Argos – The Book of Dreams
Argos greeted Christmas with a father-and-daughter drumming extravaganza. The spot, by The & Partnership London, starts out with dad going through his daughter’s Christmas ‘Book of Dreams’ – a clever rebranding of the Argos catalogue – with a big red circle around a drum kit.
Drums suddenly appear in front of the dad who begins playing to the iconic Simple Minds tune, Don’t You (Forget About Me). The daughter then wakes up, comes down the stairs and forms a formidable duet in a campaign that 'hits feel-good nostalgia on the hi-hat', according to PRWeek's Christmas panel.
IKEA – Silence The Critics
Lying around the messy living room are an eclectic mix of ornaments and toys that come to life to taunt the family, bringing the mum's insecurities to life by rapping an original grime track voiced by MC D Double E. When the toy dinosaur begins to rap, the woman has had enough and throws it into a chest before the family gives the living room a a much-needed IKEA makeover. One PRWeek Christmas panel member summed it up: "In the battle for cultural relevance, IKEA’s first Christmas ad wins, no question."
John Lewis – #ExcitableEdgar
John Lewis returned to a loveable monster protagonist in its first combined Christmas campaign with supermarket sibling, Waitrose & Partners. Edgar, an excitable dragon, absolutely loves Christmas but every time he is near something festive, he snorts out flames.
Unfortunately, being a walking fire hazard makes it tough for Edgar to fit in. For starters, he lights up things he is not supposed to, which leaves villagers scared, and the little dragon becomes an outcast. Edgar's friend Ava feels sad that he has been confined to his lair, but has an idea to bring him back into the fold and become the star of Christmas. "Haters gonna hate," but one of our Christmas experts was "unashamedly charmed". The campaign was produced by Adam & Eve DDB.
Sainsbury's – Nicholas The Sweep
The Sainsbury's Christmas campaign – by Wieden+Kennedy – leans heavily on Oliver and other classic tales, weaving the supermarket's heritage to reinvent the story of Saint Nicholas.
Based in Dickensian London (actually shot in a Romanian studio), a young chimney sweep called Nicholas is wrongly accused of stealing a clementine that has fallen off a Sainsbury’s barrow display on the street and is banished from the city.
Mary Ann Sainsbury, who saw that Nick was framed, brings him home, giving a bag full of clementines. Nicholas then secretly drops fruits into the socks of his chimney sweep friends, before – dressed in a red coat and Santa-style hat – striding off into a snowy sunset towards a herd of reindeer. "A story enchantingly told," said a Christmas panel luminary.
Greenpeace – Turkey vs Potato
The campaign group's 'alternative' Christmas ad – created by creative agency Nice and Serious – is about the comedy at first, but ends with a serious point about meat production and its links to deforestation.
Set in a dingy comedy club, it sees two stars of a traditional Christmas lunch – Turkey and Potato – locked in a comedy roast battle. Turkey calls Potato "the Piers Morgan of Christmas lunch" to loud cheers from the audience, until the vegtable hits back: "Do you know what else is burning? The rainforest."
Potato continues: "They have to chop down so many trees to grow his food he might as well have driven here in a Hummer, powered by hairspray, cow farts and the broken dreams of Greta Thurnberg". Gulp.
Click here to subscribe to the FREE Creative Inspiration bulletin to receive dedicated features, comment and the latest creative campaigns straight to your inbox. Make sure you register for the site to access more than one story per month.
To submit an idea for the bulletin, email John.Harrington@Haymarket.com