The Best of 2021 Christmas Video Campaigns?

The holiday season is officially here! And the forecast for the whole of December is reportedly anticipated – heavy falling of Christmas ads.

So, what are the trends this year – traditional storytelling or contemporary narrative? Let’s have a look at what different companies have prepared this year.


1. Apple

Apple tugs at the heartstrings, presenting a touching story of a family that spends Christmas without a late loved one for the first time.

The story is saddening but warming, highlighting the essence of the holiday – to make the time special and memorable for someone.

The only product placement implemented for the three minutes is the iPad. Other than its conventional use, the device is used for bringing back the memory of the lost grandmother. – And insert applause here. Apple is always smart with marketing, their not-so-direct positioning approach is successful, namely because it relies on emotion.

Do you need an iPad? No, you don’t. Will you consider getting one after watching? – Most probably.


2. Barbour and Sons

Barbour & Sons is a British luxury and lifestyle brand founded in the distant 1894. For its long existence, the company has learned that traditional means in marketing campaigns produce the best results. – And they are not far from the truth.

For this year, they chose a much favorite animation character to deliver customers their Christmas message – giving gifts that will always be remembered.

We see Paddington Bear in the middle of wrapping presents. Going through his gift list, he realizes that he has forgotten about someone very special. There is no time for shopping, so he decides to renew an old but adored clothing item with Barbour’s Wax Thornproof Dressing. – Classical, yet timelessly clever way to product place goods.

The ending is sweet and sentimental, uplifting the Christmas spirit just fine. We definitely give it 10/10!


3. Aldi

Bringing to life Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol is Aldi‘s way to advertise their company this 2021. The charming interpretation of the tale sends us to a parallel world, where the fruits and vegetables live as humans and experience the holiday joy just as strongly.

Yes, it is predictable, but it intrigues, nonetheless. The animation is original and imaginative. And what is important is the moral conveyed – “The answer you’ll find, for you to be happy, you need to be kind.”.

Scrooge is a paragon of how kindness can change someone’s day, week, year, future. With that, they urge consumers to become givers and engage in charity, following their lead of starting a seasonal holiday campaign, which will donate 1.8 million meals to families in need across the UK.


4. McDonald’s

McDonald’s transfers us back to our childhood days, bringing forgotten memories. The chain is discretely implemented within the advert with Christmas in the background, the main focus is on the story – the relationship between a little girl and her imaginary monster friend.

The concept and performance are plain but moving, leaving you craving McDonald’s chocolate shake and baked apple pie.


5. Disney


Disney introduced The Stepdad on the 3rd of November, kick-off starting the festive season, sprinkling from its magic dust all across the different media channels.

The ones who pay close attention will already know that The Stepdad is a sequence from last year’s Christmas ad From Our Family To Yours, following Nicole, who is now all grown up and with a family of her own.



The topic discussed is, as it can be inferred by the title, unique for this type of commercials. However, it does not fail to shake us up, in a good way, of course.

The center of the story is a fairytale book, which showcases the power of storytelling and how it can strengthen family bonds. It is traditionally Disney and unconventionally Christmassy. – What is not to love about it?


6. John Lewis

John Lewis went against the grain this year.

Employing a modern narrative, the high-end department stores company wishes us a Happy Christmas by transferring us to a sci-fi alternate universe, where we follow the progression of the relationship between a boy and an alien girl.

Being an extra-terrestrial, the girl is not familiar with Christmas, and the boy introduces her to all essentials of the holiday season. – Sounds like an Arthur C. Clarke and Roald Dahl collaboration, a bizarre, but wonderful combination, which some were fascinated with, and others absolutely despised. To quote, “Came here to feel Christmassy. Left wanting my life to end.” – Erh, certainly not the effect they wanted to achieve.

In the end, that’s a calculated risk taken. Definitely do give it a watch and decide your opinion on your own.


7. Amazon

Amazon also took a different strategy on Christmas advert-producing this year. But unlike John Lewis, they achieved success. Kindness, the greatest gift, deals with young adults’ mental health state in the post-pandemic era.

The video is touching, propagating Christmas’s principal virtue – kindness. Except for the storyline, what is also intriguing is the director’s simplistic approach. The locations are far from cozy, they are urban and blunt. Computer-generated imagery is not included anywhere. What brings the holiday warmth in are the characters.

The video can serve as a good example for startup companies and for businesses operating with a limited budget. A lot can be accomplished with non-extensive funds only by enhancing the power of storytelling.


8. Hobby Lobby

Hobby Lobby uses a similar tactic.

The arts and crafts stores chain turns a single location into a Christmas sanctuary, concentrating on how sometimes magic is not all flying deers and hiding in the garden gnomes, but the family that is the true miracle in each person’s life.


9. M&S

Mark & Spencer set their Christmas advert in their store. Percy Pig, an icon, which smiles from the packaging of their sweet goods, comes to life and begins his festive venture, encountering all of M&S’s Christmas deal foods.

The ad is short and sweet. It doesn’t really trigger deep emotions, but its quirky holiday spirit gives you the childish sense of festivity and anticipation you unquestionably need at the beginning of December.


10. Very

Very reminds us that Christmas can be started at any time of the year. Their ad is lively and hilarious and encompasses as much holiday cheer as thirty seconds can uphold.

Again, a budget-friendly inspiration for smaller companies, celebrating the bliss of Christmas and the fact that family can again gather together after two long years of being under strict Covid-19 restrictions.


Final Thoughts

2021 holiday video campaigns are indeed diverse, covering different topics, conveying meaningful messages, and bringing out various aspects of the “new normal” Christmas.

Nonetheless, all of them carry the bright notion of December, prompting you to celebrate and do good for those around you.

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