Which one is your favourite?
There was a time when the countdown to 25th December was marked by a chocolate advent calendar – not any more. Now it’s all about the battle of the Christmas ads – as retailers battle it out to make us cry, and buy…
ALDI – Telescope Christmas Advert
STARS: Jean, the punchy pensioner with a penchant for Aldi gin
WHAT’S THE STORY? With moon landings famously being one small step for man and a giant leap for mankind, for Jean, getting there is just a case of sitting-back and enjoying the view. She elegantly flies across the night sky in a comfy armchair that is airborne thanks to a bunch of colourful balloons. Her space mission is to surprise a lonely, elderly gentleman who is focused on comparing telescope prices. Vying for the gentleman’s attention with a cheeky little wave, Jean cascades from above as he discovers that Aldi prices are anything but astronomical after comparing a John Lewis telescope with one from Aldi that costs a lot less. Jean certainly didn’t think that the difference in price needed a telescope to put Aldi value into perspective.
DID YOU KNOW? Keen-eyed viewers will have spotted this is a clear spoof of the much-talked-about John Lewis advert below…
JOHN LEWIS – The man on the moon
STARS: Six-year-old Orlii from North London, plays Lily, and French actor Jean.
WHAT’S THE STORY? Get the tissues ready. John Lewis have another tear-jerking special that will melt even the hardest hearts. To the moving soundtrack Half The World Away, little Lily spies an old man living alone in a crater on the moon. Eventually Lily manages to send him a gift and, realising someone cares, his eyes fill with tears – as do the eyes of many viewers.
Of course, it’s the perfect chance of John Lewis to sell moon merchandise but, as it’s the season of goodwill they’ve also teamed up with charity Age UK to make Christmas less lonely.
DID YOU KNOW? The ad took three weeks to film and the ‘moon’ was made from 100 kilos of pumice stone and polystyrene rocks.
Last year’s John Lewis ad starring Monty the Penguin and his search for love was watched on You Tube over 22 million times. It is said to have boosted sales by almost 25% to over £113 million.
M&S – An adventure
STARS: Eight-year-old Neve
STORYLINE: Realising they can’t compete with John Lewis’s sentimental schmaltz, M&S have gone a very different route.
In a series of seven short ads, that will make you sit up and take notice, there is a fast past-soundtrack (Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk and Clean Bandit’s Rather Be) and even faster moving images. And, for a little taste of nostalgia there’s a glimpse of Eric and Ernie and their hit Bring me Sunshine.
DID YOU KNOW? The campaign has been produced by RSA, founded by director Ridley Scott who’s better known for directing horror movie Alien.
MORRISONS – The real stars
COST: Estimated £1 million
STARS: Instead of celebs, the stars are real-life colleagues from across the country, including butchers, bakers, greengrocers and fishmongers.
STORYLINE: The highly paid celebs that featured in previous years have made way for feel-good images of British farmers delivering their sprouts and in-store bakers cooking up a whole host of treats, including stollen.
In a rare move for a Christmas advert this one actually features products you can buy!
DID YOU KNOW? Last year their ad featuring Ant and Dec couldn’t save them from having the worst sales figures of all five big supermarkets. They’re hoping that focussing on the real-life stars will turn their profits around.
BURBERRY – So starry
COST: Not known – but last year they paid Romeo Beckham a rumoured £45,000 fee. And this year they’re also donating £500,000 to charity.
STARS: Romeo Beckham, James Corden, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Naomi Campbell, Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery
STORYLINE: Burberry has gone full gloss and celeb-heavy in an epic three-minute advert that they’re calling a ‘festive film’ –although, to be fair, there isn’t much of a plot
While it’s billed as a tribute to the film Billy Elliot on its 15th anniversary, in fact all it features is big name celebrities bouncing on trampolines, showing off their designer clothes.
DID YOU KNOW? Julie Walters appears in both the advert and the film – she won a BAFTA for playing teacher Mrs Wilkinson in Billy Elliot, while Sir Elton John – who wrote the music, also features in the ad.
For the first time model Rosie Huntingdon-Whiteley appears in the ad alongside her little brother Toby.
LIDL – A lot to learn
STARS: Stanley the Boxer dog
WHAT’S THE STORY? It’s back to school for Lidl where they’re teaching us how to have the perfect Christmas. There are lessons on how to make the perfect leftover sandwich, ‘ho, ho, ho’ master classes and also how to untangle fairy lights. It even features Stanley the Boxer dog in a cute Santa Clause costume. What’s not to like?
DID YOU KNOW? Lidl has launched a virtual school of Christmas online where you can go for extra classes, including tips from their resident chef, Michelin star winner Kevin Love. Be warned, there’s homework!
Aldi – A feast of festive favourite things
WHAT’S THE STORY? Set to the tune of a well-known classic from The Sound of Music, Aldi’s Christmas advert offering looks at one of our favourite things about the festive season – food! From sweet treats to savoury delights, with a little bit of magic thrown in – which fantastic foodie offering is your favourite?
DID YOU KNOW? The famous ‘Sound of Music’ song was recorded by up-and-coming British artist, Jade Williams.
CURRYS PC WORLD – A Hollywood masterclass
STARS: Jeff Goldblum
STORYLINE: It’s not everyday a Hollywood star bursts in as you’re unwrapping your gift. But Jurassic Park star Jeff Goldblum does just that.
If you’ve ever had to fake excitement at receiving a terrible present then you’ll need Jeff’s acting masterclass. He’s so good one hapless husband ends up kissing him on the lips.
Of course, this being an advert, the actual message is that it’s easier to buy people high-tech gifts they want than to get a Hollywood star to teach us how to appear grateful. Given the ad cost £10 million, it’s also much cheaper.
DID YOU KNOW? Jeff, 63, will celebrate his first Christmas with son Charlie Ocean, born four months ago.