Alastair Smith

Each year, we like to bring you all a bit of festive cheer, by taking a look at the best Christmas ads from around the world.

Sure, most of the truly great ads aren’t from financial services companies, but they are always a good example of what brands can do when they are given some freedom, a generous budget and a brief to avoid obvious tropes.

We’ve selected four of the best from this year and they’re well worth a watch. If you don’t have anything urgent to do in the next 10 minutes, pop on some earphones, top up your gluhwein and enjoy each of them – we promise you’ll be pleased you did.

Best to make the most of 2020

Let’s be honest, this year has been a tough one for many reasons. While Australia has, on the whole, done pretty well compared to many countries, the Coronavirus disrupted many peoples best laid plans. Weddings were cancelled, graduations didn’t take place, sporting events were moved back a year (cancel the Tokyo 2020 merch order!) and many other celebrations were delayed or disrupted.

In light of a year like no other, Myer’s Christmas ad invites us to combine all of those cancelled celebrations into one day – a day bigger than Christmas.

Striking a delicate balance between fun and sincerity, Myer’s ad may not be the ad we knew we wanted this year, but it’s the ad we need.

Best for pulling on the heartstrings: McDonald’s UK

McDonald’s have nailed it with a modern-day festive tale following the story of a young boy facing an internal struggle, as his Mum tries to encourage him to take part in the Christmas rituals he once loved.

While we may all feel a little Scroogey when Christmas decorations appeared in stores as early as mid-October, this ad goes a long way to showing why the magic of Christmas can brighten all our lives, even the surliest teens.

Acknowledging that this year has been tougher for some, McDonald’s is also funding five million meals for FareShare, the UK’s national network of charitable food redistributors.

Best representation of what Christmas means to Australia: Coles

Apparently one million more Australians will be spending Christmas at home this year, and in this ad Coles do a great job of paying tribute to the diversity of Aussie Christmas celebrations by showing a variety of festive food experiences across the country.

While it may flirt with box ticking at times, overall it brings a lovely sense of togetherness, after a year where some felt intense loneliness.

Best excuse to indulge this season: Tesco

Bringing some levity to the end of a tough year, UK supermarket Tesco lets us all off the hook by letting us know there is no ‘naughty list’ and everyone will be rewarded this Christmas, even if they haven’t always been on their best behavior.

A good reminder for us all to be kind to ourselves, especially as 2020 hasn’t been particularly kind to many.

Bonus points are also awarded for the soundtrack – the classic ‘Oops!…I did it again’ by Britney Spears – any Christmas ad that avoids carols, sleigh bells and / or Mariah Carey scores points with us!

That wraps up our Christmas ad selection for the year – we hope you enjoyed watching.

Have a fantastic break and we look forward to reconnecting with you in the New Year.

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