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Christmas Adverts: The Soundtrack of the Season

It’s official, Christmas is already here. The Coca Cola van has driven into town, and John Lewis has warmed hearts everywhere over a couple of stuffed penguins. But what is it about these adverts that get the nation so excited about Christmas? (Apart from the clear fact that it’s the epitome of the commercialisation of the holiday, but no one wants to talk about that…)

I don’t know about you, but when I hear the beginning jingle and the hushed singing of ‘the holidays are coming, the holidays are coming’ a little involuntary squeal leaves my mouth and I’m overwhelmed with excitement for my favourite time of year. As lovely as many of the other Christmas adverts are, for me they’ll never be as magical as this one.John Lewis has now become second in the most anticipated advert of the year, particularly with its hiring of popular singers to do lovely covers of familiar songs. Last year saw Lily Allen do a sweet version of Keane’s ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ and the previous year was my personal favourite, Gabrielle Aplin’s cover of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s ‘The Power of Love’. The 2010 advert which featured Ellie Goulding singing ‘Your Song’ by Elton John, saw her cover enter the official chart at number 2. This year Tom Odell has been handed the baton, as he takes on John Lennon’s ‘Real Love’, which is so fitting to the story of Monty the Penguin who just wants another penguin to love. So clearly the music is important to what makes these adverts so magical, as we like them enough to download the songs and probably make them part of our Christmas playlist. And this is just what the music industry wants. It is since that big hit for Ellie Goulding back in 2010 that the record companies started to realise that Christmas ads are a massive opportunity for them to make some money off the Christmas-loving British public. 

Marks and Spencer this year has also gone down the route of having a cover as the music on their fairy-themed Christmas advert with ‘Fly Me to the Moon’, which fits in well with their sparkles theme nicely. However, it seems to be the consensus of the nation that Sainsbury’s have won the Christmas advert battle (pun intended) this year, despite some controversy surrounding the use of a scene from World War One, (which I totally disagree with) it’s a beautiful Christmassy tribute for this centenary year. Their use of the traditional, and familiar, Christmas carol ‘Silent Night’ in both English and German to show the solidarity between the two opposing armies at the beginning of the ad is genius, and heart-warming.

Music is a massive part of the Christmas season, so it’s no surprise that these adverts are capitalising on that to win the coveted title of best Christmas ad of the year. I’m not complaining, I wish it was Christmas all year round.





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Edited by Amelia Bauer-Madden 


Current third year English and History student, with a love of music, and lots of opinions. 
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