'Tis the Season to Make Money: Christmas Adverts Compared

Let’s face it: adverts are now an accepted part of Christmas. Given how much money and effort companies invest into making their wares stand out on television, it’s clear to […]

Aldi Christmas Adverts Christmas day truce Gingerbread Man Iceland John Lewis Jools Holland Penguin Peter Andre Sainsbury's Waitrose

Let’s face it: adverts are now an accepted part of Christmas. Given how much money and effort companies invest into making their wares stand out on television, it’s clear to see why.

By now, the big shops have now released their Christmas adverts, so we decided to take a look at the cream of the crop.

John Lewis

Once a department store, John Lewis have (in the past few years at least) shifted their output towards heartstring-tugging Christmas adverts, and it seemingly works – as a result, they’re a subject of hype and parody on a yearly basis.

This year’s effort follows a boy and his penguin, who seemingly wants a significant other in its life. The penguin has its wish fulfilled but in a shocking twist is revealed to only be a toy – some people will do anything to get out of buying Christmas presents.

Also featured is Tom Odell’s cover of John Lennon’s “Real Love”, which is slightly less whiny than Lily Allen’s Keane cover last year. All a bit boring, but it’s well done – for some differing opinion articles click here and here.

Preferred the parody versions – Jake, Second Year Geology

8 Maids-a-milking/12


Over the past few months we’ve learned quite a lot about former pop sensation Peter Andre’s food tastes, as he now heads up Iceland’s advertising campaign. His enthusiasm about frozen foods, it seems, is second to none; one highlight of many is his praise of Iceland’s Strawberry Daiquirie Dome. Insania.

This advert made me want to Reykjavik my eyes out – Chris, Second Year German

4 Calling Birds/12


A masterpiece, pure and simple. Sainsbury’s advert commemorates the hundredth anniversary of the First World War, in particular the Christmas Day truce of 1914.

British, French and German troops took a break from the war for one day, and gathered in no-man’s land to sing carols, play football and enjoy the festivities; something touchingly portrayed in the advert.

To make things even better, we’re spared the inevitable English loss on penalties: Sainsbury’s have outdone themselves and, arguably, almost all adverts that have been made over the years. It’s that good.

You’ve got no fans… you’ve got no ground – the Wealdstone Raider, Third Year Philosophy

12 Drummers drumming/12



It’s hard to improve on the former advert, and Waitrose don’t, but they’ve made an alright advert in its own right. A girl is selected by her teacher to make Gingerbread for the school’s Gingerbread stall (despite everyone else wanting to, and her not raising her hand – if the teacher’s reading this, that’s an unfair selection policy mate. Sort your life out).

She fails at first but with a bit of practise (and presumably Waitrose’s great products), and without help from her dog, she makes and decorates a perfect batch, before returning to the scene of the crime to give a shop assistant (who also owns Waitrose) a share of the spoils.

Even the dog didn’t like the Gingerbread cookies – John, Second Year History

5 Gold Rings/12


Aldi seem to think everyone’s doing their Christmas shopping there this year – whether they succeed in that is yet to be seen, but they’ve already succeeded in making a pleasant advert of different families and groups of people enjoying their Christmas dinner.

Perhaps the main discovery of the advert, though, is that Jools Holland practises for his annual Hootenanny over wine and mince pies. If that’s how a renowned musician operates, who are we to argue? 

How am I supposed to make a joke about this one? – Everyone, First Year Maths

7 Swans-a-swimming/12

So our favourite is Sainsbury’s heart warming WW1 commemoration, what’s yours? Vote below.

[polldaddy poll=8460192]