My favourite festive ads

An out-of-focus photo of Christmas lights.

The lights are going up, the crowds are forming at shopping centres and Noddy Holder is eagerly anticipating his next load of royalties. Yes, Christmas is under a month away and the battle for what has become the coveted title of best Christmas ad is already being keenly contested.

John Lewis has put a man on the moon despite there being no oxygen and zero gravity, while Sainsbury’s has managed a Christmas miracle of its own by bringing children’s favourite, Mog, back to life only for the little blighter to wreck the family home.

You can probably tell that neither of these adverts do anything for me but as a comms sort for well over a decade – as well as a consumer for well over three decades – I will admit to having a soft spot for adverts and admire the handiwork that creative types like RPM come up with year after year.

Here are my favourite festive ads…

Irn Bru snowman

I do like a bit of iconoclasm and this ad from 2006 is a fine example. What would have happened if the little boy in the classic by Raymond Briggs had a can of pop? This. Remember that Christmas is about sharing, kids!

Aldi fine wines

This ad from a couple of years ago is so simple, but so effective. What’s not to love about an old gentleman mouse with a penchant for fine wines and a very rational fear of bigger animals?

Ferrero Rocher

Of course, some ads gain their cult status from how completely dreadful they are. I like to think this old classic from my childhood is self-consciously naff but, either way, you need a turkey at Christmas.

Woolworth Christmas Show

Ah, poor old Woolies. I do miss the place. Their ads, though very much of their time, were always a spectacle and I genuinely remember being wowed by the techy gifts they had on offer.

Toys R Us

Although I worried terribly about the reckless driving at the start and the apparent child labour in this ad that made its debut in 1990, it was always comforting to see it in the corner of our front room as it meant that Christmas was on the way.

The Famous Grouse personalised labels

Although I can’t stand whisky, I’ve always liked the anthropomorphic bird on this brand’s ads and his disdain for anything that isn’t quite to his taste. Offering personalised labels on such a well-respected brand was a gamble, but I think it worked perfectly.

Alka seltzer Happy Boxing Day

I love the smug nature of this ad that seemed to be shown every Christmas for years. Simple yet effective and all too true!

What are your favourite Christmas adverts?

Disclosure: this is a collaborative post.


  1. Lewis@Dadwhoblogs

    I was going to suggest the woolwoorths one. One of those written while on acid I imagine! lol

    If I’m allowed US adverts, WestJet was good.

    As a Parent I love the Anchor butter one.

    OK, it appears I could go on. I do like that it’s becoming a ‘Thing’ to have a great Xmas ad. All the better for the consumer!

  2. John Adams

    You’ve educated me, never seen that Irn Bru advert before. Thought provoking post actually. Some of these Christmastide ads are very creative.

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