Christmas 2016 campaigns: the best so far

Buster the Boxer, Mrs Claus, a doll that comes to life and an adventurous carrot feature in this year's Christmas campaigns.

John Lewis

Agency: Adam & Eve/DDB

The most hotly anticipated ad of the season, this year’s Christmas offering from John Lewis takes a more joyful approach than previous spots. The star is Buster the Boxer, who gets the gift everyone wants. We won’t ruin the surprise.

H&M

Agency: Adam & Eve/DDB

Wes Anderson directs H&M’s holiday ad, which stars actor Adrien Brody as a train conductor on a snowy Christmas Eve journey.

Apple

Apple’s off-kilter ad shows Frankenstein’s monster trying to fit in with his community by using his iPhone to record and share a Christmas carol.

McDonald’s

Agency: Leo Burnett London

McDonald’s UK’s "biggest ever" Christmas campaign features a wooden doll called Juliette who comes to life after being left on the shelf for a year.

Sainsbury’s

Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

Sainsbury’s stop frame animation ad features James Corden, Bret McKenzie and a cast of puppets sharing the message that the best Christmas gift you can give your family is your own time.

Marks & Spencer

Agency: Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R

M&S makes Mrs Claus the star of its campaign, which shows her swooping into London to deliver joy to a young brother and sister.

Amazon

Agency: Joint London

Amazon’s festive ad starring an imam and a priest has a message of friendship even in difference.

Mulberry

Mulberry’s festive campaign was written by The Grand Budapest Hotel co-writer Hugo Guinness and stars a cast of children re-enacting a traditional British Christmas.

Waitrose

Agency: Adam & Eve/DDB

A robin makes an epic journey home for Christmas in Waitrose’s spot, which is accompanied by a children’s book based on the ad.

Alzheimer’s Research UK

Agency: Freuds

The charity imagines a world in which Santa is living with the effects of dementia and forgets to deliver presents to children.

Tesco

Agency: BBH London

The retailer brings back the Tesco family, who debuted last year, for its latest festive campaign.

Heathrow

Agency: Havas London

Heathrow’s ad follows two aging teddy bears as they land at Heathrow and are reunited with their family.

Pret A Manger

Agency: Rumble

Pret A Manger takes a deliberately non-capitalist approach in its Christmas marketing campaign, which highlights its apprenticeship scheme for the homeless.

eBay

Agency: DDB Europe

Ebay is targeting younger shoppers with a light-hearted ad themed around a school disco. The spot shows teenagers using products bought on eBay to help them navigate awkward party scenarios.

Boots

Agency: Mother

Boots invites women who have to work on Christmas to a day of pampering.

Debenhams

Agency: J Walter Thompson London

Debenhams’ multi-million pound Christmas campaign stars Jennifer Saunders, Ewan McGregor, Billie Piper and other celebrities voicing products such as a handbag, coffee machine and lingerie.

Aldi

Agency: McCann UK

A carrot called Kevin is the star of Aldi’s Christmas ad, narrated by actor Jim Broadbent. Kevin is determined to stay awake on Christmas Eve to meet Santa, but the night takes a more traumatic turn.

Asda

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi London

Asda has gone with a raft of short Christmas films instead of one blockbuster ad. Each spot takes a product and shows families enjoying it during the holiday season.

TK Maxx

Agency: Wieden & Kennedy London

TK Maxx’s off-the-wall Christmas ad features a family performing an a cappella version of the theme tune to cult 90s film Pulp Fiction.

Morrisons

Agency: Publicis London

The supermarket’s campaign focuses on family traditions and the role that food plays during the festive season.

Burberry

Burberry’s star-studded Christmas ad reimagines the life story of founder Thomas Burberry in celebration of the brand’s 160th anniversary.

House of Fraser

Agency: 18 Feet & Rising

House of Fraser’s Christmas ad is part-music video, part-fashion shoot. Dancers groove to a cover of the Delfonics’ classic track Ready or Not to warn consumers that "Christmas is coming for you".

Currys PC World

Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

Following last year’s successful "Spare the act" festive campaign starring Jeff Goldblum, Currys PC World takes another humorous approach by celebrating the ham-fisted hint-dropping that drives much of Christmas gift-buying.

Argos

Agency: CHI & Partners

Argos returns to the combination of adrenaline and pristine snowy backdrops that powered last year’s Christmas ad. The new spot sends ice-skating rainbow-coloured yetis through the streets.

Subway

Agency: McCann London

The horror of the office Christmas party the night before comes back to haunt a Subway visitor.

Barbour

The fashion brand updates Raymond Briggs’ classic tale The Snowman for its nostalgic campaign.

Vodafone

Agency: Grey London

Vodafone’s "bigger and better" network brings three friends together on a snowy Christmas Eve to enjoy a game of charades over the phone.

Notonthehighstreet.com

Agency: Mother

Filmed in a documentary style, Notonthehighstreet’s ad features creative partners working on the products available from its website. It is later revealed that the protagonists are actually Santa’s elves.

Grey Goose

Agency: BBDO New York

The vodka brand’s ad follows a stylish couple to an exclusive party where they impress the host with their taste in gifts and the guests with an unexpected light show.

Game

Agency: 101

Video-game retailer Game returns to TV with a Christmas campaign fronted by actor and YouTuber James Buckley. The former Inbetweeners star says he’s proud to have sold out to Game and gives into more of the brand’s demands throughout the campaign.

Temptations

Agency: Adam & Eve/DDB

Cats destroy a holiday wonderland in this spot for Temptations.


This article first appeared on PRWeek sister title Campaign 

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