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O come all ye Christmas-lovers, here are 5 ads we’re loving this season

By Jennifer Ho on 15th December 2016

Deck the halls with tinsel and get the gaudy jumpers out, for we’re now knees-deep in the Christmas season. The trees are up, wallets are quickly emptying and any remnants of dieting are well and truly over. Christmas celebrations in the UK have gone a long way from days of yore. Stockings and carols have been replaced by the Greggs Festive bake, German markets and most importantly, the Christmas ad. Sure, it’s easy to be cynical and dismiss Christmas advertising as emotional blackmail designed to make us part with our hard earned monies. But we’re now living in an age where many see the John Lewis ad as signalling the beginning of the season. It’s the one time of the year when advertising makes the general news. And it’s a yearly opportunity for some of the biggest brands to team up with the best agencies to amuse, entertain and inspire.

1. Apple – Frankie’s Holiday

Inner goths unite. Halloween vibes? Tick. Chilly feels? Tick. The spot stars Brad Garett (of Everybody Loves Raymond fame) playing a 7-foot tall ‘monster’. There’s very little mention of iPhones, iPad or Apple Watches. Simply, the takeaway message is this: open your heart to everyone. Not a fan? Then you’re a monster.

2. Amazon – A Priest and Imam meet for a cup of tea

Christian or not, the majority of the population celebrates Christmas. And in our ideal world, people of all faiths can live happily together. So why not bring the two together? Here, we have two friends of different faiths catching up and sharing messages of tolerance, gift-giving and inter-faith hangs. Take that, Trump.

3. Allegro – English for Beginners

Here’s a heartwarming ad that actually makes sense (looking at you Heathrow). It’s a story of a Polish grandfather learning to speak English ahead of his upcoming trip to London. It ends with Allegro, the auction website behind it, modestly asking viewers: ‘And you? What are you looking for?’ It’s a simple idea, brilliantly executed and filled with emotional authenticity. Go on, have a tissue.

4. Salvation Army Canada – Poverty Isn’t Always Easy to See

Salvation Army

See the image in action here Sure, the majority of snaps on the #Christmas2016 tag will feature #foodporn spreads, #hygge decorations and #blessed happy families – but is this always the case? Enter the Salvation Army Canada’s clever use of Facebook 360, letting you see things from a different perspective. Poverty can sometimes be just out of view. Interactive, delicate yet hard-hitting stuff.

5. Alzheimer’s Research UK – Santa Forgot

If you couldn’t handle last year’s ‘Lonely Man on the Moon’ ad, then it’s best you stay away. This emotional two-minute animation, narrated by Stephen Fry, sees a young girl embark on a mission to save Santa from dementia. It highlights the varied symptoms of the disease and spreads the message that research can help. It’s a totally on-brand for the season of giving. No one can doubt that 2016 has been a bit of a humanitarian annus horribilis. So I say to all Christmas Grinches out there: let’s embrace these messages of good. Let’s aim for mindful consumerism ahead of debt-inducing spending. And let’s put a value on time over money. Good thing we got an extra few days off this year.

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