The Best Holiday Ads of 2017
Okay, we admit it. We watch a little more TV around the holidays than normal. (A Christmas Story on repeat? Sign us up!) And maybe, just maybe those outbound television ads kind of have a good thing going. While they won’t replace Facebook Ads for hyper targeting a business’s prime audience, holiday ads inject a dose of storytelling and emotion into an otherwise uber commercial marketing tactic. (Just ask Charlie Brown if he approves…)
So, for no other reason but that they give us all the feels, we present the best holiday ads of 2017…some are definitely destined to become classics!
1. Amazon - "Give"
Amazon is a behemoth in the world of e-commerce. And we don’t know many people who aren't Amazon junkies. So, do they really need to advertise? In a word, yes. Besides introducing us to feel-good singing boxes (cute!), this ad highlights Amazon's mobile app, sending the message that it’s easier than ever to do all of your holiday shopping anytime, anywhere. And, as we all know, these retail giants still have to keep up with the Joneses—if said Joneses are $1 billion+ companies.
2. John Lewis - "#MozTheMonster"
If the name Michel Gondry doesn’t ring a bell, perhaps you know his roster of quirky films, like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Be Kind Rewind and countless music videos. Okay, so John Lewis doesn’t actually have any stores in the US, but just try getting through this one without a tear creeping into your eye and wanting to dash to the nearest (just a 7 hour flight!) branch of John Lewis. Besides the obvious emotional appeal, John Lewis uses another popular tactic here—get a famous indie filmmaker to direct your commercial, soundtrack it with an indie Beatles cover and reap the cachet that comes with it.
3. Farmers - "Secret Santa"
Celebrating grumpy old men everywhere, this spot from Farmers department store in New Zealand is another foreign import that warms the heart. And it has all the goods—a pleasant song, engaging characters and a clear, simple storyline. There's a reason why redemption stories, à la The Grinch and Scrooge, are so popular. Stink faces abound until the very end in the most delightful way.
4. Lego - "Shake Up Imagination"
Adorable kids and the holidays go hand in hand, so this ad is a home run. While we aren’t 100% on board with the gender implications here (A token girl, Lego? Come on!), we love the cute concept. And the most interesting part? The audience only sees a few short clips of the actual product. Simply hearing the iconic sound of Legos is enough to spark these kids' imaginations. A great example of choosing the right mode for storytelling to appeal to multiple senses—this could never be accomplished with a simple print ad.
5. HP - "Create Wonder in Your World | Reinvent Giving"
It's not often that you see whimsy from a tech company. As creators ourselves, we have a soft spot for watching creative people creating things. This ad has a "kindness of strangers" appeal that makes everyone smile a little brighter around the holidays. And with extensive product shots and branding and subtle feature call-outs, HP makes it amply clear what is being advertised while not detracting from the overall experience.
An honorable mention goes to Aldi's 2017 Kevin The Carrot ad. The only animated entry in the bunch, we love anything that features a lady carrot reading "9 1/2 Leeks."
"The secret to a great #holiday ad? Creating an emotional connection through satisfying storytelling.” TWEET THIS
Although most businesses don't have the time, money or forethought to invest in a grand holiday commercial, it's important to take a page from these ads and utilize great storytelling wherever you can. Simple and emotional storytelling humanizes your brand and can make the difference between marketing that is overlooked and marketing that is not to be missed.
Writing copy is my passion, but I’m also happy as a clam designing inbound elements and troubleshooting my clients' toughest technical questions. (Google is my BFF!) I have an eye for details, a head for strategy and I truly believe that if you can’t laugh about it, what’s the point?