Christmas Adverts – What Makes Them Work?

We are fascinated by the Christmas adverts to promote leading brand name stores each year. They certainly get the nation talking about which adverts are their favourites. As a video production company we understand the planning behind the ideas that make these adverts so memorable, so we thought that we would take a closer look at each one and share our views on what makes them work.

John Lewis – Moz The Monster

The first of these is the John Lewis advert, which seems to grow in popularity year on year. This years advert is the story of a little boy called Joe who is kept awake by an imaginary Monster called Moz who lives under his bed.

The Problem: Joe can’t get to sleep because Moz is keeping him up all night with his snoring and other noises. Joe makes friends with Moz at night but this is making him fall asleep in the day.

The Solution: A night-light will help Joe to sleep.

The Concept: Children are afraid of the dark and think that monsters live under their bed.

The Emotion: Set to a cover version of the Beatles track ‘Golden Slumbers’ re-recorded by Elbow. The advert shows the friendship that Joe and Moz have but Moz realizes that he is keeping Joe awake and so decides a night light will make the perfect Christmas gift, the only problem is that Joe will have to say goodbye to Moz. The character of Moz is friendly, playful and cute and so the emotion is conveyed when Joe has to say bye to his friend. It pulls on the heartstrings because the lyrics are “I will sing a lullyby-ee” and this plays well on sentimental feelings that we all have.

Waitrose – Snowed In

This advert for Waitrose is set in a remote pub on the Yorkshire Dales where local villagers gather for a Christmas morning drink.

The Problem: Whilst enjoying their drinks they are snowed in and so can’t leave the pub.

The Solution: They will all rally around to make Christmas dinner at the pub.

The Concept: Christmas spirit brings a community together.

The Emotion: The advert is set to ‘Carol of the Bells’ which is a joyful song and evokes the fast pace of everyone cooking Christmas dinner only to be rescued by other villagers just as they are about to tuck in to the turkey. So what was initially a problem of being stuck in is now become a problem that they can leave having made new friends and cooked dinner together.

Aldi – Kevin The Carrot

Aldi’s Christmas advert sees Kevin the carrot come to life again for the second year as he abandons his post as the nose for a snow man, he finds quite the feast on a midnight express locomotive and love in the form of a female carrot. Set on the orient express there is a murder and Kevin must dodge the many obstacles in the way of reaching his true love and finding Santa.

The Problem: The female carrot is in danger from a falling pea.

The Solution: He heroically jumps in front of the pea aimed to fire at the female carrot and gains her affection.

The Concept: Murder on the orient express and finding true love.

The Emotion: What would you do to save a loved one? Especially at Christmas time we are reminded that it is all about doing something special for others. Narrated by actor Jim Broadbent in the form of a poem and using the timely release of the film, Murder on the orient express, it continues the story of Kevin the carrot who is in search of Santa but finds love.

M&S – Paddington Bear

Again realised to coincide with the timely realise of Paddington Bear 2, the Marks & Spencer advert shows Paddington thwarting a burglar he believes is Santa and returning the stolen gifts to the rightful owners.

The Problem: Christmas will be ruined if the burglar gets away.

The Solution: Bring in hero Paddington Bear to save the day.

The Concept: Paddington saves Christmas.

The Emotion: Even the bad guys can turn good at Christmas with a little help. Paddington shows the burglar kindness by giving him a marmalade sandwich and showing him the true meaning of Christmas.

Sainsburys – Every Bit Of Christmas

Sainsburys advert shows the many fun things that makes Christmas. This fun packed commercial has a catchy song and lyrics and few famous faces.

The Problem: Show a range of Christmas traditions in a short space of time.

The Solution: In an almost karoke style with a sprout guiding the lyrics show words on screen together with visuals of people celebrating different parts of Christmas.

The Concept: Use a memorable chorus and people showing what Christmas means to them.

The Emotion: We all celebrate Christmas in the same way with the people we care about. This advert shows real people and some celebrities including Ricky Tomlinson and Kermit the Frog and makes us realise the things that makes Christmas.

Our Approach

When we produce our videos, we break them down in the same way. There will always be a problem that needs solving and solution that solves the problem. The concept and emotion are parts of the video that tell the story and convey the right messages to the audience.

What Next?

Do you have a Christmas campaign in mind?, or want a video to promote an event or exhibition before the end of the year or for the new year?

We would be delighted to help to tell your story please contact us today
Please contact us on 0115 9881641 or email