Retailers Spend £6 BILLION on Christmas Ads, But What Do YOU Think of Them?

Elizabeth Elden
21st November 2017, 8:00 AM
Retailers have kicked off Christmas shopping with their festive ads

Britain’s major retailers have spent £6 BILLION on Christmas ads. But are they worth it? We ask members of Latest Deals for their thoughts.

A third of adults look forward to Christmas adverts more than any film release, as Christmas advertising has become more powerful than ever in the past few years.

Last year an estimated £5.6bn was spent on the festive adverts, as retailers tried to convince shoppers to spend their Christmas cash there.

This year, as spending is expected to reach up to £6bn on the adverts.

We asked the 45,000 members of the Latest Deals Facebook group for their favourites. Here’s what the survey revealed:

1- Aldi

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJQG2lqm5ek

This years Aldi advert has been the most popular so far, coming top of our poll. One member, Ginger Nut, said, “I love Kevin and Katie, they’re cute and make me giggle every time I see them.”

It features a return of the star of their 2016 ad, Kevin the carrot, who goes on an adventure across the dinner table to find love, with Katie the carrot.

Fan favourite Kevin the carrot returns, and is joined by Katie the carrot this year

Kevin’s journey is narrated by actor Jim Broadbent, with a song that was originally featured in the 1990 Edward Scissorhands soundtrack, composed by Danny Elfman.

Aldi have confirmed that both Kevin and Katie toys will be going on sale on the 23rd November.

For special offers and the latest deals from Aldi in the lead up to Christmas, look at their merchant page on Latest Deals.

2- Marks & Spencer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfaSxIkLslE

Marks & Spencer teamed up with Paddington Bear for their Christmas advert this year.

The ad shows Paddington mistaking a burglar, played by actor Mark Benton, for Santa, and going with him to return stolen presents back to families.

The retailer’s festive campaign includes Paddington Bear merchandise in their stores, and a hashtag, #LoveTheBear.

The popular ad features Paddington Bear mistaking a burglar as Santa, and redelivering stolen presents

Marks & Spencer also hired director Daniel Kleinmann for the 90 second ad. Kleinmann has previously directed James Bond title sequences, such as Goldeneye.

The advert has been hugely popular among viewers.

Agnes Faludi, a member of the Latest Deals Facebook group, said, “Marks and Spencer made a very clear advertisement. Lots of their products were featured, but it was also artsy and very emotional.”

The ad also caused controversy, with people asking if Paddington gets sworn at by the burglar at the end.

Viewers have misheard “thank you little bear”, as being “fuck you little bear”.

Advertising watchdog ASA has even had to step in to clarify what is being said in the ad.

They said, “Whilst we appreciate some viewers may have misinterpreted this, the ad did not contain a swear word, and therefore did not break the rules.”

See discounts on Marks & Spencers products on the Latest Deals website.

3- John Lewis

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jw1Y-zhQURU

The John Lewis Christmas advert has become a marker to begin the festive season. Despite this, it only came third in our poll, as many have labelled it as a disappointment.

This year they introduced Moz the Monster as the star of the ad.

It tells the story of a boy befriending the monster under his bed, and them having so much fun together at night, that he starts falling asleep during the day

The campaign also includes Moz the Monster slippers, mugs, books, and a soft toy, that can be bought in store.

Moz the Monster is the star of this years high budget ad

The advert is estimated to have cost a total of £7million, making it one of the most expensive ads this year.

This includes hiring Academy Award winning director, Michel Gondry, to direct the two minute ad, and a soundtrack by the band Elbow.

However despite the high spending on the ad, many have said it’s a let down compared to previous years.

Laura Amy Clarke said, “John Lewis is rubbish this year, really disappointed. Their other ads were better. This year I like M&S and Aldi better.”

Shannon Bow said, “The John Lewis Christmas advert is so disappointing this year. Plus I don’t get where the monster went at the end. Definitely not my fave John Lewis advert and I normally love them!”

For discounts on John Lewis items, head to their page on Latest Deals.

4- Very.co.uk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcEy-wYFMec

This year, Very.co.uk has released an advert following a little girl, Anna, spreading festive cheer by giving out pink wrapped gifts.

In the 90 second animation, Anna goes on a quest to deliver her gifts to everyone on her Christmas list, including to Santa, as the campaign focuses on the joy of giving.

She brings her cuddly toy wolf, Ulfie, which is now available to buy from Very.co.uk, as part of their Christmas marketing campaign.

The advert follows Anna’s adventure to give Santa a Christmas present

The animated ad took over 12 months to make, with 30 people working on it.

Audiences have loved the heartwarming story in the advert.

Lorraine Otway said, “Just been moved to tears by the Very Christmas advert.”

Alice Dryden is also a fan of the ad, saying, “I’m normally immune to cutesy Christmas ads but have fallen slightly for this tale of a girl and her cuddly wolf.”

To see deals on Very.co.uk, including Black Friday offers, head to LatestDeals.co.uk

5- Debenhams

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyNhzFYP3ts&t=12s

This years’ offering from Debenhams is a fairytale inspired advert, which has so far been very popular with audiences.

The advert, narrated by Ewan McGreggor, tells a story of a man and a woman who try and find each other over Christmas, in a Cinderella-style modern fairytale.

The shoe at the centre of the ad is a limited edition Jenny Packham design exclusively for Debenhams.

The ad tells the story of a man trying to track down a woman after she leaves her shoe on a train

The You Shall Find Your Fairytale campaign is directed by Hanna Maria Heidrich, and was filmed in July in Budapest with 39 degree heat, with tonnes of fake snow used.

People have loved the fairytale theme to the advert.

One viewer, Tasmine Jade, said “The Debenhams Christmas advert might be my favourite this year, my little romantic heart appreciates it.”

Another, Lauren Hurcombe, said, “As a believer in fate, the Debenhams Christmas advert is by far my favourite this year.”

Discounts and deals on Debenhams products can be found here on the Latest Deals website.

6- Sainsburys

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WU50dLLy7Cw

Sainsburys’ Christmas advert this year has left viewers massively divided over if the advert is annoying or not.

It features an original song written by comedian Doc Brown, and shows Sainsburys’ staff and members of the public singing along to it, as well as cameos from kermit the Frog and Ricky Tomlinson.

Kermit the Frog has a cameo in this years sing-a-long ad

Some viewers have found the catchy song annoying.

One Twitter user, Scott Morgan, said, “This is the WORST Christmas advert I’ve seen in years! No effort went into making this!”

Others are loving the black and white advert.

Dom Johnson said, “Thought the Sainsbury’s Christmas advert was decent. There’s something comforting in familiarity, and who doesn’t love Kermit? Good to see a Christmas advert different to everybody else's!”

Sainsbury’s defended the ad on Twitter, saying “We have decided to keep our Christmas advert more closely aligned to our year-round advertising campaign that encourages the nation to live well.”

Unlike other retailers, they have not released other Christmas merchandise to go alongside the advert, however the song is available on Spotify, meaning it could reach Christmas number 1 this year.

See Sainsbury deals and discounts here on Latest Deals

7- ASDA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rd9wKCy1pAE

ASDA’s festive offering is a similar theme to Argos, also being set in a Willy Wonka-style Christmas workshop.

The advert shows a girl and her grandad looking around ‘ASDA’s Christmas Imaginarium’, which features products that are available in the store.

ASDA’s campaign is designed to show how the imaginative ways that ASDA works to make the best Christmas ever’ for its customers.

ASDA’s festive ad shows a girl and her grandad entering the Christmas Imaginarium

Audiences have loved family friendly ad.

One viewer, Victoria Baird, said, “ASDA has definitely won my vote for best Christmas advert this year! So uplifting and makes me very hungry!”

However, some have criticised its lack of Christmas spirit.

Kayleigh White said, “The ASDA Christmas advert is not even Christmassy! A Christmas tree is shown but the music is awful! What happened to Christmas adverts actually sounding and looking like Christmas? Aldi wins this year by far.”

The ad is just one of four that ASDA will be releasing in the lead up to Christmas, with three others planned to show more secrets of the Imaginarium.

For discounts and offers from Asda in the run up to Christmas, look at their page on Latest Deals.

8- Boots

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cAhAqgLiIA

This years Boots festive advert has focused on the idea of finding the perfect gift to give at Christmas.

The heartwarming advert shows two sisters’ memories of giving each other some of Boot’s most popular products as Christmas gifts during their life, culminating in giving a gift this year.

The advert features a cover of Yazoo’s 1982 song ‘Only You’, by Alison Moyet and an orchestral soundtrack.

The Boots ad is about the sisters finding the perfect present for each other

Viewers have loved the emotional ad.

Twitter user, Stu GT, said, “Have Boots actually outdone John Lewis this year with their TV Christmas ad? I know I found Boots more emotional.”

Another viewer, Ben Liam Jones, said, “I must say, the Boots Christmas advert is a contender this year. Beautifully shot and a great soundtrack.”

As part of their Christmas campaign, Boots have asked shoppers to use the hashtag #ShowThemYouKnowThem to share their stories and pictures of gift-giving at Christmas, and are featuring these on their website.

9- Amazon

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9SCZwh8Tvg

Amazon’s festive offering follows their brown cardboard boxes on a journey from the warehouse to customers homes, while singing a cover of Roger Hodgson’s ‘Give a Little Bit’.

Boxes of all shapes and sizes are shown whizzing around a conveyor belt, then processed and sorted into vans before before going out for delivery.

One package is shown being given to a little girl at the end of the ad.

Amazon’s ad follows their brown boxes from a warehouse to being delivered

Amazon is another retailer that has been criticised for a lack of traditional Christmas elements in their advert.

Abbie Beange said, “The Amazon Christmas advert is the worst one I’ve ever seen. Pointless, not even Christmassy at all. Disappointing.”

The ad has been released shortly after Amazon has announced a week of Black Friday deals taking place in the lead up to the savings event.

10- Argos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNqm-sgz86Y

Argos was one of the first retailers to release their Christmas advert, getting in a week before big names like Debenhams and John Lewis. The release coincided with their 3 for 2 toy sale.

The minute long advert is action packed, featuring an elf racing through a workshop to ensure that every toy is delivered in time for Christmas.

The idea behind the campaign is to focus on Argos’ commitment of fast delivery, with the advert reminding audiences that they offer same day delivery.

The fast paced ad shows an elf rushing to make sure a present is delivered in time

However, audiences haven’t been overly impressed with the ad.

One viewer, James Hollet, said, “The Argos Christmas advert is the least interesting. Where’s the sad tune? The love ending? Nope, you choose a spaceship.”

Others have been angered at the lack of Santa, claiming it’s ruined Christmas. Derek Mcintosh said, “F*** Argos and their s**t advert for ruining Christmas, where was the sleigh and Santa? Commercialism at its worst.”

Argos has also utilised social media to promote its Christmas advert, by giving children the opportunity to appear in the ad.

From the 7th of November, parents can submit images of their children to social media with the hashtag #ReadyForTakeOff.

On top of this, parents who use the hashtag will see their own personalised version of the ad, with their child in it.

To see the latest discounts on Argos, look at their page on the Latest Deals site.

Some shoppers, however, are unimpressed with all Christmas adverts so far.

Claire Johnstone said, “I decided last year that any company I saw on TV with a Christmas advert on in November, I would refuse to buy from them. I’ve stuck to it as well. I am a grinch and I don’t give a damn!”

Others are happy to see the ads on their screens, seeing them as a marker for the beginning of the festive period.

Sophie Callaghan said, “You know it’s Christmas when the adverts come up on the telly, I want a mince pie now.”

Will Goldstraw agreed, sading, “The best thing about Christmas is the Christmas adverts.”

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