7th December 2023
Christmas campaigns that stood out in 2023
If the weekend’s festivities and the 7th advent calendar door haven’t already left you feeling warm and fuzzy inside we’re pretty sure a journey through these 2023 Christmas Campaigns will.
Dive into the thoughts of five of the Silver team on the campaigns that stood out to them within 2023’s fantastic line-up.
Katie Walsh – Art Director
Campaign: Joy Ride
It’s that time of year again when every creative, consumer and ad lover gets to enjoy the pure brilliance of the Christmas campaigns that emerge from the giants like John Lewis and M&S through to the lesser-known brands. This year, one advert stood out from the crowd for me, Amazon’s Joy Ride. It makes me smile, warms my heart and leaves me saying aloud, “I really, really love this advert” each time I watch it.
The advert tells the story of three life-long friends in the autumn of their lives rediscovering the sheer joy of their youth on a snow-covered hill through the purchasing of something as simple as a seat cushion by one of the friends.
Why do I love it? Not only can I imagine me and my lifelong friends doing the same when we reach their age, but the simple, one-dimensional storyline really lands. It is heart-warming because it’s so human – relatable regardless of age. In fact, I’m smiling right now as I write this and think back to it.
Very, very clever Amazon!
Jeremy Bliss – Growth & Client Success Director
Brand: John Lewis
Campaign: Snapper: The Perfect Tree
For many, Christmas is all about coming together. This beautiful story focuses on just that, starting with a seemingly routine visit to an antique market where the grandson discovers the ‘seed to grow the perfect Christmas tree’. This ‘perfect tree’ turns out to be Snapper, a larger-than-life Venus flytrap who reminds us of a destructive but loveable family pet, and the family faces many trials and tribulations along the way.
The end result is a creative, memorable and truly unique campaign for the festive period. Bravo to John Lewis and their new agency partners for the bold step away from the tear-jerking campaigns that were previous synonymous with John Lewis.
Naturally, this character-led piece also lends itself to a variety of merchandise – books, toys, slippers, you name it – many of which my little one is currently decked out in as by chance we bought a Venus fly trap just a few weeks before the campaigns launch. I might therefore be slightly influenced by Venus flytrap fever, but the focus on traditions is what captured me as those are the things that we all hold dear and last a lifetime.
Chris Belmore – Senior Account Director
Campaign: A Holiday to Remember
In this spot, we see an entire family getting together for a big meal and a big family Christmas. The creative centers around a grandmother/wife, who has Alzheimer’s disease. One of the older grandchildren hears her grandad say, “there are good days and bad days” and decides, “let’s make today a good day.” She then proceeds to take her grandma on the most heart-warming trip down memory lane in the grandparents’ old Chevy truck.
This advert hit me right off the bat, because it so perfectly captures the raw emotion families feel around the holidays when someone has this type of disease. I experienced this first hand with my grandfather who had dementia for the last ten years of his life. I know those “some good days and some not,” where you pine for just a glimpse, a smile or a moment with the loved one you once knew – before it was lost back to the disease.
Chevrolet no doubt understands the emotional feelings of their audience during this time and how important it is for everyone to be together, but I loved that at the center of getting this moment back – and the catalyst – was their family Chevy Suburban. Its very subtle angle as well, there isn’t an abundance of the logo, just a simple message that Chevrolet has been with you from the start, and will be with you every step of the way on life’s journey – with the younger generations of the family arriving in new Chevrolet models.
Jonny Cartwright – Director of Strategy
Campaign: Become more Christmas
As someone that loves what’s known in our house as a ‘Christmas-party-food dinner’ (so much so that we started the tradition in November this year!), Tesco’s ‘Become more Christmas’ ad really stood out to me this year.
Following in the footsteps of all great ads, whether festive or not, it takes a straightforward insight and brings it to life in a captivating, very real way.
The insight in this case is simple: that for many people, the festive feels go way beyond the big day itself. (In my case ‘before’ as well as ‘beyond’ – you can never have too many Christmas-party-food dinners’!)
It’s the reality of how that insight is brought to life that I applaud most in this ad. It’s cleverly relatable – I see myself, as I’m sure others will, in the story that’s told.
Shared moments. Everyday joy. Very personal experiences. It’s genuinely heart-warming.
In a world where authenticity is often elusive, Tesco has hit the mark, creating an ad that not only sells a product (on more days than one), but sells a feeling.
Olivier Anscombe – Paid Media Strategist
Campaign: The bag for life
This advert celebrates over 25 years of JD’s iconic draw-string bag. The bag has become more and more a staple of youth culture as everyday styling of clothing becomes more ‘street centric’. Throughout the video we see young people interacting in day-to-day settings emphasising that this bag is both ‘for life’ (the long term) and for life (whatever you’re up to).
Not only is this video brand-heavy, JD utilises cameos from celebrities linked with the brand – namely British rappers Kano and Central Cee. Kano starred in Top Boy on Netflix which showcased the streetwear style to a huge audience, and Central Cee has a sponsorship deal with JD and often opts for streetwear at black tie events to represent it.
This ad appealed to me as I recently moved from Brighton – quite retro/hippie clothing styles – to Manchester, which is more diverse and where streetwear features heavily. JD has a huge influence, being one of the biggest stores in the city, so their celebration of diversity and the enduring presence of streetwear while celebrating their heritage felt poignant to me.
It’s not the most Christmassy advert, but its well targeted and represents their audience brilliantly.
And that’s a wrap! We hope you enjoyed the read.