A Mumbrella Christmas wrap of 2014’s best (and worst) festive ads

Are you struggling to feel festive? Then look no further as Mumbrella’s creative reporter Miranda Ward wraps up of how brands around the world have been promoting themselves this holiday season to inject a bit of cheer ahead of Christmas Day.

1. While it was hard to go past John Lewis’ effort this year, the favourite Christmas ad, in the Mumbrella office at least, was this one from Mulberry. It plays with the competitive nature of gift giving within families, with each family member attempting to one-up each other with its gifts with one lucky member receiving a puppy that waves and a unicorn, with both gifts being outrated by Grandma’s efforts.

2. Of course John Lewis had to come next with its Monty the Penguin spot tugging at viewers heart-strings in all the right ways. If you are feeling a little too emotional after watching it, jump over here and watch the parody version, stupid penguins.

3. UK pharmacy Boots celebrated family in its Christmas marketing effort. The spot features a family coming together at midnight on Christmas Day to celebrate with a family member who has spent the day working as a nurse at a hospital. If you’re a mum this one’s for you.

4. David Jones entered the emotional stakes pitting themselves against John Lewis with its Christmas spot.  ‘The Things We Do For Love’ spot features a young boy who struggles to understand how Santa will visit on Christmas Eve due to his home’s lack of a chimney.

5. In at fifth place on the Christmas ad rankings is Aldi‘s efforts locally for both its supermarket campaign and its campaign for its liquor offerings. It’s supermarket campaign focuses on what makes the perfect Aussie Christmas – with the snow covered village Julbacken celebrating in the Australian tradition with surfing and seafood.

The brand took a different tact to promote its alcohol brands – but who doesn’t like watching a fat man sing?

6. In at fifth is this surprising spot from KFC. It tells the story of a parent’s journey to encourage their six-year-old son to share. The highlight is when during a Christmas concert the kid dressed as one of the wise men refuses to part with his gift for the baby Jesus.

7. Christmas ads don’t usually embrace swearing but this is the exception. From Mr and Mrs Smith, a boutique-hotel website, it features a man who tries to win over his hard-to-please girlfriend by booking a hotel through the site.

8. In at eighth place is Expedia‘s spot which sees Santa Claus use Expedia to book flights to get around the world. It finishes with the heart-tugging scenes of Santa visiting ill children at hospital.

9. The new spot from Harvey Nichols builds on its award-winning 2013 campaign which which did away with the traditional idea of giving and celebrated the idea ‘a little something for them, a bigger something for you’. This year’s ad targets the people unhappy with a thoughtful but crappy gift. It features a doting niece signing a Christmas card for her dear Auntie Val. A card which it turns out carries a not so subtle hint about what she wants for Christmas.

10. Rounding out the top ten is another local spot. The spot from Jeep sees Santa recruit the iconic line ‘I bought a Jeep’.  It’s hard to beat the smugness of Santa as a confused Mrs Claus quizzes him on why he’s already home on Christmas Eve.

Honourable mention: While it is a beautifully crafted ad, Sainsbury’s Christmas ad recreating the first Christmas of World War One only receives an honourable mention as it cannot be ignored that it does look like a major brand hijacking a historical event that saw millions of people killed for its own purposes. Apart from that it is a beautiful ad that does represent how many imagine that first Christmas in the trenches.

Dishonourable mention: This year it’s a tie between Bonds and Kmart for what looks like the most unChristmassy Christmas ads ever.

And the what the hell ad of the season goes to this spot from PooPourri


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