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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Ellenor, our Head of Reviews, tackles one of the most anticipated events of the year, the release of the Christmas adverts! From Cuthbert the Caterpillar being arrested to sub-terrestrial visits in the snow, prepare to feel festive…

It’s officially the time of year when big brand’s compete to win the unofficial Best Christmas Advert competition, aiming to one up both each other and themselves from previous years. Here’s the best and worst of the 2021 cohort.

Sainsbury’s ‘A Christmas To Savour’

Kicking off with a simple but effective advert from Sainsbury’s which pans around a familiar Christmas Day dinner scene. The camera work and music choice (At Last! By Etta James) creates a comfortable and at times humorous setting, allowing the viewer to be a passenger on this journey exploring family dynamics.

Overall the ad paints a recognisable picture of Christmas and has a noteworthy message voiced by Stephen Fry at the end: “It’s been a long time coming, so let’s make it a Christmas to savour’‘ – referencing last year’s unusual Christmas. I really like Sainsbury’s aesthetic here, with the only improvement to be perhaps choosing a more festive song-choice.

Aldi’s ‘A Christmas Carrot’

Inspired by Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Aldi have reinvented this classic Christmas story with their iconic Kevin the Carrot protagonist (for the sixth year running)!

Much like the traditional narrative, we follow Ebanana Scrooge as he transforms from a Christmas-hater to a Christmas-lover thanks to Kevin’s guidance as the ‘spirit of Christmas’. There’s even a feature from Marcus Radishford aka footballer Marcus Rashford MBE during the advert, adding a little celebrity sparkle. Ebanana eventually embraces the Christmas spirit, ending the advert with the positive message ‘For you to be happy, you need to be kind’.

I’d say that Aldi have created one of the best Christmas adverts this year by playing on tradition appealing to both children and adults alike. It’s also worth noting that Aldi have announced they will be providing 1.8 million meals to those in need this season, making the brand all the more appealing.

Boots’ ‘Bags of Joy’

Next we have Boots’ official Christmas advert, this year starring Jenna Coleman as Joy. Taking on a Mary Poppins-esque character with her never-ending bag of Boots goodies, Joy begins gifting presents to other people and spreading…well Joy, after receiving the bag from her Nan.

The advert comes full circle at the end with Joy giving her Nan some perfume on Christmas day as an act of love, and embracing in a heartfelt hug.

Despite presenting an image of togetherness and joyfulness, I found this to be one of my least favourite adverts this year. At a length of 3 minutes it seems to be rather long for such a simple narrative. Plus it didn’t necessarily feel quite as festive as some of the other adverts, with its mixed-genre soundtrack and variety of settings. Nevertheless it certainly succeeded in publicising Boots products and may make some viewer’s a bit teary with the familial theme, achieving the ultimate aim of a Christmas ad.

Lidl’s ‘Big on a Christmas you can ALWAYS believe in’

One of the most humorous adverts comes from Lidl, with their interpretation of Christmas dinners of the future. With 3 versions of the same Christmas scene but in different periods of time, viewers are transported to the future where people are living on the moon and taking photos with their minds yet Lidl prices remain just as affordable!

This intergalactic narrative accompanied with Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree playing in the background is one of my personal favourites so far. With Dad jokes and slight chaos, Lidl have hit the nail on the head in this all-too-familiar scene whilst simultaneously advertising their Christmas food range as intended.

Lidl ends their ad with a funny, festive take on their slogan: ‘Even when we’re carving turkey with lasers, we’ll always be Lidl on price’.

John Lewis’ ‘Unexpected Guest’

To finish off I’ll take a look at one of leading brands for Christmas adverts in the UK…John Lewis. Notorious for their emotive storylines, John Lewis have done it again this year as we follow a young boy meeting an alien in the woods by his house and introducing them to everything Christmas-related.

After experiencing mince pies, snow ball fights, movies, decorations and more, the alien eventually has to leave Earth and say farewell to their new friend (our protagonist) Nathan, prompting tears for some viewers.

If I’m brutally honest I was a bit disappointed in John Lewis’ attempt this year. It seems as though they’ve tried very hard to produce a creative narrative but have lost the point of advertising in the process (to ultimately promote their Christmas range/products). In all respect the pressure to put out an advert in equal parts emotional, enjoyable, and meaningful must be immense. Yet John Lewis, to me, have dropped the ball slightly in recent years, failing to compete with other brands such as Aldi and Lidl.

In general, I love seeing the Christmas ads every year and the unique perspectives of each brand. It’s one of the things guaranteed to put you in the festive spirit!

Head of Reviews for Nottingham 21/22 Final year English & French undergraduate!
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