The best Christmas ads of 2020

Luigi Raw
By Luigi RawSenior Data Engineer
10 minutes to read

For the 5th year running, we've utilised the power of the team’s opinions (remotely of course) to grade the best Christmas ads of 2020.

2020 has been a turbulent year and we had a sneaky feeling that the ads to grace our TVs this festive season would be different. In previous years, we’ve seen large families coming together, hugging and even touching the same spoon without a mask on. This year though the focus is on the small family bubbles.

5. Walkers

Walkers is a new entry and this ‘A Sausage CaRoll’ was a big hit with the team. Everyone loves a sausage roll and as it turns out, everyone also loves sausage roll flavoured crisps.

If the unique ditties or celeb appearances don’t appeal, then how about the fact that Walkers will give 5p from every pack sold to The Trussell Trust? Christmas is all about giving, afterall.

The team gave this 7.5 Santas 🎅, well done Walkers!

4. Lidl

Lidl’s ‘A big Christmas you can believe in’ is a “light hearted and honest” ad that the team felt represented the brand well.

What’s more, its little dig at arch-rival Aldi was well received by our Christmas cynics.

It may not have hit the top spot, but 7.9 Santas 🎅 for a new entry is a solid achievement.

3. Sainsburys

Sainsburys took the nostalgic home video approach this year, with a series of ads showcasing families enjoying Christmas dinners of the past together while talking over the phone about this year.

After such an awful year for many, Sainsburys has done something relatable. We’ve all had these conversations, knowing we may not be able to spend time together in the same way over Christmas. It certainly hits harder this year.

Well done Sainsburys, you have touched our hearts and we give you 8.1 Santas! 🎅

2. McDonalds

McDonalds has really hit home with its ‘Inner Child’ ad. It’s incredibly relatable and emotional and a great continuation from its amazing 2019 ad ‘Reindeer Ready’.

McDonalds totally deserves its 8.3 Santas 🎅

1. Coca-Cola

A brand new entry and one of the highest-scoring to date, Coca-Cola has absolutely rocketed (or rigged?) in at 8.8 Santas 🎅 

Let’s be honest, for most of us, Christmas has commenced when we see that legendary ‘Holiday is Coming’ ad. But this year, Coke has done something different with a new ad about being home for Christmas.

Coca-Cola launched this incredibly emotional ad with the strapline “This Christmas, give something only you can give” and that is such a powerful phrase.

People may be concerned that they will not be seeing friends and family this year, but the real message is about making time for the ones you love. This may be in person, a telephone call, video call or just a simple message but, as Coca-Cola says:

“Love is what makes Christmas truly the most special time of the year, no matter how you do it"

Sorry, we got a bit emotional there.

Falls from Grace

For two years running, our top 5 ads are made up of new entries but what happened to ads that were in the top spots?

Let’s start with one that has had a steady decline, ALDI. When Kevin the Carrot graced our screens it brought a comical twist that we wryly chuckled over. A few years on and the general feeling is that Kevin had his 15 minutes of fame. Falling from 2nd place to now 9th, maybe it’s time Kevin is thrown on the compost heap.

Heathrow Airport did not drop out through poor scores but they simply stopped releasing ads. In 2019 they had a press release stating that the bears were taking a much needed holiday. Call it a coincidence that the year they decide not to release an ad is the year of a global pandemic…

Sainsburys was an interesting one. It went from barely making the top 10 to landing itself 1st place in 2018 with ‘The Big Night’ (It was the child dressed as a plug that cinched it). Fast forward to 2019 and it dropped back to 10th place. This year it is back in at 3rd place.

As for John Lewis….well the King of Christmas just doesn’t get a look-in anymore.

Trend Analysis

In 2019 we saw nearly all the historic favourites make way for some fresh new faces. Only ALDI held its place in the top 5 last year, dropping out for the 2020 roundup.

Like last year, 2020 has also seen some new favourites drop into the mix. McDonalds stood its ground with its emotional ad and Sainsburys made a comeback.

The general opinion on why the top ads deserved to be where they are is that they captured the feeling of family in what has been a four-letter-year. People felt McDonalds and Sainsburys are relatable while Coca-Cola really got the story of ‘being together’.

Movie Favourites

We always like to poll on other Christmas classics and this year we’ve taken a look at films.

Last year 53% of people surveyed said that Die Hard is a Christmas movie. It is, and continues to be, one of the most contested Christmas topics.

That said, when we asked what people felt the best Christmas movies were, they voted for Elf as the favourite while A Nightmare Before Christmas came in 2nd place.

With this in mind, I wanted to know if A Nightmare Before Christmas was a Christmas or Halloween movie. The results couldn’t have been more inconclusive if we tried, with 50% of people saying that it’s a Christmas movie.

It’s Been Quite a Year

It goes without saying that 2020 has been a year we will remember but would like to forget. Unless you’ve been lucky enough to be on a desert island somewhere, you will have been impacted in one way or another.

We’ve all missed our family and friends and Christmas is one of those times that people have the chance to get together and really enjoy family time.

At the time of writing this, the UK government had agreed to let 3 households gather over the Christmas period but what I have heard is that a lot of people still don’t feel comfortable with this. When we surveyed the team, we found that 33% of people were really looking forward to enjoying the family time while 34% feel that this year is not going to be the same.

I wish everyone a great Christmas and, as Coca-Cola said, no matter how you do it, make this a truly amazing Christmas!

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Articles by Luigi Raw

Biography coming soon!