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The Creative Gift of Christmas

The most watchable commercials of any given year occur during the Festive Season.

Christmas can be a rewarding theme for Art Directors and Copywriters to explore. Creating a Christmas related advertising communication is potentially possible for any brand.

There are many opportunities for magical and enchanting stories about Santa, his reindeer, North Pole Elves and climbing down chimneys.

But there is another interesting opportunity. Stories of amusing parodies and human insights can be effective catalysts for ideas that are fresh, unexpected, and amusingly engaging.

1. Carrefour Financial Services, The Christmas Truce

Advertising Agency: Shackleton, Madrid, Spain

In the midst of the mayhem of WWI on the killing fields of Flanders and later in the Somme valley, there was one brief respite when sanity prevailed with the occurrence of a temporary truce on Christmas Eve in 1914.

Directed by Sánchez Arévalo, this commercial cleverly uses the historic ‘Christmas Truce’ as an analogy for a break in hostilities between father and daughter.

It Is The Thought That Counts

The following commercial, brilliantly directed by James Rouse, is a tongue-in cheek story and clever marketing approach to the insightful truth that one may sometimes begrudge spending money on gifts for family and be cautious about being too generous, but have no such qualms when buying a Christmas gift for one self.

2. Harvey Nichols Department Store, Sorry, I Spent It On Myself

Advertising Agency: adam&eve DDB, London

At the Cannes International Festival of Creativity, the Harvey Nichols ‘Sorry, I Spent It On Myself’ campaign won an Integrated Grand Prix, a Film Grand Prix, a Press Grand Prix and a Promo & Activation Grand Prix, making it one of the most awarded campaigns in the festival’s history.

3. Harvey Nichols Department Store, Avoid Gift Face

Advertising Agency: adam&eve DDB, London

Directed by Tim Bullock, this amusing commercial is a story about a human insight I’m sure we all can identify with. That expectant moment of opening a gift and discovering that you hate it, but out of politeness had to pretend that you loved it by putting on your best ‘gift face’ expression.

4. Amazon Prime, The Vicar and The Imam

Advertising Agency: Joint, London

Simon Ratigan directed this engaging commercial about the exchange of Christmas gifts between a Vicar and an Imam.

Amazon’s goal was to use the media influence and reach of their prime service to foster interfaith harmony globally.

Great pains were taken to be respectful to the featured religions and the commercial took months of careful planning and thoughtful development.

Dads and Christmas Shopping

Actions speak louder than words and informed observers are of the the opinion that many Dads hate Christmas shopping with a vengeance. Competing for limited parking spaces brings out the worst in them as tempers fray, frustration mounts and aggressive behaviour becomes the order of the day.

Directed by Steve Rogers, this is a skillfully dramatised and humorously exaggerated story of two competing Audi Sport Drivers. Many Dads will laugh knowingly that they probably share many of the same behavioural frailties.

5. Audi Sport, The Parking Lot

Advertising Agency: Venables Bell & Partners

6. NOS Telecom Portugal, Santa’s Number

Advertising Agency: Havas, Lisbon

Directed by Marco Martins, the TV commercial tells the story a young boy who can’t keep a secret. It was watched and shared online by more than 2 million people in just two days.