As the festive season approaches we are taking a look at the best Christmas marketing campaigns

John Lewis

Every year around this time, the John Lewis Christmas TV ad is the most hotly anticipated one of the year. Over the years they have ranged from the tear-jerking ‘Monty the Penguin’ and ‘The Bear and the Hare’ to last year’s more upbeat and fun ‘Buster the Dog’ campaign. With this year’s ‘Moz the Monster’ having just been released it remains to be seen whether it can beat previous years’ successes.

John Lewis team up with a suitable charity each year, help them raise awareness of their cause whilst donating a cut of the profits. As always, prior to the release date the ad gets teased on social media, with John Lewis offering a range of complementary activities like a Snapchat filter whilst tapping into virtual reality through experiential bits in their stores. Last year’s ‘Buster the Dog’ campaign reportedly cost £6m.



In 2016 Marks & Spencer took a slightly different approach, aimed perfectly at their target audience of female over 30’s. The campaign focused on Mrs Claus’ role in delivering a successful Christmas, for a change. In the ad, a very stylish middle-aged old woman, Mrs Claus, makes her way to deliver a pair of red trainers to a girl by snowmobile and helicopter. We like this ad because it delivers a slightly more feminist approach during a time when most advertising aimed at women is telling them to lose weight or beautify themselves.



This list would not be complete without the Sainsbury’s TV ads who usually compete with John Lewis for popularity. Two of our favourites are:

The 2014 Christmas ad ‘Christmas is for sharing’ recreated the moment of the Christmas Truce 1914 during World War 1. It sees British and German soldiers laying down their arms and coming together on neutral ground to share treats, mementos and a game of football. Although somewhat controversial, or maybe because of it, it was the most viewed ad in the UK with 16.9m views and raised £7m for the Royal British Legion.

‘Mog’s Christmas calamity’ was published in 2015 and sees the family cat, Mog, almost burning down the family house by accident and ruining the family’s Christmas. As a result, the whole community come together to help clear up the mess and celebrate Christmas together, in true Christmas spirit.


Coca Cola

Everyone has heard of the Coca Cola truck making their rounds through UK cities which continues to be a major event in some people’s Christmas diaries. Whatever your opinion on the sugary drink, Coca Cola have become synonymous with Christmas and – in addition to their classic ‘the holidays are coming’ TV ad – also run various other campaigns around the Christmas theme: a ‘win a visit from the truck’ competition, a designated driver scheme during Christmas party season, event sponsorship and even their own Coca Cola truck emoji.


Edeka – #Heimkommen

This video by German supermarket Edeka is another example of how successful emotive videos can be around Christmas time. In the ad, an elderly gentleman prepares to spend Christmas on his own as his grown up children usually cancel at the last minute. The ad then shows his children receiving a letter saying their father had passed away. When they all rush to his house they are greeted by their dad who is very much alive and well, explaining ‘how else could I have brought you all together?’

The You Tube clip was published in the lead up to Christmas 2015 and enjoyed huge success, even beating the John Lewis ad ‘Man on the moon’

Whilst the above are all budget-busting advertising campaigns out of reach for most smaller companies, there are a wide range of direct or digital marketing ideas that you can consider during the festive season. Please read our blogs on this topic or contact us to find out more:

12 marketing tips for the 12 days of Christmas

Tis the Season to be Marketing – Christmas Campaigns in a B2B world

To discuss how we can help you please get in touch

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