And so it begins. The festive battle between the Christmas department stores began on 11th November, with the eagerly anticipated release of the John Lewis advert featuring Boxer the dog. Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s and even Heathrow Airport have joined the race to be the best Christmas advert of 2016.
Each advert has a background song which sets the mood, and each advert lasts for two or three minutes but is often shortened during the advert breaks on television. They tell a festive story, often focusing on empathy and encouraging the viewer to be able to relate to what is happening on television. The British public love their pets and it is very easy to fall in love with Boxer the dog, who features in the John Lewis advert. He wants to bounce on the trampoline, but has to wait until Christmas morning. Sainsbury’s focuses on Christmas being a busy time of year and how it is very hard to fit everything in, but that ultimately, we buy presents and food to have a nice day with our family.
The John Lewis advert is often crowned the best advert, but this year it has two other worthy contenders: Marks and Spencer and Heathrow Airport. Marks and Spencer turn to Mrs Claus, Father Christmas’ wife, to save the day for Jake, a little boy who loves his sister but always seems to make her angry with him. This tear-jerker is beautiful and illustrates how Christmas shouldn’t be about ourselves, but about looking after our family members. The Heathrow Airport advert is brilliant to empathise with. It features two teddy bears who are flying home for Christmas and it documents their journey from the aeroplane landing to arrivals. Everybody who has been on holiday can emphasise with this daunting experience, but it’s made worth it in the end, as the teddy bears turn out to be grandparents who are happily greeted by their grandchildren!
All the companies spend a lot of money on their Christmas adverts, each trying to be better than the year before. What is clever about the adverts is that they tell the story without mentioning their brand or company until the very end, to conclude the short film; they employ very clever advertising strategies to encourage the public to buy their products and the adverts are always a great talking point.
Note from editor - you can watch the Christmas adverts that Ellen talks about on YouTube. Here are the links if you want to check them out:
John Lewis: https://youtu.be/sr6lr_VRsEo
Marks and Spencer: https://youtu.be/V5QPXhStb5I
Heathrow Airport: https://youtu.be/oq1r_M5a6uI
Which is your favourite advert? Do companies make special advertisements for festivals in your country? Do you think adverts are a worthwhile use of money?