney agency BMF sees Santa getting a taste of the outback life while the locals help mend his sleigh. Just lots of fun and plenty of Auzzie humour.

Clas Ohlson Sweden - A stress free Christmas

A cute cuddly bear being torn up, abused, stressed out snow man, crying gingerbread man, and a Christmas tree on fire - what's not to love!

CollectPlus - A Coat Tale

A beautiful love story about a lady and her coat. Give your coat a new lease of life and keep someone warm by donating it to a new home instead of throwing it away! Simple but effective message told in a captivating way.

Currys PC World - The Magic of Christmas Upgraded

A clever bend of Victorian traditional Christmas with a modern twist. Someone told me recently periodic productions are five times more expensive to film than modern productions, so I've no idea what this cost!

Sainsbury's - The Big Night

Anyone with kids will love this. I've watched it 5 times because there's so much going on. Look out for the turkey drummer and the kid dresses as a Plug. Directed by Michael Gracey, the director of The Greatest Showman. Amazing!

MICROSOFT USA - Reindeer Games

A very clever and moving spot introducing us to the Xbox Adaptive Controller which helps make gaming and technology more accessible to everyone. Their new mission motto: when everybody plays, we all win.

Dogs Trust - A Dog is For Life, Not Just for Christmas

A clever way to repeat this old message but it's still so important. Hard to imagine in 2018 we need to remind people of this but Dogs Trust last year received 5000 calls from people giving up their unwanted Christmas pets.

Apple - Share Your Gifts

Apple asks us: Have you ever made something wonderful but were too afraid to share it?

This short holiday animation explores and challenges just that. The beautiful soundtrack is “come out and play” by Billie Eilish

Bouygues Telecom France - The Unforgettable Christmas

A moving tale of a dad and his son dancing through the years together.

Another great music number this time from Redbone "Come and Get your Love"

Argos -The Christmas Fool

Featuring a rogue imp named the Christmas Fool who causes havoc for families in the build up to the Christmas. Argos reassure viewers however that their same-day delivery service will get you those presents on time and also keep the Christmas Fool at bay. Quirky and fun and worth a watch even if you're not a fan of the store!

McElhinneys Donegal, Ireland - You're greatest gift is time!

An emotional family based Ad, reminding us that while sharing gifts is a great way to show we care, spending time with the people we love is what really matters and what we cherish the most at Christmas.

Erste Bank, Austria - What would Christmas be without love?

I think this one might be my favourite! This cute little bunch of friends solve a unique problem and help their hedgehog friend who's feeling a little left out of everyday things. Original Music by composer Mike Connaris, Vocal by Alee Kinder.

Manor, Germany - The Drawing

Another playful animation spot, this time from Manor Department store.

A little boy discovers an elf workshop and decides he wants an elf of his own for Christmas from Santa. One little elf fears he'll become the kids play toy and sets out to save himself with a clever plan.

Pedigree, USA - Season of Good Dog

Clever little spot told from the dogs perspective. Like most dogs this little fellow things Christmas amongst other things is all about him. Until he gets a new companion and realises it's not all about him, but all dogs!

The Red Cross - The One Gift Santa Can't Deliver

A powerful moving short from the International Committee of the Red Cross reminding us that conflict, migration and natural disaster separates families across the world and their continues efforts and hard work bring those families back together again.

So there you have it, 15 of my favourites. If you've spotted one that's worth sharing leave a comment and I'll add it to my YouTube playlist.

Merry Christmas everyone x

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