John Lewis: Snapper, The Perfect Tree
Last year’s John Lewis ad was always going to be a tough act to follow, but this year’s offering from the retail giant left us feeling a little underwhelmed. With new agency Saatchi & Saatchi at the helm this year, the ad certainly feels like a noticeable change in direction. The Little-Shop-Of-Horrors-Esque Venus fly trap just felt a bit too removed from reality. And although there’s no denying the greatness of Bocelli’s music, it just felt out of place in this ad.
It is redeemed by the production value, which as always, is outstanding. But instead of reaching for the tissues this year, we were reaching for the remote…
M&S: Love Thismas (Not Thatmas)
It’s been a rollercoaster for M&S since their Christmas ad dropped on the first of November, produced by creative agency Mother. What was intended to be a tongue-in-cheek take on Christmas traditions, recognising that everyone’s idea of how to spend the festive season is very different, has inadvertently become one of the most controversial Christmas adverts in history. Yikes.
Although it’s not our favourite ad of the year, we like that it encourages us to celebrate Christmas however we want and not to feel bogged down by what ‘tradition’ expects of us. A great star-studded cast too, which always makes an ad just that little bit more fun…
Amazon: Joy Ride
Easily our favourite this year, Amazon’s heart-warming ad for 2023 feels like the perfect blend between marketing and storytelling. Produced in-house by Amazon’s creative and campaign team, the ad tells the tale of three elderly friends who are shown having flashbacks to their childhood while out sledging together.
Set to a beautiful cover of the well-known ‘In My Life’ by The Beatles, the ad had a huge sense of nostalgia. An emotional ad that reminds us that all the random things we buy from Amazon help us make memories.
Aldi: Kevin and the Christmas Factory
The bonkers mash-up between Roald Dahl and Charles Dickens we never knew we needed, Aldi really hits the spot with its 2023 Christmas ad. The poetic narrative, the puerile humour, and the shoehorning in of some Aldi products along the way is the work of a genius.
Although we’re a bit over Kevin the Carrot by now, we do have to take our hats off to Aldi for making us smile and getting us into the festive spirit without being overly schmaltzy.
Asda: Make this Christmas Incredibublé
Although we found Bublé’s performance as a genial boss with a hugely inflated sense of self-importance to be quite amusing, the overall ad just felt more commercial than Christmas. There’s just not enough of a story to ignite an emotional response.
We’ve come to think of Bublé as synonymous with Christmas at this point, but without him in the ad it just becomes a long-winded and overly-obvious supermarket plug. It does make us hungry for Truffle and Parmesan sausages though…
Not On The High Street: Don't Gift Landfill
Not On The High Street – home of all small creative businesses in the UK – has rolled out 3D billboards drawing attention to the landfill issue caused by bad Christmas gifting. And although this one isn’t a TV advert like the others, we still thought it deserved a special mention as it’s got such a great message.
Created in partnership with Uncommon London, Hearts & Science, Grand Visual and Talon, this series of billboards features three scenarios. The first ‘Don’t Gift Landfill’ is a landfill stuffed to the brim with unwanted gifts. The second ‘Don’t Gift Big Biz’ features a pile of generic cardboard boxes to represent the importance of not giving the same mass-produced items from giant online retailers but instead supporting small businesses who need it most. And the third ‘Don’t Gift Boring’ replicates a full sock draw to depict the 4million pairs of gifted socks that went unworn in the last year.
What makes this campaign even more impactful is that all of the items featured in the 3D billboards will be donated to Crisis, who provide life-changing support to the homeless. And if there’s one thing we love at Eleven, it’s a campaign that makes a real difference…
We know there were lots of other Christmas ads released this year, but we’d be here until Christmas if we reviewed them all!
We may have crowned Amazon our winner for this year, but what do you think? Have your say in our LinkedIn poll!
November 30, 2023
December 20, 2023