Ad Review: 'Tis The Season - Part 1

Can you believe it? We’re already in November. I don’t know about you but this year has been one for the books. Or probably not, as historians will look back and wondered what the hell went on in 2016.

Ad Review: 'Tis The Season - Part 1

But ignoring (how hard we try) the pure crazy that has poured out this year, it’s that time of year again. Christmas! (Read: That time of year where your wallet hides in a dark corner and cries until its over). That means food, decorations, gifts, more food, booze, family trips, family fights, family make-ups, food and booze comas, drained bank accounts. Ahhhh, don’t you just love it?

But that also mean that those rampant Christmas seasonal adverts are back! So lets have a look at who’s already out of the starting gate and see how well they fared.

Burberry – The Tale of Thomas Burberry

Verdict: You’d swear you were watching a movie trailer. It plays like one. And yet, it’s just a short film that has dropped for the Christmas season. Burberry alongside acclaimed Academy Award-winner director Asif Kapadia curated this amazing story of Burberry’s founder, Thomas Burberry. Starring as the luxury fashion founder is Domhnall Gleeson, alongside his co-stars Sienna Miller, Dominic West and Lily James. This is a bit of a lengthy watch but so SO worth it. Beautifully written, acted and shot. I won’t give away what happens but I know two things for sure. This is truly spectacular. And I desperately need a Burberry trenchcoat in my life.

Grade: A+

Morrisons – Morrisons Makes It

Verdict: Okay, come on, tell me the truth. Kid is just acting right? No way he knows all of that trivia of the top of his head. If so, Mensa need to give him a call asap. But its a nice ad by Morrisons, better than last year’s that is for sure. But it just seems a little too safe, a little too lacklustre for me. Yup, this one goes in the infamous ‘forgettable’ pile this year.

Grade: C

Aldi – Kevin The Carrot

Verdict: Aldi, not unlike Lidl, really do some cracking ads when they’re ready and I found this one beyond charming. It’s so unabashedly imaginative and quirky. Great original concept, wonderful narrative, awesome graphics! And I love how its from the point of view of Kevin. Although I can’t take that name seriously, I mean the Kevin makes me think of either THIS Kevin or THIS one. But I love this Christmas ad! *Looks at Morrisons* See guys, this is how you make something unforgettable.

Grade: A

House of Fraser – Christmas Is Coming For You

Verdict: I was looking forward to this quite a bit. But half way through this I felt like I had seen something eerily similar before. I had, as HoF had done the whole choreographed Christmas-stylised ad last year. I think that’s where it fell a bit flat for me. Plus I still can’t decide if I like Laura Mvula’s take on The Fugees’s ‘Ready or Not’ track. Overall the ad is a nice effort but it just seemed like it was trying too hard.

Grade: C+

Very – Get More Out Of Giving

Verdict: I saw this on the TV last Saturday and I thought it was a surprisingly lovely attempt by Very. This Pixar-esque advert is creative, fun and sweet without being too over the top. I love the animation used in this advert. I think it makes the ad as a whole, light and fun to digest. That big heart was very ‘Cupid’ like too. And using the pink ‘Very’ box as glowing Christmas gifts was a nice branding touch too.

Grade: B+

Argos – Christmas Yetis

Verdict: Saw this last Saturday night too….what…the..hell? Yetis? Snow-skating Yetis? Erm, yeah…I’m not too sure how to feel about this advert. It definitely doesn’t beat Argos effort last year, now that was a fabulous advert! This is just a little too weird, even for me. Once was more than enough.

Grade: C-

TK Maxx – The Sing-Song

Verdict: Erm, LOL! What the hell was that? TK Maxx obviously following its successful ‘Ridiculous Possibilities‘ campaign, dropped this diddy of a Christmas advert and I soon as I heard the abuelita gargle, I knew this was gonna be odd. It was so ridiculous it actually made me laugh. No lie, its crazy but it actually works in its favour. I ain’t mad, I like this one.

Grade: B

Burberry & Harrods – A Very British Fairy Tale

Verdict: This ad is could be best described as quintessentially British, in perhaps one of the most imaginative and child-like ways one could conjure up. This collaborative effect by Burberry & Harrods brings as this lovely ad, which takes on story-like journey, through the animated cut-outs and detailed features, not unlike a pop-up book or a lasered, bespoke greeting card. It’s unique and in keeping with Harrods previous Christmas-stylised adverts.

Grade: A-

Tesco – Bring It On

Verdict: Someone left a comment on this ad on Youtube which said “world’s most realistic advert”. They ain’t wrong. This advert is by far the most basic of this Ad Review Part 1 listing, but I think there’ll be more of this to follow, so it’s probably just the first one of this same campaign. It stars Ruth Jones (who is awesome by the way) so I like to think her humour saved this ad somewhat. But it is quite boring compared to the rest. Will have to wait to see how the others turn out. Until then…

Grade: D

Toys R Us – It’s A Magical Place

Verdict: Hmmm. Different take on a familiar shtick. Why on why must they always use that damn song (I know I know, it’s part of their brand). After watching that ad, I gotta be honest, I will not be watching it again. Does nothing for me. Just like coffee.

Grade: D-

Littlewoods – The Christmas Walk

Verdict: Dark horse coming through. Didn’t know what to expect but damn this is a funny little ad. This made me smile, its got humour, its got bass and its got sass. This is actually one of my three favourite ads out of this line up. Maybe. Also it gets props for using this song.

Grade: A-

intu – Christmas Ad 2016

Verdict: Behehehe this advert is genius! Whoever thought of this idea I sincerely hope intu cut them a big fat cheque. The creative ingenuity into this Christmas ad is both bizarre and bold. But it held my attention, like I wanted to see what would happen next. The bird thing (I won’t spoil why they used them) is a great twist on an old adage, or a few. Ties in nicely with the brand too.

Grade: A+

Bonus Round

I just HAD to add the little advert that has create a viral frenzy online the past few days. Now everyone always anticipates the John Lewis Christmas ad and people thought that what they saw below was it….it was a JL centric advert yes, but it wasn’t done by John Lewis themselves…

Nick J – The Snowglobe

Verdict: And after having watched it, I can see why it fooled so many people. That looks like the kind of ad John Lewis would push out. Especially when they seemed to get a bit of licking that last year’s ad was depressing. Hell, Nick did such a convincing job, guess who offered him a job?

Grade: A-

Written by: J.R.

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