It’s that time of year again where we sit down and watch re-runs of our favourite Christmas specials and summer blockbusters being passed off as Christmas movies while over-indulging in our favourite box of chocolates.Of course many major companies and organisations know this and decide to put a little more effort than normal into their Christmas adverts to try and persuade us that they aren’t all about the commerciality this festive season – and some of them actually do convince us so.
Here are some of the best ones that you may see on Irish TVs come Christmas Day.
While the art of letter-writing is being lost due the advancement in technology people do still send Christmas cards and this ad from An Post celebrates and promotes that. Using the excitement and innocence of kids they’ve highlighted that it’s not all about the presents, that sometimes receiving a card from a relative of friends can be just as special. And while getting this message out they’ve added in a softer version of Frank Sinatra’s ‘The Christmas Waltz’ covered by Lisa Hannigan just to add the Christmassy feel to it and make you go a little warm inside.
Not to be undone by their popular 2013 ad entitled ‘The Bear and the Hare’ – which gave Lily Allen a number one spot in the charts with her cover of Keane’s ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ – John Lewis pulled out all the stops this year. And it worked. While Tom Odell’s version of the John Lennon song, ‘Real Love’, only managed to peak at seventh in the charts, the ad itself peaked at number one in our hearts; so much so that Monty the Penguin became a worldwide trend on Twitter. The sheer childhood naivety and imagination that is displayed means you can be guaranteed to shed a tear or two when this ad comes on Christmas Day, but luckily enough you can blame it on the one or two Sherries that you’ve had.
The release of this ad in the wake of the aforementioned John Lewis advert sparked a ‘Battle of the Christmas Ads 2014’ but in reality how can the release of two such tear-jerkers be labelled as a ‘battle’? Especially considering that the whole context of this ad deals with such a sensitive and emotional historical issue. It is the most poignant of all the Christmas ads you will see this year and it gets the true meaning of Christmas out – “Christmas is for sharing”, no matter who you decide to share it with.
The ringing of the midnight Christmas bell, the snow, the picture of the old-fashioned local; this ad has everything that you would wish for an Irish Christmas. It cleverly implants the social element of Christmas without actually displaying the well-known image that is a pint of Guinness. But in implying the social element it also implies that it be secondary and that Christmas is a time to meet up with friends and family. And of course they share the same view as the rest of us because “even at the home of the black stuff, they dream of a white one”.
First broadcast in 1991 this ad has become iconic around this time of year and is on par with ‘Fairytale of New York’ for things that you have to experience for it to be Christmas. Now as an adult it means a lot more knowing that our chances to meet Santa have all but expired and every time the little girl says “ho, ho, ho” it fills us with nothing but warmth. My Christmas wish year (and every year previous) is to share a cornflake with Santie himself. Here’s hoping!
This is the ultimate Christmas ad and it is no wonder Coca-Cola were thought to have given Santa the red suit image that he has today. While it has become routine for Christmas to begin to surface just before Halloween many people say that it is not Christmas until the ‘Coke truck ad’ is on. And what an ad it is, adults still scream with delight (myself included) when it appears first on television. “Holidays are coming” – Holidays are here.
By Kieran Kilkelly