Shhhh, listen … Hear that? That’s the sound of festive spirit. Can’t hear anything? Don’t panic, you will do soon enough, the 2017 Battle of the Christmas TV ads has officially begun! Even before that magical morning we all get to crack open the first door on our advent calendars and instantly remember why eating chocolate before 7am is less than advisable, the supermarkets and department stores are grappling for our Christmas cash. Consumer data has consistently demonstrated that festive + emotion = money, with not only festive sales figures at stake this December, but also huge opportunities for improving all-important year-round brand metrics, including the most vital of all, brand endearment.
So from M&S to Lidl – here’s CuCo’s official 2017 festive round-up. We’ll be talking creativity, originality, relevance and general likeability. Let’s go!
#10 Currys PC World
Coming in at Number 10 (last place!) we have Currys PC World with their bizarre ‘Merry Techmas’ advert. With a confusing, seemingly anti-holiday theme and tedious tech facts, it’s not surprising that even the children in the advert look unimpressed during the unveiling of their all-new TV as their Mum and Dad actively mock and ridicule our treasured Christmas traditions! Sitting by the fire and conversing in conversation with family and friends is certainly nothing to be made fun of! What a turkey!
Overall score: 1.5
Well well well, this one left CuCo extremely disappointed. The karaoke theme is cheap and grating, and in parts the lyrics of the song are almost incomprehensible! The rhyming is poor but even with the volume on mute, the whole advert is STILL painful to watch – we only lasted the full 2 minutes because we had to for research purposes. Our recommendation to Sainsbury’s is that they bring back the Agency behind their emotive WW1-themed Christmas advert back in 2014.
Overall score: 3
#8 TK Maxx
Although a clear effort was made by the Team behind TK Maxx’s Christmas Advert to incorporate many of our most-loved elements of Christmas, the ‘free snow delivered to you door’ concept feels divorced from the rest of the ad. The ad promises a home delivery of the white stuff to anyone who finds a special snow globe within a TK Maxx store, but the advert is very vague on the details of the competition, and a couple of our Team received very confused looks from the Bournemouth store’s employees when we asked them if they had any snow globe hidden amongst the designer handbags. An original idea, but regrettably, very poorly executed.
Overall score: 5
Everyone’s favourite carrot Kevin is BACK for Christmas 2017, and this year Aldi’s sequel follows Kevin’s Christmas adventure across the buffet table. The love story of Kevin and Katie is heart-warming, but also humorous, and the whole ad gets extra points for incorporating the much-loved Christmas day dinner into the story! However, this 2017 advert is very similar to last years’, with little changes being made. The same rhyming narrator, a similar script, the same characters, the same Christmas dinner table… I mean where is the originality and imagination? Come on Aldi, you can do better than this surely?
Overall score: 6
#6 John Lewis
And now for the most anticipated Christmas advert of the year… John Lewis! This is the one the whole Team had been waiting for, but unfortunately our expectations were shattered into so many pieces that even the man on the moon (ref John Lewis’ 2015 Christmas advert) would have had trouble spotting them! Moz the Monster is this years cuddly cute creation built for the sole purpose of tugging on the heart strings of the public, but in a strange twist, Moz is made to disappear at the end of the narrative?! The storyline is more difficult to follow than in previous years and our Team had to watch the ad multiple times to try and make complete sense of it. With a £7m budget for this year’s Christmas ad, it is hard to see how John Lewis could have gone so wrong?
What do you think? Did John Lewis do the advert justice or would the whole thing be better if Moz didn’t disappear at the end? Comment below and let us know your thoughts!
Overall score: 7.5
#5 Toys R Us
Geoffrey the red-nosed reindeer… or is he still a giraffe? Well whatever animal he identifies as WE LOVE HIM! He is fun, cute, enthusiastic, cute, friendly, and did we mention, cute? Traditionally Toys R Us adverts have featured families arriving at the store by car – very generic and boring. This year however, we see Santa visit the store on his sleigh with his reindeers, and when the mischievous reindeers are too busy with toys, Geoffrey the giraffe must step up and save Christmas! Which of course he does because he’s Geoffrey! He goes the extra mile and leaves his beloved store to help deliver the Toys R Us goodies to all their customers, showing how inventive, fun and reliable the store can be. Well done Toys R Us, you definitely exceeded our expectations this year! Keep up the great work!
Overall score: 8
At Number 4 we have Very.co.uk, who have surprised us this year with their extra imaginative and adventurous Christmas adventure! Who can resist an adorably helpful wolf on a quest to deliver presents to others?! The answer is no one. Ulfie the wolf is also conveniently very marketable, and the cuddly toy is now being sold online at Very.co.uk for £9.99 – very John Lewis! It’s all Very impressive, see what we did there?? But Very isn’t the only brand to have created merchandise from their Christmas campaign this year, which leads us onto Number 3…
Overall score: 8.5
Coming in at Number 3 is Debenhams. The department store have put a modern twist on the traditional much-loved, magical fairytale of Cinderella. The ad tells the story of one man’s search to find his perfect partner. After some textbook magic eye contact between himself and a woman on public transport, he loses her and the only clue to her identity being a sparkly shoe that she left behind, conveniently sold in Debenhams for £99 by Jenny Packham. Overall though the ad is extremely heart-warming and uplifting, making us sigh with relief in the end when the couple finally find each other with the much needed help of their fairy godfather (and narrator), Ewan McGregor. It reminds us of the magic of Christmas and leaves us feeling hopeful and excited for the upcoming Christmas festivities.
Overall score: 9
Our runner up this year is Boots’ Christmas advert – an epic and moving tale of two sisters. It’s nostalgic, family-orientated, (which everyone can relate to) and makes people reminisce about their own special memories growing up, and look forward to all the new ones they will make in the future. There is little actual dialogue yet the ad speaks volumes in meaning. Boots has clearly considered all aspects of the ad, even down to the catchy song choice and the subtle mystery which leaves viewers wondering “what was that special gift that her sister loved so much?” I mean, will we ever find out what it was? Maybe next year…
Overall score: 9.5
And finally it’s time to announce our overall Winner, CuCo’s Christmas Number 1, our favourite advert of 2017… Congratulations… drum roll please… M&S!!! It really was a no-brainer. This year’s M&S ad is comedic, light-hearted, magical, Christmassy, and most of all, inspiring! And it turns out that even the thief thought so, as by the end of the ad he seemed to be just as inspired as we were by Paddington, as he thanked the small bear for showing him exactly what Christmas is all about. The ‘Paddington and the Christmas Visitor’ advert will be linked to 90 different products and merchandise which will be sold in store and online, including a soft toy of Paddington and his iconic blue duffel coat. They will also be donating an estimated £200,000 in profits from the £3 Paddington book to the NSPCC to help fund the Childline service.
The 1 minute 30 second advert seems to include all of our most treasured Christmas traditions without making it seem pushy or overpowering. With delivering presents, filling stockings, eating Santa’s cookies and riding his slay around town, it looked and felt magical in every single scene, and this wasn’t just because of the snow and Christmas lights. Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, Director of Marketing at M&S, said: “We wanted something which was fun, festive, entertaining, but family-centric”, and we hope you’ll agree with the Team that they certainly achieved that! Bravo Marks and Spencer’s, you truly have created an amazing advert and deserve this Number 1 spot on CuCo’s Christmas ad off 2017!
Overall score: 10
We hope you have enjoyed reading through CuCo’s top 10 Christmas adverts of 2017, but if you have a different top 10 then comment below and tell us! We would love to know what your top 10 fave’s are!