A Christmas Ad-Venture

Home and Lifestyle
November 24, 2020

It goes without saying, the festive season doesn’t begin until Christmas adverts start appearing on our screens. After a tumultuous and tough year for all, watching a series of scenes that pull on our heartstrings is the reminder of the normality we’ve all been searching for.

Throughout this year, brands have tapped into the sentiment of community, giving back and staying connected. Reviewing how Christmas is being communicated in 2020, we take a look at adverts from Coca Cola, John Lewis and Waitrose, ALDI, Lidl, McDonalds and Lego.

 

McDonald’s

We can’t help but give in to the giddying excitement that Christmas sparks, as displayed in the ‘Inner Child’ by McDonald’s. Sound-tracked by Becky Hill’s take on Forever Young, we see a mother struggling, but failing, to bring out the playful side of her son, despite many attempts. The ‘inner child’ proves a moving visual metaphor for an older son who wants to have festive fun, but for some reason continues to resist. Eventually finding a way to dissolve this inner conflict that is often present in teenagers (we’ve all been there) the ‘inner child’ is finally released, giving in to the seasonal spirit during a trip to McDonalds.

After enduring a difficult year, now more than ever people need the catharsis of simple Christmas delights – and apparently a McDonald’s drive through does the trick!

Lucre team rating: 4 out of 5

 

Coca Cola

The quintessential Christmas advert, this year’s Coca Cola visual brings something a bit different from the usual ‘Christmas is Coming’ slogan. Directed by Academy Award winning Taika Waititi, a father embarks on an epic treck to deliver his daughter’s letter to Santa – against all odds. Realising only when on an oil rig in the middle of the ocean that he forgot to deliver his daughter’s letter, the father battles all elements to reach the North Pole…only to find that it’s closed for the holidays. Eventually picked up by the iconic Coca Cola truck sent to take him home, he discovers that all she had wished was for her daddy to come home.

A classic tear-jerker, this advert definitely pulls on the heart strings. The feeling of isolation and disconnect has been an overarching theme throughout the pandemic, and as Coca Cola so perfectly portrays, all we  want for Christmas is something we can all offer – to be reunited with our loved ones.

Lucre team rating: 4 out of 5

 

LEGO

A Christmas advert debut, LEGO have assigned children and parents alike to ‘Rebuild the World’. Equipped with LEGO’s humble bricks, the advert captures the powers of creativity in all of us. From blue horses, car chases, sausage trees, jedis, ninjas and dinosaurs, this Christmas campaign celebrates the optimism and open-mindedness needed to look ahead towards a better time.

Set to an adaptation of Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World, the image of children and parents building worlds together is also a nod to the difficult but insightful times parents have faced in home-schooling their children. The idea of rebuilding the world also captures the innovative ways families have stayed connected throughout the pandemic. Whilst not heavy on Christmas motifs, this advert champions the positives of a difficult year, and offers a dose of childlike optimism for good measure.

Celebrating the joy Christmas brings, these brands acknowledge that 2020 has been a little bit different – but also offer some fun, light-hearted festivities – bringing back a taste of the joyous normality of Christmas that we all need.

Lucre team rating: 3.5 out of 5

 

John Lewis and Waitrose

Circling through various scenes depicting acts of kindness, each element in this advert is linked by a heart motif in the form of a car tyre, a balloon or an extravagant hairdo. Its tagline ‘Give a Little Love’ is given another dimension upon learning that this advert was produced using multiple forms of animated artwork. Requiring the skills of various artists from the creative industry, one of the hardest-hit sectors of the pandemic, this helps spread the message to simply be kind.

Far from simple, this advert is highly effective, offering a rich and considered quality. Whilst this year the much-anticipated John Lewis advert isn’t the traditional tear-jerker, maybe all we need is a reason to smile?

Lucre team rating: 3.5 out of 5

 

ALDI

As the old saying goes, ‘if ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. Kevin the Carrot has been ALDI’s festive friend for a number of years now, and this year it’s no different. A light-hearted take on the problem many families are facing, Kevin might not get back to his loved ones in time for the festivities. With the help of Harry the Hedgehog and Santa’s motorbike, Kevin is transported back ET-style and reunited with his nearest and dearest.

Full of puns – the turkey shouts ‘I’m roasting!’ – this advert doesn’t ignore this year’s sentiment, but delivers the charming, light-hearted entertainment people are yearning for this Christmas.

Lucre team rating: 3.5 out of 5

 

LIDL

In LIDL’s parody on the overly sweet tradition of Christmas ads, what seems a classic festive clip stands apart from other brand’s attempts. Poking fun at its overly emotive competition, invasive price tags disrupt a cutesy Christmas scene of a girl offering a mince pie to a robin. The scene continues to mock other brand’s attempts – most notably its rival ALDI. The narrator sweetly sings ‘we don’t need cutesy characters when our carrots taste this good’, as a Kevin the Carrot lookalike is stabbed with a fork, a tear escaping its eye.

This refreshing, tongue-in-cheek advert takes aim at competing brands. Offering some refreshing light relief from what’s already been an emotional year, the ad stands out from the crowd…and does a great job of showcasing its products in the process!

Lucre team rating: 3 out of 5