The best Christmas ads ever

Wes Anderson and the best Christmas ads ever

Foto: youtube/H&M

H&M recently revealed their 2016 Christmas commercial, directed by cult filmmaker Wes Anderson and starring Oscar winner Adrien Brody, to widespread acclaim. How does it compare to classic festive adverts?

Now we’re into December, Christmas is well and truly upon us. High streets up and down the land will be rammed as people rush to complete their present-buying. All shops, no matter if they’re big or small need to promote their services and the festive season tends to bring out the best of them, with many brands going all out with high-budget commercials to entice people to spend their money in their stores.

So without further ado, here are five of the greatest Christmas adverts of all time, by:

  • Unicef 
  • Sainsbury’s and the Royal British Legion
  • John Lewis 
  • Warburtons and The Muppets
  • H&M
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Unicef – “Three Wise Men”

Back in 2012, Unicef launched a charity Christmas advert with a humorous take on the three wise men. Set in Bethlehem, Year 0, the three men are seen scouring a lively market for gold, frankincense and myrrh. “Myrrh, maybe that is what children like,” muses one of the men.

The advert ends with the slogan “End a 2,000-year-old tradition – give something that will actually come into use,” before suggesting viewers give the gifts of deworming tablets, polio vaccines and rehydration packets for children in the world’s poorest countries.

© youtube // Forsman Bodenfors


Sainsbury’s and the Royal British Legion – “Christmas Eve 1914”

Sainsbury’s won a lot of praise back in 2014 for their touching advert inspired by one of the most extraordinary events of the First World War: the Christmas truce of 1914.

© youtube // Sainsbury’s

The supermarket chain teamed up with the Royal British Legion to make the details as accurate as possible: from the insignia on the men’s uniform to the dry biscuit the British soldier eats, which was baked to the authentic 1914 recipe.

They even produced a short documentary about how they made it:

© youtube // Sainsbury’s

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John Lewis – “The Man on the Moon”

John Lewis’s yuletide commercial offering is now a staple of the season, usually featuring a cover of a much-loved song and a strong emotional pull. One of the most memorable featured the boy who couldn’t wait to give his parents their presents on Christmas Day. 

© youtube // John Lewis

While highly praised by the marketing industry, last year’s ad featuring an old man on the moon was considered by some viewers to be too sombre.

We’ve included it here because it features arguably some of the most amusing YouTube parodies for a Christmas commercial, including this Star Wars-influenced version:

© youtube // woodg1234


Warburtons and The Muppets – “The Giant Crumpet Show”

Family baker Warburtons has been churning out bread-based products since 1876, but last year was the first time they entered the Christmas ad market. They say good things come to those who wait, and that was certainly the case here.

The Greater Manchester-based firm’s decision to team up with Kermit, Gonzo and the gang turned out to be a shrewd move, with a musical homage to the much-loved Muppet Show featuring a host of references to the region, including Liam and Noel Gallagher’s iconic “mad fer it!” refrain. Merry crumpets, everybody!

© youtube // Warburtonsuk


H&M – “Come Together”

H&M pulled a rabbit out of the hat this year with an advert directed by acclaimed filmmaker Wes Anderson, director of classic indie films like The Royal Tenenbaums and The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Anderson roped in A-lister Adrien Brody to play a moustachioed train conductor who plans a festive surprise for some of the passengers, all in his trademark cinematic style. Quite what it has to do with high street clothes, though, is anyone’s guess…

© youtube // H&M

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