8 of the Best Holiday Television Ads of 2016

December 14, 2016 Great Ad Examples

What would this time of the year be without a look at the best holiday television ads for 2016? Advertisers, especially across the pond, have done themselves proud again this year.

Waitrose – #HomeForChristmas

Waitrose is a chain of supermarkets in the UK. Their Christmas 2016 ad features a brave robin that takes off from his home in a broken down shed and travels many miles to the backyard of a young girl in Britain, where she awaits his annual return.  The use of epic scenic shots and a storyline that gets the viewer caught up in rooting for the bird are really what makes this commercial excellent.

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtKYdG9r0Pk[/embedyt]

Lidl – Homecoming

Not to be outdone by Waitrose, Lidl, a German grocery store chain, creates a Christmas ad that is very like Apple’s Christmas ad from 2013. This ad features adult siblings and their children coming together to rejuvenate the old family home as a surprise for their elderly father. The commercial effectively uses quick cuts, natural background audio, and a similar rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” as Apple used. Even so, it’s touching and works.

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yv_qvInbiss[/embedyt]

Heathrow Airport – Coming Home for Christmas

If you haven’t yet seen this, I’m glad to bring it to you. An elderly toy bear couple in the likeness of Paddington make their way back to Britain for the holiday, encountering all the troubles of travel along the way. The commercial is put to an original song created by Chas & Dave, the English pop duo. It’s a well-done piece.

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oq1r_M5a6uI[/embedyt]

Lowes – Ginger Deer

Lowes puts together a nice stop-action holiday ad that features a deer-shaped gingerbread man that doesn’t fit in with the rest of the cookies. He tries hard to find his own way, eventually showing the rest of the cookies that his uniqueness is what makes him special.

John Lewis – #BustertheBoxer

John Lewis has a history of producing fantastic Christmas commercials and 2016 is no different. This spot features Buster the Boxer who becomes envious of the fun the neighborhood animals are having with a new trampoline. It’s an excellent and unique story with excellent CGI.

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sr6lr_VRsEo[/embedyt]

M & S – Christmas with love from Mrs Claus

Mrs. Claus lends a hand to personally take care of a request of a boy who wants to give his sister a present for Christmas. The ad uses great scene design, VO, and background audio. The story has been told before, but this ad uses a fresh approach.

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5QPXhStb5I[/embedyt]

H&M – Come Together

While I was excited to see what director Wes Anderson could do with a big budget and star Adrien Brody, what we got was good but not great. Many of the signature elements that Anderson employs in his movies are on display here, but the long-form ad lags in parts and doesn’t pay off big in the end.


McDonald’s – The Doll

McDonald’s UK created this ad in which a toy store owner puts Juliette the Doll in the front window of his store in hopes that perhaps this will be the year that someone brings her home for Christmas. The story is touching, even if it culminates in the doll going to McDonalds out of loneliness.

[embedyt] https://youtu.be/l-RG9bJHZ30[/embedyt]