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Some Festive Season Viewing Enjoyment

Festive season brand kinship promoting commercials are often the most watched by old and young alike, in any given year.

Even some of the 300 million anti-advertising subscribers to AdBlock, take time out to contemplate a smile or two, maybe even three, at the available offerings.

1. Heineken, Holiday Troubles

Advertising Agency: Publicis, Singapore

Directed by Justin Reardon, the story is about festive season planning never running quite as smoothly as one would like.

The encouraging message from Heineken is, that when things inevitably go wrong, just chill, accept that Christmas holiday troubles are par for the season’s course, and get on with having a great time. Cheers!

2. John Lewis & Waitrose, Eva and Excitable Edgar

Advertising Agency: adam&eveDDB, London, UK

Filmmaker and Director Dougle Wilson’s masterful storytelling skill comes to the fore in this charming Christmas viewing fare for the whole family.

The Integrated campaign about friendship and caring, includes in-store merchandising of a variety of ‘Excitable Edgar’ gift offerings.

The soundtrack of Hugh Brunt and Mara Carlyle’s music arrangement, performed by the London Contemporary Orchestra, features the classic Bastille band’s “Can’t Fight This Feeling”, by lead singer Dan Smith.

3. Sainsbury’s, Nicholas The Sweep

Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, London, UK

This Dickensian short film was directed by Ninian Doff and filmed in weather conducive, Romania.

Ninian skillfully elicited excellent characterisation performances from his cast, especially by the young lad in his role as Nicholas.

The emotive story is about the events that followed Sainsbury’s first store opening in 1869 in which Nicholas was innocently caught up.

The cinematic sets, art direction, and attention to detail of the Victorian era costume designs, are very impressive and make for memorable viewing by the whole family.

4. Argos, The Book of Dreams

Advertising Agency: The&Partnership, London, UK

A subsidiary of Sainsbury’s, Argos Ltd, is a British catalogue retailer operating in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The Argos catalogue becomes ‘The Book of Dreams’ in this fun festive season phantasy, directed by Production Company Stink Film’s Traktor Directing Collective.

Traktor consists of directors Sam Larsson, Pontus Löwenhielm, Patrik von Krusenstjerna, Ole Sanders, Mats Lindberg and producer Richard Ulfvengren.

The joyous drumming duo living out their dreams to a great soundtrack of Simple Minds’s “Don’t You Forget About Me”; make for rewarding viewing.

5. McDonald’s, Ellie & Archie The Reindeer

Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett, London, UK

Seen through the eyes of a young girl’s vivid imagination, this charming story with live footage directed by James Rouse, and animation by Passion Animation Studios directed by Againstallodds, is magical. The surprise ending is very rewarding.

Based in Stockholm, Sweden, ‘againstallodds’ is an award-winning collective of digital advertising specialists in computer graphics, illustration, and 2D stop-motion animation.

The integrated campaign includes e-book, audio book and “Archie the Reindeer” storybooks, and in-store promotions of free McDonald’s carrot sticks.

6. Marks & Spencer, Go Jumpers

Advertising Agency: ODD, London, UK

Directed by Jake Nava, the joyful ‘Go Jumpers’ commercial is part of M&S’s marketing and integrated communication strategy to broaden their brand’s family appeal.

Featuring 50 different M&S ‘jumpers’ from the nation’s biggest knitwear retailer, the commercial offers stylish, and great value options as Christmas gifts for the whole family.

The vibrant accompanying soundtrack is ‘Jump Around’ by American hip-hop trio, House of Pain.

7. Orange Telecom, We Got Him

Advertising Agency: Publicis Conseil, Paris, France

The Orange telecommunications corporation is a multi-national company based in Paris.

Superbly directed by Jeff Low, the connected house ‘We Got Him’ commercial is a charming story about young neighbourhood friends, and their perfectly planned and co-ordinated ‘mission impossible’ venture.

Wonderful performances from the young cast, and many funny scenes, make for very entertaining family-viewing Christmas fare.

8. Migros Retail Company, Mimi Learns To Fly

Advertising Agency: Wirz BBDO, Zurich, Switzerland

The Christmas commercial for Migros, Switzerland’s largest supermarket chain, is a story about charity and fellowship.

Filmed in production conducive Vilnius, Lithuania, the superb cinematographic skills of director Martin Werner brings the story to delightful life about a little girl and Mimi, a skillfully created VFX baby owl.

9. IKEA, Silence The Critics

Advertising Agency: Mother, London, UK

IKEA’s first-ever Festive Season commercial was directed by the highly talented filmmaker Tom Kuntz.

Sarah Green, UK and Ireland Ikea Marketing Manager outlined the insightful rationale behind the very watchable Ikea brand communication about ‘home shame’, featuring a comedic home-clutter collection of rapping critics.

“It was born from the common feeling that along with the seasonal joys, a lot of us feel a looming sense of dread when it comes to hosting others. This campaign aims to inspire us all to get our homes party-ready and ‘Silence the Critics’, once and for all.” 

The inspirational choice of an original track by Darren Dixen, the English Grime MC, known as D Double E, provides resonating audio support to the animated story’s visual narrative.

10. Hewlett-Packard, Print The Holidays

Advertising Agency: Goodby Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, USA

Part of HP’s ‘Get Real’ communication theme, ‘Print The Holidays’ is about the horror of horrors, of losing mobile phone and online contact at a critical time of the year when texting, and screen time, is virtually in constant demand by every individual family member. And without which, they are at a total loss.

But all is not lost if there is an HP Printer available, it can even bring the family together in many inventive ways that are tactile and great fun.

Directed by Oscar award-winning filmmaker and director, Michel Gondry, the entertainingly visualised family action, plays out against a great soundtrack by music Arrangers and Composers Lydia Davies and Lucas Cantor.

The commercial’s storyline singers render a joyful rendition of the classic ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ with inventively altered lyrics.

11. Apple, The Surprise

Advertising Agency: TBWA\Media Arts Lab, Los Angeles, USA

The short film of skillfully portrayed familial interactions by director Mark Molloy, tells the story of parents with two squabbling daughters on a long trip to visit Grandpa for Christmas.

For some peace and quiet the parents give each daughter an iPad and they retreat to their separate digital worlds. What happens next is the heartwarming ‘surprise’ of the very emotive story about family values.

12. Samsung SmartView, Connect Your Galaxy

‘Connect Your Galaxy’ was collaboratively produced by Samsung and Star Wars filmmaker George Lucas, to coincide with the December release of ‘The Rise Of Skywalker’.

The commercial appealingly highlights the connectivity advantages of Samsung Galaxy’s SmartView app. The emotive story of abandoned pet adoption makes for great holiday viewing for the whole family.

The soundtrack features the familiar Star Wars musical theme, ‘The Imperial March’, by composer John Williams.

13. Boots Pharmacies, Gift Like You Get Them

Advertising Agency: Ogilvy, London, UK

This humourously dramatised commercial by Academy Films’ award-winning directing duo Si&Ad, is about the stressful dilemma of how and where to find the perfect Christmas gift.

A gift that is so fittingly personalised, whether giving or receiving, that it heartedly says; ‘I appreciate your individuality’.

The integrated campaign introduces in-store and online ‘Bootiques’ of curated gifts that can fortunately solve the gift-search dilemma.

14. New Zealand Postal Services, Festive Fibs

Advertising Agency: FCB, Auckland, New Zealand

The story is about the planning lengths family members embark on, and the white lies they tell in the process, to keep their gift selections completely under wraps until Christmas morning’s unwrapping, and a fanfare of joyful surprises.

Directed by Luke Shanahan, the telltale ‘Pinocchio effect’ of their fibbing shenanigans makes for entertaining family viewing.

The soundtrack of a choir-sung version of Fleetwood Mac’s Little Lies, adds great storytelling appeal the commercial.