The best Christmas ads of 2019

Luigi Raw
By Luigi RawDigital Insights Manager
10 minutes to read

Just like Brexit, people seem to have strong opinions about Christmas TV ads so we put it to the team to decide which the best of 2019 is.

This is our fourth annual Christmas ad round-up and this year has been just as creative as the last three. 

So without further ado, here’s what we thought of this year’s festive TV ads.

10. Sainsburys – Nicholas the Sweep

Following last year’s top spot with the nativity ad (the one with the plug), this feels like a fall from grace for Sainsbury’s.

Down from 1 to 10 and netting itself a very average 5.40 Santas 🎅 

9. VISA - #WhereYouShopMatters

VISA has caught our attention before but this is the first time it’s landed in the top 10.

We wanted to reach out for a comment but they are… ‘contactless’…

That aside, VISA scored 5.69 Santas 🎅 

8. Barbour – Santa Claus

Barbour failed to make the cut last year but its nostalgia has always impressed up.

2017 was The Snowman and 2019 is a well-crafted Santa Claus ad.

You could say they ‘sleighed’ it with 6.33 Santas 🎅 

7. Tesco - Trip Down Memory Lane

How could we ignore anything that manages to reference the legendary gameshow Bullseye?

This is the first time we have included Tesco in the round up but it is well deserved, it scored 6.69 Santas 🎅 

6. ASDA – Let’s Make Christmas Extra Special

After failing to make the top 10 last year, ASDA have made a comeback with its Extra Special Christmas ad.

This is a creative, colourful ad with all the Christmas trimmings and well-deserved the 6.95 Santas 🎅 it received

5. ALDI – Kevin the Carrot’s Leafy Blinders

Kevin the Carrot has been in our top 5 for four years now, taking second place in 2016 but has been steadily dropping down the rankings. Is his time in the spotlight past its sell by date?

The team still feel it deserves 7.27 Santas 🎅  but we will see what 2020 brings.

4. Argos – The Book of Dreams

Two years ago, Argos just manged to break in to our top 10, falling back out again in 2018. This year we have seen it hit 4th place, grabbing themselves 7.49 Santas 🎅  in the process.

The ‘Book of Dreams’ advert is a masterpiece production with all the elements of fun and nostalgia to bring the joys of Christmas to anyone. Plus, the accompanying campaign website actually lets you look through every catalogue since the 70s!

3. John Lewis – Excitable Edgar

John Lewis still remains the most anticipated ad of all time. After a disappointing fall out of the top 10 last year, it’s back with Edgar, the somewhat excitable and totally adorable dragon.

It is a very well-produced ad that takes you on an emotional rollercoaster as Edgar tries to fit in with 16th century villagers. He has the support of his friend who refuses to give up on him, despite his mistakes.

This is probably the warmest ad since Buster the Boxer took to the trampoline on Christmas morning 2016, which is why it we’ve given Edgar 7.57 Santas 🎅 

2. McDonalds – Reindeer Ready

McDonalds made the cut with a last-minute entry despite never really coming to our attention in the past.

It may be the blend of stop-motion style animation and real-world emotions or the fact it is about bringing a family together that earned it a cracking 7.66 Santas 🎅 

1. IKEA – Silence the Critics

IKEA has been this year’s stand out surprise. Not only is this one of the first times we have seen IKEA drop a Christmas ad, but as Christmas ads go, it’s not ‘too Christmassy’.

That being said, it’s fun and relatable with just enough of a Christmas vibe to pique our interest.

Having secured itself a very respectable 8.26 Santas 🎅 and our Christmas #1, we wanted to find out what people thought of the ad:

“Not as Christmassy as some but a creative piece of work”
“Added just a subtle amount of Christmas”
“It’s hilarious and just enough Christmas relevancy”
“I can die happy now I have witnessed this”

Other responses were relatively concise, including; “the T-Rex”, “The Panda” and “Meatballs”.

Trend Analysis

You are going to have to bear with us!

For the past three years the Heathrow Airport bears have pulled on our heartstrings and taken the top spot.

In November, the team at Heathrow took to Twitter to let us know that the bears have decided to take a much-needed holiday this year.

Similar to the John Lewis ads, this has been one of those we look forward to, so there was a little disappointment across the team. In fact, 42% felt it had “just simply ruined Christmas”. Hopefully we see them return in 2020, refreshed and ready for Christmas!

When is it OK to put the Christmas tree up?

You may not believe this, given I have written this blog four years running and sound like I am a true representation of everything festive, but I’m a complete Grinch at times (Editor’s note: Can confirm).

For me, mid to late December is when the Christmas tree should go up but 84.2% of people believe that earlier is better. Interestingly, 26.3% (psychos, the lot of them) would be happy to put the tree up in November.

And finally

Every year we take part in one of the most anticipated festive discussion that has divided families and friends since 1988… “Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?”

We needed to bring this to a close once and for all, so recruited the greatest minds from across the agency to answer the ultimate question!

31.6% (!!!) of people haven’t seen the film and 15.8% said they don’t think it’s a Christmas movie. A staggering 52.6% of people firmly believe it’s a Christmas movie, bringing the topic to a close. Although as we’ve seen recently, 52% doesn’t always mean it’s conclusive.

Die Hard is a great Christmas movie but, is it the favourite amongst the team? The team also love Scrooged, Home Alone, Frozen (which definitely isn’t a Christmas film) and Miracle on 34th Street, but there were three that stood out above the rest:

  1. 3rd Place: Elf
  2. 2nd Place: Nightmare before Christmas
  3. 1st Place: Love Actually

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Articles by Luigi Raw

Biography coming soon!