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A Christmas feast (of ads)


It's not even December, but the Christmas ads are flowing. And it's already a vintage year. Yes really. Take a look at some of these Christmas crackers (sorry), and enjoy them before a dose of #humbug sets in

House of Fraser - "Your Christmas, your rules" by 18 Feet & Rising

It looks initially a bit like a Marks and Spencer ad. And you might initially mistake it for one. But it's somehow more... street. A bit funkier - no jumpers on show here. Yes, it's Christmas, but modern and like the tagline says, "Your rules".

Makes Christmas feel suddenly a lot less stuffy. No, I'll skip the Two Ronnies omnibus on Christmas Day and watch Hellraiser instead.

In case you were wondering, the backing track is You Don’t Own Me by Aussie singer Grace and G-Eazy, a remake of the 1963 Lesley Gore song produced by Quincy Jones.

Warburtons - "Giant Crumpet Show" by WCRS

The Muppets have sold many, many products in the UK (as Jeremy Lee poinit out in The Drum, they have advertised, "Lipton Ice, Three, Apple TV, Audi, Subway, Cravendale, Orange, Sky, Renault Clio," to name but a few. In fact, mobile operator Three features a muppet in its current OOH campaign.

So, while the notion of using the Muppets is anything but new, the completely over-the-top devotion to giant crumpets is irresistible. Not really terribly Christmassy, but if you are not eating giant crumpets on Christmas morning, I'll eat my hat (crumpet).

Sainsbury's -"Mog’s Christmas calamity" by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

With 15 million views already, and there's still a month to go until The Big Day, it's fair to say that Sainsbury's has given John Lewis a run for its money this year. While many recent campaigns have opted to ape John Lewis at Christmas by going for heartstrings, with an acapella cover version of a well known song, this approach bakes a different sort of turkey.

Judith Kerr, heroine to generations of kids, wrote the original Mog books in addition to The Tiger Who Came To Tea. She was famously brought out of retirement to pen this new story.

And what a success it is. Mog endures a series of slips worthy of Laurel and Hardy, and creates almost total cat-astrophe (sorry again), but somehow takes credit for saving Christmas regardless. Great writing makes this feel both modern and traditional at the same time. A classic in the making.

John Lewis - "Man on the moon" by Adam & Eve/DDB

If a brand can be said to 'own' Christmas, it's John Lewis. Their ads are as Christmas as the Queen's Speech or triple-boiled Brussels Sprouts.

This year they opted for a lonely old man who lives on the moon, and a young girl who wants to cheer him up. A cappella version of Oasis? Check. Tugs on the heartstrings? Check. Despite all that, is it any good? Maybe not as strong as some previous years, but still good, strong, heartwarming fun.

Of course the John Lewis ads are now events in and of themselves, so those wags at The Guardian decided this man on the moon must be (drum roll please)... Hitler, sparking social media meltdown and fun for all. It's also been subjected to spoofing, from discounter Aldi.

Curry's PC World - "Spare the act" by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

"That's odd. That's really odd," says a compelling, constantly moving Jeff Goldblum of one man's decision to give his dearly beloved a baked beans jigsaw for Christmas.

How to deal with this insanity? Acting. We've all been there - we've all had the socks when we wanted the bike, the painting set when we wanted the video game. Or in this case, the jigsaw when we wanted the computer.

Genuinely funny, and Goldblum's star power, acting chops and oddness adds that sprinkling of Christmas fairy dust to the proceedings. Oh and a second great ad for AMV this year. Merry Christmas all.

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