Blog: Step into Christmas with the UON Ad Students

Date 17.12.2019

You’ve probably seen, or googled this year’s bumper batch of TV Christmas adverts. Year upon year, suspense is built around who will have the best Christmas ad, interestingly, this has led to a rise in organisations differentiating their campaigns, moving away from a product-led approach, instead competing to be the best through creating audience emotion – who hasn’t got emotional at an advert in the last few years?

University of Northampton Advertising and Digital Marketing students, Billy, Katie and Lindsey, share their thoughts on this year’s top advertising campaigns.

The John Lewis advert is eagerly anticipated each year, grab some tissues, this year’s advert will have you misty-eyed. The ‘Excitable Edgar’ campaign by John Lewis tells the story of Ava and a young dragon, Edgar, as she teaches him to believe in himself, with an emotive soundtrack, provided by Dan Smith of Bastille, it’s a Christmas cracker.

Tesco take us on a traditionally British journey in the front seat with one of their delivery drivers as he travels through time offering Christmas hampers to iconic figures along the way. This ad definitely hits the bullseye, as the ghosts of Christmas Past pop up to make us feel nostalgic, and the ad makes Christmas shopping look easy and enjoyable, without even leaving the house!

Sainsbury’s Oliver Twist theme advert, is an age-old winner of a story, a good vs evil, with just the right amount of Christmas magic, to pull on the heartstrings. Like all good stories this one includes the twist and has a happy ending, “and that, is a totally true story.” Delivered in jovial, orange text, brings the whole advert back on brand, leaving you in no doubt that it’s a Sainsbury’s advert you’ve just seen.

Aldi’s pun-stoppable advert has a great storyline, mixing in a good helping of humour, ‘the sprout’ should get an Oscar! With a huge focus on food and fun this 71 second commercial is one of the shortest of the Christmas adverts around, but is worth it. As the gift that just keeps on giving this ad also features the greatest showman, Robbie Williams as part of the squad.

What is love? Burberry honestly had us guessing for a minute. As a series of well-heeled models and famous faces gyrate to a catchy beat before a half man, half goat person joined in, we were wondering just quite what was happening! Blink and you’ll miss Santa and not a jingle of festive bells to be heard, but in the end, we found ourselves actually liking the ad. One I won’t forget, hats off to Burberry.

Argos, WE LOVE THIS ADVERT! It’s weird, wonderful, funny and wacky in the best possible way! The father starts off looking though the Argos catalogue and sees a gift idea his daughter has circled, a drum kit, and suddenly it comes to life. It’s got the humour for adults with the whole ‘big kid’ theme while his imagination runs wild, then his daughter appears half way through and they play the drums together. This advert has such a clear progressive storyline in such a simple way, it also gives the impression of parents bonding with their kids which is cheekily a good selling point. Most of all, this advert is highly watchable and engaging, I don’t even have kids and now I want to buy a miniature drum kit for one! By far my favourite Christmas advert this year.

Last, but by no means least, the much-anticipated Christmas ad from online giant, Amazon. Here, the intended emotion is quite clearly happiness, communicated through the diverse array of people with big gleaming smiles and singing cardboard boxes to a true classic, Solomon Burk’s ‘Everybody Needs Somebody to Love’ to build up that festive communal spirit.

Emotion is at the top of the list for the ingredients for make a great Christmas. The ad which achieves this the best will be laughing all the way to the bank…quite literally!

We’re sure that our top picks have you feeling festive, we wish you a Merry Christmas, peace to all mankind, and sprouts!