The creation of an advert for Christmas appears to have developed into a competition between some of the UK’s major department stores over recent years. In this article, we look at three of the leading contenders for 2016. All of these ads, which were released around mid-November, seek to epitomise the spirit of Christmas and, through creating a symbolic connection with their products, encourage consumers to do their Christmas shopping in their particular store! The first of the adverts we will look at is the one produced by John Lewis.

The John Lewis Christmas Advert – Buster the Boxer

With a mood that contrasts sharply with the quite sombre Man on The Moon advert of 2015, this upbeat production revolves around a boxer dog, Buster. The father of the household buys his young daughter, Bridget, a trampoline for Christmas. Buster has to endure the sight of various animals, including foxes, a badger, a squirrel and a hedgehog having a whale of a time on the trampoline while he is locked indoors. On Christmas morning, Buster can no longer contain himself and races past Bridget to try it out for himself, to her surprise and that of her parents. The title of the advert is “Gifts That Everyone Will Love.”

The M&S Christmas Advert – Christmas with Love from Mrs Claus

The M&S Christmas advert for 2016 has captured the hearts and imaginations of audiences. The plot revolves around the sophisticated wife of Santa Claus, Mrs Claus. After waving Santa goodbye as he sets out off his sleigh, Mrs Claus sets out to save the Christmas of Jake, a little boy from London who has allowed the family dog to destroy his sister’s shoes. Travelling in her state of the art red helicopter, R-Dolph, she arrives on time to deliver Jake’s Christmas gift – a new pair of shoes for his sister. Mrs Claus arrives home before Santa who, on his return, finds her asleep on the sofa with a gift awaiting him beneath the tree. For many, this advert, entitled Christmas With Love, captures the very essence of Christmas – family and giving.

Sainsbury’s Christmas Advert – The Greatest Gift

Based on the hectic life of a hard-working father who finds it impossible to spend the time he would like with his family, this is a musical advert sung by actor, comedian and presenter James Corden, the characters being played by puppets. Ultimately, the father manages to find a way to give his family, “The Greatest Gift”, which is the advert’s title. As he has discovered and sings, “The greatest gift is me.” Once again, the quintessential Christmas message – the importance of the family – is beautifully encapsulated. Of equal note is that Sainsbury’s have committed to donate all of the proceeds of the campaign that was launched by the advert to provide accommodation for the families of children in Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Whilst these adverts have prompted much debate as to which of them is the best, several weeks before the festive season even starts, they are all, in their own way, excellent examples of how to create a wonderful showcase for the respective department stores and add to that little extra sparkle to Christmas. Time to start planning y our own Business Video for 2017?