How To Make The Best Christmas Adverts

The best Christmas ads don't focus on the product and the selling, it focuses on pulling on your heartstrings and injecting some festive spirit into homes.

Christmas 2014 has taken this to a new level with the Sainsbury’s collaboration with the Royal British Legion with its highly emotional take on the legendary and poignant football match between British and German forces on December 24th and 25th 1914. The beautifully shot campaign premiered on ITV in an ad-break takeover and was introduced by a bespoke, ITV-branded ‘Proud to Present’ spot during Coronation Street.

John Lewis has been the leader in the field of emotional Christmas advertising in recent years and in 2014 once again hit the spot with Monty the Penguin.

The John Lewis Christmas ads are all about narrative persuasion, inviting us into a magical world and creating an atmosphere which stays with us. The quest of the boy and his pet penguin hit the mark again for John Lewis with its wistful portrayal of childhood.

This emotional pull has even been adopted by supermarkets such as Aldi this year. The popular store created ‘Everyone’s coming to us this Christmas’, starring Jools Holland, which aired for the first time during Emmerdale on ITV. Aldi’s use of happy families and friends from around the globe along with a knowing nod to the store’s low prices evoke a cheerful, glowing Christmas spirit.

Interestingly, Marks & Spencer introduced an element of mystery to its 2014 Christmas campaign and combined this with the magical and the extraordinary to great effect.

The M&S “#FollowTheFairies” ad won Campaign magazine’s battle of the Christmas ads, capturing a third of all votes.

The campaign began with a Twitter account @thetwofairies, tweeting in rhyme and delivering gift boxes to strangers in response to tweets.

This provoked a huge amount of interest on Twitter, not least around who was behind the account.

The mysterious fairies were also seen twinkling in the sky above the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle, and visiting people across the country in need of cheering up.

Finally, the showpiece advert was broadcast for the first time on ITV during The X Factor, showing the fairies at work, set to the classic, evocative song Fly Me To The Moon. M&S demonstrated successfully how the use of spectacular, showcase television advertising can be combined with social media in such a way that it captures the imagination and hearts of viewers.