TRENDING: Ho, ho, ho! The best retail Christmas ads for 2021
by Louise Burgers. Retailers are bringing the festive cheer with these top Christmas ads for 2021.
by Louise Burgers. Christmas is about putting the fun back into family dysfunction. But the newest member of the dysfunctional Covid family, Omicron, is an uninvited guest this year, and doing its best to disrupt the festive season and traditional New Year holidays. This leaves it up to the retail environment to bring some Christmas cheer and retailers the world over haven’t disappointed in Year Two of our global pandemic. There were even trendy Christmas-themed masks in the shops this year. It’s surprising what we get used to!
According to AdAge.com, the messaging for 2021 is more exuberant than it was in 2020, when the pandemic subdued most festivities. These are our top 10 festive picks for this year’s traditional retail Christmas ads, dominated by the British retailers who started the big budget festive season tradition way back when:
Amazon: The Gift of Kindness
Focusing on kindness over this time of disconnection, and the mental health toll the pandemic has taken, especially on young people, gets my vote for best Christmas ad so far, that we have seen. The soundtrack is a new song off Adele’s new album.
Tesco: This Christmas, Nothing’s Stopping Us
Tesco’s Christmas ad this year is set to the Queen soundtrack, Don’t stop me now, and is all about how we’re going to have a good Christmas no matter what. Very appropriate given the unscientific travel bans which muted Christmas in Africa; and the ghastly, inconsistent Downing Street regime the Brits must deal with. At least we also see Santa is fully vaccinated with his vaccine passport!
John Lewis: Unexpected Guest
John Lewis’s much hyped-up Christmas ad this year was released in November already and wants people to experience the magic of Christmas as if it were for the first time – given the trauma and loss and disappointment of the past few years and the muted festive season last year. The two-minute story features an alien who is taken through Christmas traditions by a young boy. And we must ask Iceland: “Is alles ok by die huis?” Space Raiders Potato Shapes, from Iceland, took this ad, added their chips in where the alien’s head is, and flighted it as is, with the tagline Eat an alien. Seriously, WTF?!
John Lewis: Stop Loneliness at Xmas
John Lewis’s alternative Christmas ad with NimbusBeds.co.uk. Loneliness in the elderly is a huge problem in the UK, especially within the elderly community. They wanted to raise awareness of this issue especially after a year full of anxiety, separation and isolation. A real tearjerker.
Lidl: A Futuristic Christmas
Love this futuristic take on Christmas from Lidl, which takes the traditional Christmas meal and sets it decades into the future as a family ages, and grows older together.
Walmart: Joy. Fully
Walmart probably has the most ‘real’ Christmas ad this year, as all kinds of families try capture their celebrations with the perfect picture. It showcases the craziness of Christmas, where nothing is, obviously, ever perfect. The music is a cover of the hit by Sonny & Cher (released in 1965).
Argos: Baubles to Last Year
Argos wants everyone to go big this year, following on the multiple disappointments of last year’s festive season. The Christmas-obsessed office worker is my absolute best character from all the retail ads this year, LOL!
Aldi: A Christmas Carrot
Bargain retailer Aldi released its full Christmas advert for 2021 and the famous Kevin the Carrot is officially back. The bargain retailer teamed up with Marcus Rashford for its Christmas campaign as it pledged to donate 1.8 million meals to families over the festive period. A little predictable play on Dickens’ famous A Christmas Carol, but their hearts are in the right place.
Sainsbury’s: A Christmas to Savour
Sainsbury’s does it again with A Christmas to Savour, which celebrates the enjoyment of friends and family coming together for the traditional Christmas lunch. It plays on nostalgia after the bleak 2020 Covid Christmas season and hope for better times this Christmas.
George at Asda: Slay It
George at Asda launched its first standalone campaign for the brand this December, celebrating “inclusion and diversity” in partnership with charity, Diversity Role Models. The ad depicts a trans person’s homecoming. It sparkles and is on point.
Sources: retailgazette.co.uk, YouTube, Housebeautiful.com, AdAge.com Campaignsoftheworld.com, The Telegraph.
Main image credit: Pixabay.com.
Louise Burgers is the Publisher and Editor and Co-Founder of RetailingAfrica.com. She has spent over 20 years writing about the FMCG retailing, marketing, media and advertising industry in South Africa and on the African continent. She has specialised in local and Africa consumer trends and is a passionate Afro-optimist who believes it is Africa’s time to rise again and that the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will be a global gamechanger in the next decade.
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