Thought Leadership

All I want for Christmas is ads

The BITE Big Christmas ad round-up is a testament to the enduring power of creativity.

Nicola Kemp

Editorial Director Creativebrief


How do you solve a problem like marketing the most excessive time of year in the midst of a cost of living crisis? This was the conundrum at the top of marketers' to-do lists at the end of a year which was at risk of leaving a creative legacy of missed opportunity. 

Yet this year’s Christmas ads stood as a reminder of the power of brand marketing in uncertain times. Brands successfully embraced the challenge; from Boots and VMLY&R 6 delivering a masterclass in cost of living creativity to John Lewis redefining the Christmas ad to recognise and support people in care.  

Then, of course, we couldn’t Elf ourselves but admire the mass market cut through delivered with joy by Asda and Havas, embracing the festive joy of Buddy the Elf with creative flare. In a year in which trend watchers were delivered so many moments, we could never have predicted Hollywood superstars Will Ferell and Octavia Spencer discussing Buddy the Elf’s return on Capital FM was exactly what we needed. (The fact that Spencer not only declared her love for ASDA, but also shared she didn't know it was called ASDA and had presumed it to be A-S-D-A was in itself a marketing moment of its own.) 

Yet while industry commentators love nothing more than debating which ad ‘won’ Christmas arguably the bigger win is for the creative industry as a whole. As for in one magical moment in the year, everyone outside your advertising bubble is debating the Christmas advertising bonanza. We loved them all and with that in mind here is a selection of the best delivered with joyful wishes for a fulfilling festive break.

Thankyou for the Christmas ad

The adam&eveDDB team continue to write the marketing rulebook of Christmas advertising for another heart-warming John Lewis festive spot.

Argos urges consumers to get christmas ready 

The festive campaign, “They’re coming. Be ready”, from The&Partnership readies shoppers for the Christmas onslaught. 

Tesco and BBH launch the Christmas party

Reflecting consumers’ desire to escape the tough current climate, the supermarket giant highlighting’s the joy of Christmas in a show of cost-of living creativity.

Farmer Christmas returns for Morrisons 

Publicis Poke’s Morrison’s campaign shines a light on the work which British farmers do to help make Christmas so special and halos the work of Morrisons' own staff, as the ‘real life elves’ who help make more than half the fresh food.

Boots and VMLY&R deliver Christmas joy for all 

Boots expertly navigates the tightrope of the cost of living crisis and Christmas joy, with the launch of the festive ‘Joy For All’ campaign, starring actress Lydia West.

McDonald’s launches ‘The Alternative Christmas List’

The fast food giant’s festive spot from Leo Burnett highlights the joy of togetherness at Christmas.

Aldi releases Christmas teaser campaign 

Everyone’s favourite carrot, Kevin, is back with a teaser paying homage to Nike’s 1998 World Cup Campaign.

Walkers campaign encourages people to share this Christmas

The festive campaign sees the brand team up with Comic Relief and Roman Kemp to encourage people to share more (feelings not crisps!)

British Heart Foundation celebrates the gift that keeps living

In the midst of the cost of living crisis, Saatchi & Saatchi’s new campaign for the British Heart Foundation hits all the right notes. The creative was developed after the agency worked closely with the BHF’s Patient and Public Panel to speak with people living with heart conditions and their loved ones. 

Heartwarming national lottery love story highlights the joy of winning

The spot from adam&eveDDB combines love and the lottery as two games of luck. It’s a campaign that will put a smile on even the biggest Scrooges’ faces that follows the story of a chance encounter between two people who meet on a train home at Christmas time. 

Paddy Power asks where were you in 2022? 

Paddy Power capitalises on the unique creativity opportunity of 2022’s football-filled festive buildup in its latest campaign from Droga5. 

Irish postal service delivers love at Christmas 

Ireland’s national postal service has launched its festive campaign with help from Folk Wunderman Thompson which brings to life the importance of sending love at Christmas.

Landsec campaign pokes fun at those awkward Christmas conversations 

The latest Christmas campaign for Landsec shopping centres and retail outlets from Snap London tells audiences to avoid the awkwardness and ‘leave people speechless’ with great gifts.

Marks and Spencer put local communities at the heart of Christmas 

Marks & Spencer Clothing & Home’s Christmas campaign from House 337 celebrates the generosity behind an M&S gift that will see the retail giant donate £1 million to the Neighbourly Foundation, a charity that supports local community causes across the UK.

Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot is Home Alone 

Aldi is leaning on the festive firepower of seasonal film classic ‘Home Alone’ in its Christmas spot starring Kevin the Carrot from McCann UK.

Why diversity is not just for Christmas

Siân Blackman, Account Director at The Diversity Standards Collective shares why brands must break through the homogeneity of Christmas past and champion authentic representation year round.

Will a frugal Christmas fall flat? 

From buying early to not buying at all, this will be a festive period where many in the industry are struggling to make meaningful long-term forecasts. We asked industry leaders to share their predictions for a Christmas like no other.

Why we needed kindness in advertising this Christmas 

In an uncertain world and an unforgiving economic climate, Lucky Generals’ Cressida Holmes-Smith reminds us that kindness has never been more important.

Brands have a duty of care to their communities this Christmas 

Against a backdrop of a cost of living crisis, House337’s Zara Ineson says that giving back is both morally right and commercially smart for businesses.

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