Christmas is around the corner, and apart from the presents and food, the best thing to come out at Christmas is the adverts!

Am I right or am I right?

Who doesn’t get excited to see what adverts are going to get us all crying or laughing year after year? If you’re like me and take Christmas adverts very seriously, then I hope you enjoy my Top 10 Christmas adverts of 2018.


10. Boots


Now for all you mummy’s girls out there, you’ll be able to relate to this one.
Yes, I may be a little bias, but it is a heartstring puller.

For many people what makes Christmas adverts is relatability, as that’s what people invest in.

As I was watching this advert I could relate to every single part;
Using my mum’s perfume, Her TRYING to style my crazy hair, always getting told to take my makeup off and most importantly the joy I feel when I give her a present she loves.

However, it looks like the British public disagrees with me as the advert didn’t go down too well for one apparent reason:

‘The most annoying advert of 2018.’

‘Every time I hear ‘she’s me mam’ I want to pull my eyes out’

‘I have to mute that god-awful boots advert every time it comes on’.
Maybe boots should have done some more market research for the song choice as it seems it may have ruined their advert.

If they changed the song choice and reduced the cringe factor at the end of the advert, this could have been a stronger contender.




TKMAXX for me hit the nail on the head, now it may not have been a tear-jerker or an ad that will be remembered for years and years but what it has done is reminded their customers of their brand message, that TKMaxx provides Big Gifts, for Small Prices.

The ad also encourages their audience to go online and in-store for something other than just shopping…to find the never-ending stocking. They have hidden some around their stores in the UK and whoever finds them receives gifts for a whole year!

The issue with this advert, for me, is the cinematic/theatrical style which is very expected from TKMaxx and isn’t much different from their previous adverts. This poses a problem as people won’t anticipate or create ‘hype’ over what will TKMaxx do next? As they can probably guess it will be some Dr Seus looking advert. Also, if the ad campaign didn’t have the stocking challenge, then this ad wouldn’t have made the top 50, let alone top 10.


8. Apple


Now from the first glimpse, you would not think this was an Apple advert. The cartoon style gives off Disney Pixar short film vibes far from the simplistic high-tech style of Apple.

What is excellent about this is that there aren’t tons of product placements, encouraging you to buy this Mac, or buy this iPhone, and these air pods…oh and don’t forget the holder for your air pods!

It’s merely about a woman who spends her free time working away on her Mac at something she is very reluctant to share (like many creatives). In the end, her work is accidentally revealed, and the happiness beams across her face, seeing others happy from viewing her work.

The 3-minute-long video is very captivating and has caused great engagement over various social media platforms, overall a great move from Apple.


7. Sainsbury’s


This year Sainsbury’s have produced a great feel good advert that makes you want to cuddle up on the sofa in front of the fire and stick on Elf.
It has caused myself and many other’s to feel very nostalgic while reminding us of what it feels like to be young again. The excitement, the bright lights and the school productions, how could you not want to be back there just for one night?

And it’s not just me, the British public agree and voted Sainsbury’s ad as their No1 according to the Retail Gazette (not based on YouTube views). Although the star of the show wasn’t the star singing, it was, in fact, the ‘plug boy’ who on his own generated 87% off all tweets and was the cause of an explosion of memes.

‘I’m not one to usually judge Xmas ad, but John Lewis must have spent a fortune for Elton John! And I can’t help always looking up at the screen when the Sainsbury’s advert some on! The song is catchy, and the advert is so sweet! Oh to be young again.’

With the power of social media, and the ability to create a viral ad in minutes, retailers want to create something that gets everyone talking. After all, a retailer doesn’t want to spend thousands on a Christmas advert just for it to be forgotten about (Can you remember Asda’s ad this year…nope didn’t think so).


6.John Lewis


Now every year John Lewis is at the top of the list and rightfully so, but this year it’s looking like John Lewis forgot who John Lewis are…

With Elton John singing Your Song as the feature of their advert, you see him transition through different stages of life singing in pubs, on stage, in the studio, but no reference to Christmas? Very odd for a John Lewis ad and many agree.

‘Where’s the Christmassy feel #johnlewis I’m very disappointed.’

‘As if my aunt just spoke to the John Lewis manager about how crap their advert is.’

‘John Lewis spent £7,000,000 on a Christmas Advert made for a self-indulgent, egotistic, money grabbing Elton John, well I will not be spending my money in your store anymore. Does anyone remember what Christmas is about?’.

Although results don’t lie, as John Lewis ‘officially’ gained the top spot again by surpassing their competitor Sainsbury’s by 6 million views.
But the question is, are these views gained simply because Elton John is the feature? And not because people love the advert.
Put aside the backlash about it not being Christmassy enough, the message John Lewis are conveying is meaningful and accurate; ‘some gifts are more than just a gift’ a gift can spark a whole career.

(I wish when my mum bought me a pink microphone when I was 12 if it projected me to Elton John level fame but hay ho…)

It seems many people aren’t happy with their choice of a celebrity due to him being stereotyped to be an unpleasant person. It can be detrimental for a business if they do not undertake enough research about their choice of influencer and merely go with that celebrity just because of their superstar status.


5. Aldi


Aldi has earnt the top 5 spot this year, with a two-part ad campaign for the return of Kevin the Carrot for his third-year running!

Part one featured Kevin the carrot driving a very well-known truck along a cliff edge, which abruptly came to a cliffhanger as Kevin was hanging off the cliff edge, this is where the ad came to an end displaying the hashtag #savekevin which exploded on twitter with people tweeting;

‘what’s happened to Kevin? #savekevin’

“Fair play to ‪@AldiUK everyone there thinking the Coca-Cola advert is on and then up pops Kevin the f***ing carrot, howling!’

‘Called everyone in the lounge to watch the Coca-Cola ad then Kevin appears! Brilliant’. (Props to Aldi for being cheeky and mimicking the Coca-Cola truck, the association with this classic retailer has only increased the popularity of this ad campaign.)

The campaign sent people into a craze, trying to buy the beloved Kevin the Carrot merch, which saw people queuing in stores at crazy hours just for a stuffed carrot…

This is great for Aldi as it’s doing what an advert should do, drawing customers into their store or online. We all know you don’t just walk into an Aldi and buy one thing. You’ll probably walk out with a full trolley of food, room diffuser, a jumper from that random middle aisle and possibly a Kevin the carrot.

Which is all part of Aldi’s master plan!


4. Heathrow


The Heathrow advert is this year’s top contender for pulling a few heartstrings with its much-loved Heathrow bears full of Christmas spirit.

This years campaign stays true to form for Heathrow, and by carrying on the story of the bears is making their adverts highly anticipated. This is great, as the goal for a retailer is to have their advert become a representation of Christmas, just like the Coca-Cola adverts in the past.

You want to be that retailer who’s advert appears on tv, and people know it’s Christmas. With the continuation of these storylines, Heathrow is well on its way to reaching this goal, they’ve just got to make sure it doesn’t get boring!


3. Waitrose


Everybody needs a bit of light-hearted comedy this time of year, and as we all know many Christmas adverts can be cringey and predictable! But what was unexpected was the Waitrose Too Good to Wait campaign.
This 6-part ad campaign features characters that aren’t fussed about the traditional Xmas rituals and want to skip to the best part…the food! (they also mock their partner John Lewis’ Xmas ad, which is very comical).

What made Waitrose unique this year is that they didn’t go for the traditional Christmas hero advert; instead, they opted for a 6-part series of 30-second clips of classic funny festive scenarios!

To debut their adverts, Waitrose partnered with ITV to create a variety of unconventional teasers that weren’t adverts, e.g. the announcer of what’s next up on the channel was distracted by Waitrose food and then remembered to announce the next programme.

When the first lot of ads where aired ITV ‘fast forwarded’ all Xmas ads before Waitrose to quickly reach the Waitrose adverts. The innovative ad break launch was a first for ITV and was created by Manning Gottleib OMD, who recruited some of its other clients to get involved in the “fast forward” sequence.

Overall, Waitrose is brilliant in the way they’re targeting their audience with their subtitle marketing techniques, as consumers are getting more resilient to direct marketing. Also, the use of comedy has made them stand out; it was only last night I fully laughed out loud to their ‘Countdown’ ad and thought that would be me if I was mayor, so simple but very funny.


2. Red Cross


This advert makes you want to put down your phone, cuddle your loved ones and remember how lucky you are.


It reminds people that while most children are lucky enough to experience the excitement of Christmas, however, there are hundred’s more that live in a world that is so far from what we know, surrounded by conflict, upset desperate to see their family, they aren’t concerned with the newest PlayStation, they just want to feel safe.

This hard-hitting advert is part of the ICRC campaign to bring together families that have been torn apart as a consequence of war – and has rightfully earnt the 2nd spot on the list as its one of the only adverts that played on my mind all day.




First of all, let’s all give Iceland a big round of applause for being the only retailer not scared to inform people of issues going on in our world!


Iceland released a short film, Rang-tan, which is an animation telling the story of rainforest destruction and its devastating impact on the endangered orangutan. In an attempt to raise awareness of this issue, the brand said it made a “bold move away from the usual commercial” by highlighting how the use of palm oil in consumer products has been linked to deforestation. From this Iceland has also been the first retailer to promise to eradicate palm oil from products and remove single-use plastic by the end of 2018. *hats off*

If you haven’t heard already this informative advert was banned by ClearCast, who is the body responsible for clearing ads for the four major UK commercial broadcasters.

They commented on their action to ban the ad; “Clearcast and the broadcasters have to date been unable to clear an ad for Iceland because we are concerned that it doesn’t comply with the political rules of the BCAP code. The creative submitted to us is linked to another organisation who have not yet been able to demonstrate compliance in this area.” (The other body they’re talking about is Greenpeace).

So, let me get this right, the Littlewood ad in 2011 where they sing about mums buying the presents at Christmas, consequently promoting that there is no Santa Clause was allowed to air even when they received over 456 complaints!

Also, In 2014 Sainsbury’s used the First World War for promotional gain, which received 823 complaints and yes you guessed it, it was still allowed to air.

BUT Iceland informs highlights the cruelty humanity is causing in the natural world in a way that all can understand, and it’s not even allowed to be aired???

The British public was outraged, everyone was discussing the ad on tv, celebrities taking to Twitter to utilise their platforms, and petitions have been created to try and get the advert back on tv as people believe the public should be educated about this pressing issue.

One petition was created by Mark Topps who to this date has over 1,038,082 signatures, but because ClearCase cannot determine Greenpeace’s political status they still will not approve the advert.

Overall, this campaign has won the top spot of the Top Christmas Adverts of 2018 for the simple fact that finally, a retailer used their platform for something good, and not just to promote their Christmas food platters.

If you haven’t watched the Iceland advert, watch it below!


Happy Christmas!