We ranked 2022’s brand Christmas ads.
Feeling festive? Brands are too. Check out our list of 2022’s Christmas ads.
It’s me again. Ella Seasmith, Head of Engagement at Puzzle, (Future) 16th Doctor Who and now Christmas Connoisseur.
Let’s set the scene: the bells are jingling, it’s almost mulled wine season and Christmas markets across the world are beginning to be set up. Which means it’s time to – you guessed it – rate this year’s Christmas ads!
*Drumroll* Let’s get rating.
The rules: every brand will get a rating out of 10, a vibe check, a criticism (Rotten Sprout) and a highlight (Gold Star).
Sainsbury’s Christmas Ad – Once Upon A Pud
Our rating: 5/10
Vibe check: Fairytale extravagance
Rotten Sprout: The whole opulence vibe does feel slightly off amongst, ya know, the whole cost of living crisis, even if it is fairytale-y.
Gold Star: It does however nicely link into their Taste the Difference branding tho, so props for that.
ASDA Christmas Ad – Have Your Elf A Merry Christmas
Our rating: 6/10
Vibe check: Festive fun
Rotten Sprout: Using Elf does low-key feel like a cop out like they didn’t have a good idea themselves. Sorry not sorry.
Gold Star: It’s an inoffensive feel-good Christmas ad
Sidenote: Elf is one of the best Christmas films imo – don’t come for me.
TK Maxx Christmas Ad – Christmas Nailed
Our rating: 6.7/10
Vibe check: Vibey bizarre
Rotten Sprout: WHY is the audio dubbed/out of sync at the start?! Infuriating.
Gold Star: Nicely relevant to consumer mindset and current climate (money saving/cost of living) and very bizarre (in a fun way?)
ALDI Christmas Ad – Feast of Football
Our rating: 2/10
Vibe check: Footy festive
Rotten Sprout: Bah, humbug! It doesn’t have much of a Christmas feel to it. Boo.
Gold Star: Footy does feel relevant to their consumer base and it’s a nice workaround to talk about the upcoming World Cup without mentioning it by name.
Sidenote: Given the ongoing safety issues LGBTQ+ people face in Qatar, referencing the World Cup is probably not the direction I’d have personally suggested.
Boots Christmas Ad – #JoyForAll
Our rating: 7/10
Vibe check: Cosy wholesome
Rotten Sprout: As always with Boots, it does place a large emphasis on shopping/buying. It would be nice to see something different/more unique from them (maybe next year?🤞).
Gold Star: Really nice to see a lovely diverse group of people and felt really authentic and relevant within the narrative, too. Very nice work, Boots!
M&S Christmas Ad – Fairy & Duckie
Our rating: 7/10
Vibe check: Christmas classic
Rotten Sprout: CHILL OUT! Way too product pushy – the Duckie/Fairy characters were vehicles to sell products rather than a story.
Gold Star: Love an animated Christmas ad, it did have a very festive feel, which I always live for.
Lidl Christmas Ad – The Story of Lidl Bear
Our rating: 4/10
Vibe check: Unhinged festivities
Rotten Sprout: WTF? Was not expecting the story to go like that. It felt like they were trying to break the 4th wall of Christmas ads and be comedic – but I’m sorry, Lidl, it failed.
Gold star: The bear is cute tho
Tesco Christmas Ad – The Christmas Party
Our rating: 9/10
Vibe check: Motivational cheer
Rotten Sprout: Reminded me about our current Prime Minister rotations.
Gold Star: Tesco have managed to do something I thought no brand would achieve – which is create a politically in-tune and socially aware ad that still feels upbeat and festive. Referencing cost of living in a way that feels authentic, relevant and helpful to their consumers (e.g. meal for 5 for £25).
Sidenote: bonus point for Simon Farnaby VO.
Mcdonalds Christmas Ad – The List
Our rating: 5/10
Vibe check: Insincere emotional
Rotten Sprout: I get what they were trying to do – I really do. But I don’t think it quite landed. It felt like they were trying to get you emotional before the actual disruption had been established, and then the happy ‘togetherness’ resolution felt a bit rushed and cliche, and imo fell a bit flat.
Gold Star: It was really nice to see realistic representations of working family set ups – it felt very authentic and refreshing.
John Lewis Christmas Ad – The Beginner
Our rating: 9/10
Vibe check: Sentimental hope
Rotten Sprout: Not really a criticism, per se, but I don’t think anyone was expecting a Blink-182 song to back this ad.
Gold Star: Nice to see JL using their platform to dedicate to an important and valuable cause rather than product/sales pushing at a time that’s undoubtedly very difficult for a lot of people. They’re also donating Christmas decorations, gifts and food to people leaving care – so great to see they’re actioning support as well as raising awareness.
Sidenote: Did cry a bit ngl
That’s it folks, you have it, my extremely valuable rating of the key Brand Christmas ads this year.
And if you weren’t ready to accept Christmas is firmly on its way – now that John Lewis has dropped their ad, you simply have no choice but to don the Christmas Hat, stuff yourself with mince pies and… no… no, maybe it’s not quite time to put the tree up, yet.*
*I would have the tree up all year round if I could.