It’s that wonderful time of year, when advertisers give their all into creating the holiday ads that’ll make you laugh, smile, and even tear up a little. It’s a real challenge to invoke such strong emotions from an audience with just a single ad, which is why some brands go all out during the holidays. There are certainly some common themes among the ads this year, sentimentality being the common one of course, because what’s a Christmas ad without it?
Here are the top U.S. Christmas ads this season, giving their own take on what the holidays are all about.
Apple- "Share Your Gifts"
Apple released it’s Christmas ad about a month ago, reaching over 20M youtube views in a month. The 3-minute animated spot features a young, creative girl who keeps her work and talents hidden from the world until they’re let out of the window by her dog. She goes into a panic and tries to retrieve them but soon realizes that her work makes those around her happy.
Without actually focusing too much on the Apple product, Apple was able to create a story that was both mesmerizing and enjoyable to watch. It was sentimental and included a wonderful message to celebrate and share your creations. Not too bad for a tech company huh?
Google Assistant- "Home Alone Again"
Launched on December 19th, Google’s Christmas commercial reached over 6 million views in just 24 hours. Playing on the oxymoron of New Nostalgic, Google brings back the most popular Christmas classic from 1990 by recreating “Home Alone” for the 21st century with Google Assistant. Macaulay Culkin is back as an adult replaying his famous role and using the Google assistant to cause antics like he did in the 90’s.
This spot is perfect for Christmas as it plays on a holiday classic and familiarity. Most families have watched this movie three to four times by now, so it’s easy to understand while still showing something new. Since many of the Google Assistant features revolve around home automation, using this particular house as the stage to put these product features on display was brilliant.
Amazon- "Can You Feel It"
Online heavyweight Amazon released it’s Christmas commercial a bit early this year (November 2nd) to lure festive shoppers away from the stress of going out to find gifts. The retailer unveiled a 90-second feel-good TV spot featuring a chorus of joyful and animated Amazon boxes singing a remake of the Jackson 5 hit “Can You Feel It?” as they are transported and delivered to excited customers in homes, hospitals and office buildings around the world.
“Our 2017 Singing Boxes campaign was met with love last year as customers told us they enjoyed seeing the boxes come to life and bring a little spirit to the Christmas holidays through song,’ said Amazon. ‘This year, we’re building on that spirit again, this time by focusing even more on our customers’ interaction with the singing boxes and on the joy they share.” The ad is catchy, memorable, and encourages people to bring some joy back to Christmas shopping.
Macy's- "Space Station"
Macy’s Christmas ad this year is the touching story of being apart from those we love during the holidays, a tear jerker to say the least. Macy’s and agency BBDO New York take on a very literal story of a family separated at Christmas as a mom is solo on a spacecraft. Through a series of brief scenes through video calls with her daughter, we watch from both the Earth and space as Christmas nears and the child’s hopes for a family reunion dwindle. But in a touching moment, we see that the daughter planned ahead and secretly hid a Christmas gift in a snowman character she had her mom bring along.
Space is certainly representative of isolation, but this dramatic story shows the ways we can make others feel at home when they can’t be. Setting aside the technicalities of how things actually play out in space, Macy’s found a heart-warming way to show the simple ways we can spread love and joy this holiday season, without making it about themselves.
Petco- "Saving Up"
Petco plays on everything Christmas in this 90-second spot, with animation, family, and a dog. It’s the short story of a kid who shovels snow day in and day out to save up for a bike and passes an animal shelter one day after shoveling. We eventually see him get the bike on Christmas morning, and use the money he earned from shoveling to buy dog toys and supplies as he goes back to the shelter with his parents to adopt a three-legged dog. The next morning, his parents see the bike disassembled, and go outside to find that the boy has used his gift to give something more meaningful to his dog. It’ll certainly make you cry out “Aww!”
This feel-good ad is all about the idea of giving this holiday season, with the end tagline, “Giving feels good, especially when it does good.” The initiative and call to action is when you buy a gift for your pet at Petco, you can donate one to a pet in need.
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