If you’re not in the holiday spirit yet, you probably haven’t had a chance to see this year’s Christmas commercials. Every year, audiences look forward to new and exciting stories from their favorite brands that make them laugh, cry, and believe in Christmas miracles. Whether you’re looking for positive emotions or creative ideas for your holiday communication, discover our selection of the best seasonal campaigns in 2023. Feel the magic of Christmas in fascinating stories about friendship, the power of kindness, and the desire to share special moments.
1. “The World Needs More Santas” by Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola has long been closely associated with winter holidays, and every year, the brand’s seasonal campaigns are among the best. This year will definitely be no exception. The brand’s Christmas video with the telling title “The world needs more Santas” portrays a fictional city where Santa Clauses live. They go about their daily routine doing things familiar to all of us: they work, go shopping, exercise in the gym, and visit cafes. But what really stands out about these Santas is their kindness, friendliness, and willingness to help others.
The idea of the campaign is that everyone can be a Santa for someone. And you don’t have to do anything extraordinary. Simple actions are more than enough — for example, holding the door in the subway for a stranger or helping neighborhood children make a snowman. This way, the brand shows that small good deeds can make a big difference.
2. “Joy Ride” by Amazon
This touching advert tells the story of three elderly women who have been friends all their lives. Recalling how they enjoyed sledding down a hill together as children, one of them decides to recreate those special moments of sincere joy and surprise her friends. And that’s where the Amazon app comes in handy. This one-minute video, which doesn’t have a single line, just an instrumental cover of the Beatles’ “In My Life,” addresses the theme of joyful memories and lifelong friendship.
This year’s Amazon Christmas campaign was inspired by the company’s customers and their traditions. As many people are currently feeling the impact of economic instability, the creators decided to choose the joy of sharing special moments and experiences as the main theme of the commercial. According to the brand’s representatives, the key message they wanted to convey is that, sometimes, the joy you receive from doing something special for those you love can uplift many people around you.
3. “Fancy a McDonald’s this Christmas?” by McDonald’s
In the McDonald’s holiday campaign by Leo Burnett, viewers are offered an escape from tedious holiday rituals such as boring corporate events, failed school performances, and traditional preparations. The advert’s characters leave a boring party and head to McDonald’s, and along the way, more and more people (and even Santa) join them inspired by their example. In the end, a large, colorful crowd comes to their favorite restaurant to share positive emotions.
The McDonald’s campaign encourages people to replace the fake “festive” mood with real joy and do what we really want to do on Christmas. It also appeals to the feeling of nostalgia; the video refers to the famous scene with posters from the movie ‘Love Actually,’ which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and features iconic 80’s hit ‘Jump’ by Van Halen.
4. “A Magical Christmas with Lidl’s Christmas” by Lidl
When it comes to holiday communication, creating fairy tale narratives with fantasy creatures is a cherished technique by brands. In Lidl’s campaign, it is a friendly raccoon who overcomes incredible obstacles to make sure that a little boy receives his Christmas present. He climbs over road signs, rides on the roof of a subway car, and swims across a river on a log—all to put a toy under the Christmas tree. Not only does he complete the mission, but also finds a friend to share the joy of the holiday.
‘The Magical Christmas with Lidl’ campaign is part of the Toy Bank initiative encouraging people to bring new toys to their local stores for charity. The collected gifts will be donated to children in need.
5. “Fuzzy Feelings” by Apple
Apple’s Christmas commercial features an unexpected approach to theme and plot. It is a modern reinterpretation of the Scrooge fairy tale, a story about an office worker and her unbearable grumpy boss, who seems to always be unhappy with everyone. The main character has a hobby; when not in the office, she works on a stop-motion animation project, where she comes up with various ways to take revenge on her boss, from electrocution to a car accident. But after she sees her boss spending Christmas Eve alone in a restaurant, she decides to change her attitude and fills her animations with joyful moments. The video ends with a scene where the heroine joins her boss for lunch, with the caption “You make the holidays.” The music for the campaign is George Harrison’s ‘Isn’t It a Pity,’ which perfectly fits with the main theme.
6. “Gift Mission” by Etsy
In its Christmas campaign, Etsy is focusing on a common pain point — what to give as a gift. The brand released a series of short videos about different characters who face the problem of choosing a Christmas present and secretly look for gift options. What gift should one choose for a six-year-old niece, very different twin daughters, or a dad who says he doesn’t need anything? Sure enough, everyone finds their perfect gifts on Etsy. The unique, comedic mood of the videos is created with funny songs based on the soundtrack from the Mission: Impossible movie. The ad series turned out to be truly authentic and fun.
7. “Nothing’s gonna stop us now” by Morrisons
This is another Christmas story from Leo Burnett that we couldn’t overlook. One might think there’s nothing creative in a video about preparing a festive table! But Leo Burnett is considered to be one of the most creative advertising agencies for a reason. The campaign’s main characters are oven gloves that come to life and sing the 1987 Starship power ballad ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now’ together. This way, Morrisons honors customers who spend a lot of effort preparing and delivering on the holiday.
The brand decided to go beyond commercials and announced an interactive oven mitt karaoke competition on social media, including TikTok. As part of the #GloveOke challenge, users are encouraged to post their own “singing” gloves, and the winners will receive a Christmas set.
8. “William’s Christmas Factory” by Aldi
Discount supermarket chain Aldi continues the tradition of colorful animated campaigns featuring Kevin the Carrot, this time in a Willy Wonka-inspired Christmas short film. Kevin the Carrot finds himself at William’s Christmas factory, where various fruits and vegetables compete to participate in the Christmas celebration. All the contestants try to outdo each other, and only Kevin demonstrates a true understanding of the holiday spirit and the importance of sharing and being kind to others, so he becomes the winner.
The animation and music create a truly fabulous atmosphere, and the funny characters and witty phrases will make you watch the video from start to finish. Aldi’s campaign conveys the joy of the holiday, which becomes even greater with someone to share it with. The brand’s recipe for a perfect Christmas is kindness and the desire to give.
9. “Snapper, the Perfect Tree” by John Lewis
The Christmas campaign by Saatchi & Saatchi for the John Lewis department store chain tells a heart-warming and funny story of friendship between a boy and an unusual plant. The kid finds a box with a “Grow your perfect Christmas tree” inscription at a flea market. The boy plants the seed and takes care of it, but the plant turns out to be a Venus flytrap with a slightly carnivorous appetite. The boy’s family puts the plant outside to make room for the Christmas tree. Then, the boy shares the joy of Christmas with his friend, and eventually, the plant becomes the center of the celebration. The original composition Festa performed by Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli adds a special festive and dramatic mood to the video.
10. “Take a Holiday from the Holidays” by IKEA
Sometimes, preparing for the holidays can be a very exhausting and energy-consuming task. The main message of the IKEA holiday campaign is that, sometimes, you need to slow down amid all the hustle and bustle and restore your inner balance. So, in its holiday advert, IKEA invites us to take a holiday from the holidays. By showing people who find their own islands of calm during this stressful period, the brand also subtly demonstrates its offers that will help you create a comfortable refuge from the holiday rush. The advert is set to a cover of ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’ by Tiffany, a singer popular in the 80s, and this choice of soundtrack enhances the mood of the campaign even more.
To wrap up
Christmas adverts are a special genre that go far beyond the usual brand promotion. They help build a strong emotional bond with customers. That’s why in their holiday campaigns, brands turn to key values such as kindness, support, or love. These are evergreen themes that always resonate with the audience. So, if you are looking for inspirational ideas for sincere creative communication or just want to get your daily dose of positive emotions, you can always turn to Christmas adverts.
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