12 ads from the 2016 Christmas holiday season that capitalise on the desperate need of their customers to be made to feel happy!
After a tumultuous and depressing year for many, it’s not the greatest surprise that all people want for Christmas is to feel happy. To be uplifted. To be made to smile from ear to ear. The holiday season is about connecting with families and friends, sharing and making memories, over-indulging on sweets, festive foods and gifts, whilst surrounded by glitzy lights and decorations. It’s about being comforted by our own Christmas traditions, about feeling nostalgic for perceived happier and less disruptive times. A harkening back to days gone by when the world was a more ordered perhaps more civilised place.
Christmas themed advertising has become part of the traditions of the holiday season. For many, the yearly release of Christmas ads, particularly that of John Lewis in the UK, heralds the start of the holiday season.
This year, ads that evoke a more traditional and sentimental Christmassy feel, while remaining whimsical and recognising that their customers need a pick me up, have proved to be the most popular according to YouTube’s global most viewed ads list. Proving once again that understanding how your customers think and feel then tapping into their emotions directly will always prove to be a winner. Especally when you also utilise an evocative soundtrack!
YouTube’s Top 10 most viewed Christmas ads of 2016 are listed below. Watch carefully and spot the seven celebrities featured. Answers at the end!
1) John Lewis – “Buster The Boxer” – UK
With over 22.5 million views, this ad tells the story of Buster, a dog who can’t wait to bounce on the trampoline in his garden. It is also the most shared video ad of 2016 according to Unruly.
2) Sainsbury’s – “The Greatest Gift” – UK
With over 14.5 million views this tells the story of Dave who realises that the greatest gift he can give his family this Christmas is his time.
3) Burberry — “The Tale of Thomas Burberry” – UK
With over 14.2 million views this sumptuous short film tells the story of Thomas Burberry, Burberry’s founder.
4) EDEKA – “Zeitschenken (The Best Gift)” – Germany
With over 10 million views this video echoes other Christmas ads, and tells the story of a couple who realise that the best gift they can give their children is their time.
5) H&M – “Come Together” – Global
With over 8.7 million views, this Wes Anderson-directed video tells the story of a train conductor who saves Christmas for his unhappy passengers when their train is delayed.
6) Coca-Cola Brazil – “Neste Natal, agradeça com Coca-Cola (This Christmas thank with Coca-Cola)”
With over 8 million views the Brazilian version of the Coca-Cola ad outshines its compatriots in other countries. It tells the story of a young boy who secretly gifts a bottle of Coke to people busy preparing for Christmas.
7) Apple – “Frankie’s Holiday” – Global
With over 7.6 million views this tells the story of an unexpected holiday visitor receiving the warm welcome he’s always dreamed of and encourages us to ‘open your heart to everyone’!
8) Marks & Spencer – “Christmas With Love From Mrs Claus” – UK
With over 7.5 million views this ad features Mrs Claus coming to the rescue and providing the perfect gift for a little boy to give his big sister.
9) Whiskas Temptations – “Keep Them Busy” – US
With over 5.1 million views this ad tells the tale of what happens when cats are not given treats at Christmas!
10) Heathrow Airport – “Coming Home for Christmas” – UK
With nearly 4.6 million views this uses elderly teddy bears to convey the message that being reunited with your family at Christmas is the best gift!
As it’s Christmas and we all like receiving gifts I’ve added two more ads that whilst not yet racking up the viewing figures both made me smile! Merry Christmas!
11) Aldi Germany – The Hunger of the Gods
With over 243,000 views in its native tongue, this ad shows that even the Gods shop at Aldi for their parties!
12) Lexus – “December to Remember: Forgery” – US
With over 35,000 views, this ad is part of a five spot campaign that features parents coaxing their children via any means into asking Santa Claus for a Lexus for Christmas!
Answers – score one point for James Corden singing in the Sainsbury’s ad, four points for Sienna Miller, Lily James, Domhnall Gleeson, and Dominic West in Burberry, one point for Brad Garrett in Apple’s ad, one point for Adrien Brody for H&M and two bonus points for spotting Robin Williams and Bobby McFerrin in the “Be happy, don’t worry” music video!