I don’t know about you, but I quickly get tired of holiday TV ads telling people to buy their products or else Christmas will be a disaster. Or that the holiday season is not complete unless you give someone one of their products.
I wondered if this blatant hucksterism happened in other countries.
One of the first things I noticed was that holiday ads from Europe and Canada were more like short films, running for a few minutes instead of the 30 or 60 seconds that they do here in the US. Perhaps their TV scheduling rules are different. Or maybe it was just the ones I found when I went looking for “Best Christmas Commercials”.
I also noticed that they weren’t so much for products as they were for stores. Less “Buy this thing” and more “Shop here; we’ve got all you need for a great Christmas”.
Anyway, roll the clips!
Sainsbury’s, a department store in the UK, ran this spot in 2014, commemorating the events of one hundred years earlier:
It should be noted that in the UK, Christmas ads are events – similar to Super Bowl ads here in the US. Department store John Lewis & Partners comes out with a winner every year. This one’s from 2018:
Spain has a National Christmas Lottery that’s over 200 years old. Here’s the promotional spot from 2015 – that doesn’t need any words:
West Jet is a Canadian airline. This spot from 2013 went crazy viral – and despite the insane amount of logistics involved, it cost them a mere fraction of what most holiday ads cost:
This one goes back to 1978, and is still remembered fondly in Scotland. Irn-Bru is essentially Scotland’s national (non-alcoholic) beverage.
Germany gets in the spirit with this one from 2015 for the supermarket chain Edeka:
Amazon isn’t the only place to shop online. In Poland, there’s Allegro. This award-winning spot is from 2016:
And to leave you with a little chuckle after all the sentimentality, in 2020 the Year of COVID, Virgin Hotels did a bunch of quick spots to let us know that we were all just good enough.
This will probably be my last post in 2022. So enjoy whatever holiday you’re celebrating, and I’ll see you in 2023!