Top 5 Christmas Adverts of 2022

23 December 2022
Vintage television under christmas tree 2022 11 09 05 15 48 utc min

The year is coming to an end, which means the festive season is in full swing! So what better way to celebrate than to round up the top 5 Christmas Adverts of 2022. Every year our favourite brands step up a level, with many using insane video techniques (and budgets to match) to make their festive adverts as entertaining as possible.

So… Drumroll, please… Let’s unwrap our top 5 Christmas ads for the year:

1. John Lewis - The Beginner

In at number one is John Lewis; they definitely brought a tear to our eyes this year with their emotive storyline. The advert begins with an intriguing scene of a man learning to skateboard, before, in the end, the story reveals that he and his wife are fostering a young girl, who loves to skateboard.

This advert was the most powerful for us as John Lewis used clever storytelling to create intrigue and pacing throughout the video, which of course, has resulted in excellent engagement. The ad flicks through the days showing different shots of the man's journey with the skateboard. In previous years, John Lewis have been criticised for relying on surreal stories & CGI, but this year by telling an authentic story, they’ve made a very powerful advert.

Even for those who don’t adopt, the advert shows a relatable story of what many parents go through in order to connect with their children. On top of being well shot, paced and delivered, we think this advert was a great choice to raise awareness for a brilliant cause.

The advert resulted in being #1 for 2022 and yet it was one of John Lewis’ cheaper adverts only costing £1 million, unlike last year for example, which cost £6 million to make.

2. Asda - Have Your Elf A Merry Christmas

We know you’ve seen it and we know (/hope) you love it as much as we do! Asda has added a festive icon to their 2022 advert and it returned some of their best engagement yet! The advert features the well-known character, Buddy The Elf, taking on a job at the supermarket branch Asda. Asda really went all out in adding in this icon - no other company has done an advert like this, so it really stands out in what can be quite a formulaic advertising space. Everytime we see this ad we wonder how much Asda had to pay Warner Bros & Will Ferrell for the rights to re-use Elf.

Buddy the Elf was seamlessly added into the footage, but we know for sure that a lot of time, effort, and planning would’ve gone into this advert. The process used to cut Buddy out of the original film and pop him into the Asda store is called Rotoscoping. Along with Rotoscoping this correctly, getting the correct licences and creating the perfect story line for Buddy to fit into makes this is one of the best Christmas ads yet!

3. Disney - The Gift

Disney has gone for an animated route again this year (of course!), portraying a young girl finding comfort in the Mickey Mouse toy her older brother gives her. The story begins in the Christmas season and ends with the young girl giving her beloved toy to her newborn baby brother.

This advert completes the 2020-2022 trilogy of ‘My Family To Yours’. Where Christmas ads will often focus on parent/child relationships, this ad stood out to us as one that focuses on sibling interactions in the run up to Christmas. When it comes to nailing emotional angles, there is no one better at pulling on our heartstrings and bringing a tear to our eye.

Disney even added background music performed by the new Encanto movie star, Luisa Madrigal. Encanto was an award-winning Disney movie which came out in 2021, so of course, adding in a star from one of their famous movies is a great idea to help boost the brand.

4. Boots - #JoyForAll

Carrying on the emotive theme (of course), the Boots Christmas advert shows a young girl who, when she puts on her glasses, sees everything around her transform and become festive, lighting up the surroundings with Christmas lights and joy. When removing the glasses, everything goes back to a seemingly ‘normal’ world. At the end of the advert, she is seen giving presents to her merry friends, then when she removes her glasses, the picture remains festive, symbolising everyone’s joyous mood.

Boots went for a unique creative approach this year and their choice in music waas catchy and popular, an important aspect to consider for any good advert. The transition from the ‘normal’ drab settings, to festive wonder via the glasses, is incredibly well done and a brilliant showcase of some top editors in their element.

5. Very - Gifts For All Your Christmases

Last, but not least, at number five, Very have decided to engage their audience via an advert showing the stark reality of some people's Christmases. It shows a woman who goes through all different Christmases, some with family, some with friends, and even celebrating her child's birthday. Throughout the ad, the characters talk to camera which is a novel way of capturing attention.

Going for such an original plot makes this advert memorable to many. It portrays how busy some peoples’ Christmas period can be.

The shots are cool, and the plot is great, but it’s not our favourite. That said, it’s worth it’s place on this list purely for the music, which is super catchy!

There are many other adverts this year we enjoyed viewing. For example, Sam Teale Productions ad relating to the tough topic of the cost of living crisis and losing a loved one is an interesting angle for the brand, but has turned out really well.

All in all, yet again the retailers have gone all out with their Christmas adverts - each using the traditional emotive storytelling to really put us in the festive mood. Every major brand has put out a great ad, and we’ve been inspired by the overall quality. 2022 has certainly been one of the more impressive years for Christmas ads. We can’t wait to see if anyone can top it in 2023!

Merry Christmas from the Ideal Insight team. 🎄

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