The time of year is upon us when our television screens become dominated by a whole host of festive adverts. Thinking back over the years there’s been a fair old range of christmas adverts, some of which have captured our hearts to become icons of the season and some – less successful – have caused us to throw our mince pies at the screen in disgust.
So here is a selection of our favourite and most despised christmas adverts for your enjoyment.
John Lewis – The Journey (2012)
Never has the face of a snowman managed to convey so many emotions in such a short period of time. This tale of a humble snowman battling his way across a rugged landscape then safely crossing a bustling urban jungle in order to buy his beloved snow-woman (if that’s the phrase) a lovely pair of gloves is one of a whole host of John Lewis ads that could have made it onto the list, but this is a personal favourite.
Toys R Us – Magical Place (1989)
If you were a kid in the late 80s there was no more exciting sound to come out of the TV than “There’s a magical place, we’re on our way there…” It was then that you truly knew the festive season had arrived and you could start legitimately pestering to be taken to Toys R Us. #soundtrackofageneration.
Edeka Supermarket (2015)
Now, this one is proving divisive. Well I say that, everyone apart from me seems to love it. Apparently it’s another one of the emotional tearjerkers that everyone loves so much at this time of year, but I say you’ve gone too bloody far old man. In no way is it appropriate to pretend you have croaked it to get your family to come and see you for christmas. Why don’t you go and see them? Emotional blackmail of the highest order, overwhelming relief is not an appropriate emotional response to christmas. Hell no.
Irn Bru – The Snowman (2006)
This genius combination of the iconic Snowman film with everyone’s favourite Scottish soft drink is a definite winner. After the boy takes a swig of Irn Bru the pair re-create the memorable flight complete with the dulcet tones of Aled Jones’ Walking In The Air playing in the background. It’s just so damn magical guys.
Iceland – Christmas All-stars (2008)
The phrase ‘all-stars’ was used in its loosest possible sense here as this cheap, C-lister ad featured Jason Donovan being manically begged to stay at an awful-looking party by the terrifying evil-stepsister duo of Coleen Nolan and Kerry Katona. Even them relentlessly miming “Baby It’s Cold Outside”, while trying to shove various fresh-from-frozen buffet delights down his throat comes across as menacing in the extreme. Run Jason, and don’t look them in the eye.
Marks and Spencer – Christmas Musical Extravaganza (2010)
Again I’m sure this one isn’t everyone’s cup of eggnog but when you think this ad somehow manages to combine Peter Kay, Twiggy, attractive ladies in lingerie and Kylie Minogue in her PJs all soundtracked by the Bee Gee’s disco epic You Should Be Dancing you might not be sure why, but you have to like it.
Coca Cola – Holidays Are Coming (1995)
For many a cheery festive reveller seeing the familiar red traffic-jam chugging its way around the corner of the snow covered landscape really marks the start of Christmas. I have to disagree. Having already recast christmas in their own image when, in 1931, the company gave birth to that big, jolly man in the red suit with a white beard who we now call Santa Claus the drinks giant are now trying to convince us that lines of lorries are festive. I admit that the advert is truly iconic – proved by the fact that Coca Cola haven’t needed to think up a new campaign for 20 years – but I for one wish it would sod off.
Sainsbury’s – Christmas Is For Sharing (2014)
To mark 100 years since the start of World War One, the supermarket chain used the famous tale of a Christmas Eve truce on the Western Front for its seasonal advert. The advert was the source of some controversy, with many thinking it was in poor taste, but many agreed it pipped John Lewis to the number one spot for the year. It’s a great piece of film-making but it does leave a bit of a sour taste when you think it’s being used for promotion.