It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and fashion retail has once again gone all out with glitzy and glam ads to entice in shoppers. As is tradition, team Drapers have cast our eyes over this year’s offers to give our verdicts on the best and worst festive ads around.
Grace Whelan, reporter
The level of detail in Joules’ Wallace & Gromit advert makes it my favourite by far. The animation team at Aardman spent two weeks jam packing the advert with Joules best-sellers, including its famous wellies and a lovely two-piece modelled by Gromit. Even the wrapping paper is based on the brand’s Christmas prints. The team’s hard work paired with the nostalgic factor of the iconic animated pair make it my top pick for this year.
Although on-brand, Burberry’s high-end campaign failed to give me the festive feels. Its message was well intentioned, but came across as a tad preachy, and the random faun dancing away was off putting. Too austere for Christmas in my opinion.
Harriet Brown, fashion and features writer
After a few years of duds, John Lewis’ festive offer returned to form this year with Edgar the excitable dragon. Aside from the lavish production values, which made the whole ad feel incredibly cinematic, the story of Edgar and his accidental misfortunes was charming and funny. It was a nice change to see something with a bit of a sense of humour and joy – which, after all, is what Christmas is all about!
Don’t get me wrong, I love a Christmas jumper. The jazzier the better. However, there was something a touch sinister about the M&S “Go Jumpers” ad this festive season. Perhaps it was the idea of clothing forcing the wearer to dance (a little too much like Hans Christian Andersen’s The Red Shoes for my liking) or maybe it was just the very intense eye-contact that the dancing jumper wearers make with the camera as they dance down the street a-la Michael Jackson’s Thriller… Nevertheless, I did like the closing shot of a very festive dog.
Katie Imms, staff writer
I challenge anyone to not like Boden’s Christmas ad this year! While most of us are wrapped up at home, enjoying a Christmas feast and a tipple (or two) with loved ones, it’s so easy to forget the thousands of doctors/nurses out there working to save other peoples’ lives. I like that fact that Boden has made this small but important gesture to give back, and given us all an important reminder that Christmas is, above all, a time of giving!
Boden christmas advert 2019
LOVE Burberry, HATE its Christmas ad. Let’s be honest – it’s a bunch of celebrities parading about like any other day on set… I sense none of fun, frivolous festivities that Christmas, and a Christmas ad, should be about… I also don’t think it shows “what love is” very well either.
Emily Sutherland, features editor
John Lewis’s 2014 Monty the Penguin is my favourite Christmas advert of all time and, for me, this year marked a return to top form for the department store. The first-ever joint campaign from John Lewis & Partners and sister supermarket Waitrose & Partners, which featured the clumsy but loveable dragon Edgar, managed to make me both smile and shed a discreet tear. It pulled on the heartstrings in all the right ways: sweet and festive without being saccharine or manipulative. Produced by agency Adam & Eve DDB, it looked flawless and the soundtrack – recorded by Dan Smith of band Bastille – tied in perfectly. Top marks.
Although undeniably cool and slickly produced, Burberry’s festive offering didn’t do it for me. It features a star-studded cast – including model Carla Bruni and Chinese actress Zhou Dongyu – but didn’t feel evoke the magic of Christmas.
Beth Gault, news editor
A cute storyline generally trumps anything for me when it comes to Christmas adverts – and John Lewis did not disappoint this year. Excitable Edgar is hands down the best Christmas ad of 2019. The department store combined a charming character with wonderful animation and a perfectly festive storyline. Loved it.
One of the worst has to be the Burberry advert. It just wasn’t festive enough for me. I need the snow and the cinematic experience, and this just didn’t deliver.