Festive ads have already started filling our screens and have really tugged at our heart strings. For the past couple of years, there has been no doubt that John Lewis has been the top contender for the best Christmas advert. But this year it seems that other big chain stores have stepped up their game.

Today we are going to take three of the most talked about ads and pit them up against each other. Warning – if you haven’t seen these adverts yet, this may be a spoiler!

John Lewis

The past two years of John Lewis adverts have made the nation’s hearts all warm and fuzzy, and this year they have not failed us. It seems their ads always follow the line of a child or some sort of animal, but this year they have done something slightly different. The story of a little boy Sam and Monty the Penguin shows them having fun in the lead up to Christmas, until little Sam finds his animal pal is lonely. In comes Mabel the female penguin and the plethora of merchandise has followed.

Even though a 45cm Monty or Mabel toy is £35, people have still been going mad over these Christmas characters. Don’t worry, if a wallet-lightening plush toy doesn’t suit you, you can find the penguin sweethearts on mugs, silk ties and pyjama sets too. The department store have also furthered this campaign with a whole virtual world in store to explore, a book and a game, and also encouragement to adopt a penguin. Take a look at the Monty’s Christmas madness here.

John Lewis have really identified the attachment to characters in their Christmas advert, and have inevitably made a pretty penny out of all parents’ pockets this year. The hashtag #MontythePenguin was trending on Twitter when the ad came out, and still has a large amount of traffic. You would hope so, with the estimated £7 million spent on the campaign.

Marks and Spencer

Marks & Sparks are known for their adverts surrounding their luxury products from food to lingerie, with a range of celebrity faces fronting the brand. This was addressed in last year’s advert with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley facing a childhood wonderland story line filled with M&S handbags and puddings. However this year they have taken a bit of a different approach.

Instead of focusing on what products you should buy this Christmas, they have created the two fairies. A while before the ad aired on TV, a Twitter account was created by PR Company Unity called @thetwofairies – which speaks only in cheerful rhymes – with the intention of finding people on Twitter with wishes and granting them. Unity specialise in what they call ‘People Media’, building brand relationships and really grabbing on people’s emotions.

No one knew who was behind this anonymous campaign effectively sharing ‘Christmas Cheer’, and the hashtag #FollowTheFairies caught on very quickly. The fairies granted wishes to people across the UK such as bringing snow to school children who had never experienced it before, or sending cupcakes and sweets to people to brighten up their day. When M&S came out with their ad people quickly realised who was behind the campaign, and people are really getting in the spirit of sharing for this Christmas – which was obviously the starting intention.


Now this ad has got some controversial remarks over the past couple of days. On one hand people are saying that the approach and story line is brilliant, others are saying that it’s offensive and cheap. What are they all talking about? Let us enlighten you.

Their three minute long advert is subtly titled ‘Christmas is for Sharing’ and re-creates the famous Christmas Day football match in a tear jolting way. It’s told from the perspective of a British soldier who is the first to venture from his trench after firing stopped on Christmas Eve night. The two sides meet in the middle and share heart-warming moments over photos and football, and then go back to their trenches to return to the fight, but not without the British Soldier gifting the German soldier a bar of chocolate.

In some ways, this advert is cleverly tugging on our emotions in all the right ways, as it’s using a story we all know to get us to think about human nature at Christmas, but on the other hand it’s using a story of men fighting in a war to sell their products. However we can’t complain too much as the chocolate shown in the advert is selling in stores for 50p a bar and all of the proceeds are going to the Royal British Legion.

Who’s the winner?

We think that the Marks & Spencer’s advert is truly the best this year. They’ve focused on the true spirit of Christmas rather than on their products, and have furthered this through other forms of social media. We think that they’ve really created a great buzz around the message of their advert, not about the advert itself, which is what makes it such a great campaign.

So, which one of these Chrimbo adverts do you think is the best? Let us know down below, or give us a little tweet @BritWebLtd.

Posted in Digital Marketing, Events.

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