Christmas Commercials from Around the World 2016

We kick-started the seasonal festivities at TellyJuice with a few turkey sandwiches and a load of Christmas commercials to admire and critique at Christmas Clip Club. We decided to vote on Christmas commercials from around the world, scoring them on their creative concept and execution. Britain is famed for spending a lot of creative energy and annual marketing budget on its Christmas commercials. Most of our big brands indulge at this time of year, whereas the USA seems to save itself for the Super Bowl, and Europe and Australia don’t seem quite as into the spirit of commercialism… However, though they may have only one or two offerings per country, they have thrown some worthy competition into the ring…


H&M have played their top trump card: Oscar-nominated director Wes Anderson with Adrian Brody as the lead actor in this 2 minute thing of beauty. The story isn’t that original but the cinematic visuals and quirky details keep you engaged.  Comments from the TellyJuice team were:

“I don’t get it”

“What’s it got to do with H&M? It could be for any brand.”

“It looks amazing, but it’s style over substance.”

Creative Concept: 51%

Execution: 65%

Germany: Edeka

This German ad has a lovely rhythm. You can, of course, read the English subtitles but it still works nicely without them. Its message? That Christmas is all about spending time together and that rushing around and focussing on the A-Z of preparations is missing the point. Nicely done.
HOWEVER there is a twist in the tale. The registration on the car reads MU SS. Some critics have claimed that the brand intended this as Nazi symbolism (SS) rather than MUSS the German word for ‘must’ & the lyric in the song.

We couldn’t see any of this, however, and it went down pretty well with the TellyJuice team with higher than average scores:

Creative Concept: 59%

Execution: 79%

Poland: Allegro

This advert is a rare gem in that it has managed to be both funny and and touching. It received a genuine ‘lol’ moment when Grandpa practices his English on his rubber duck, and the ending nearly brought us sensitive-types to tears. A firm favourite of the Juicers. Comments include:
“It’s both creative and humorous.”
“It’s warm, funny, touching AND effective.”
“It’s beautiful.”

Creative Conception: 81%
Execution: 78%

UK: Amazon

This advert pulls at the heart strings with the message of peace and goodwill to all men featuring an unlikely friendship between a priest and an imam who put their religious differences behind them. Christmas is all about wishing, after all.

Though we praised the beautiful music composed by Ludovico Einaudi, overall the TellyJuice team found the execution a bit cloying and twee:

Creative Concept: 31%

Execution: 39%

USA: Xfinity

This advert is a wonderful mix of observational comedy and feel-good Christmas spirit that will appeal to all ages.  The ad shows grandparents’ humorous reactions to their grandkids’ tweets moaning about the lack of wi-fi and technology at their respective homes.  What’s really nice is that it shows how digital technology and social media can actually add to the fun of the festivities and bring a family closer together, rather than sucking the energy out of the room.  Nicely done!

Comments from Juicers include:

“The cast and acting are excellent. You really believe it.”

“I’m just glad to see a Christmas advert with old people being happy for once.”

“It’s great. Both funny and emotive.”

Creative Concept: 88%

Execution: 86%

Bulgaria: Milka

Milka have used Amsterdam-based W&K Agency and another hot shot director – Jean-Pierre-Jeunet (of Amelie fame). And he certainly doesn’t disappoint. This is a beautiful tale about a boy who just can’t wait for Christmas so he builds a time machine to send him into the future. Fortunately it’s less ominous than The Ghost of Christmas Future… If that were the case he might have found his family had died from heart disease caused by rushing around to please their impatient son.

Comments from Juicers include:

“It looks really great and filmic… you can tell it’s a Jean-Pierre-Jeunet.”

“The message is a bit annoying, part of the joy of Christmas is the anticipation of it.”

Creative Concept:  35%

Execution: 51%

UK: Heathrow

Heathrow has come up with this beautiful and sweet advert showing an elderly teddy bear couple arriving home to the UK for the Christmas holidays with a message of ‘being together is the best gift of all.’

Comments from the Juicers include:

“The animation is lovely.”

“I didn’t quite get the ending, it wasn’t very clear.”

“It’s really sweet and funny & certainly memorable.”

Creative Conception: 31%

Execution:  81%

Australia: Aldi

This Christmas commercial sings the line ‘Screw America this year!”  Fair dinkum. It’s what we’re all thinking and only the Aussies are brave enough to do it when an annoying, plastic family of Americans arrive at an Aussie home and try to tell them how to celebrate the festive season. Australian wit, weather and swimming pools show them what they’re missing.

Comments from the Juicers include:

“It comes as such a breath of fresh air to see a different type of Christmas ad.”

Creative Concept:  62%

Execution: 65%

USA: Victoria’s Secrets

Lovely underwear? Granted.  But I thought we’d left the objectification of women in commercials behind in the dark ages?  This commercial is Victoria’s Secrets’ biggest spend to date, so why didn’t that afford them some great creative, beautifully selling their products without showing a bunch of models (sorry – “Angels”) running around a playboy mansion in the freezing cold?

For some of the lesbian community, and the majority of straight teenage boys, this commercial is the best gift ever, however for the rest of us this outdated advert appears to go on painfully long.  Someone give the poor girls a coat!

Comments from Juicers include:

“It’s really seedy, the music makes it worse.”

“It’s sooooo long.”

Creative Concept: 13%

Execution: 18%

Portugal: Meo

WTF? Why? Multi-millionaire Ronaldo has no great need to cash in by featuring in Christmas adverts. One can only think he loves ‘acting’ and by the looks of things he is genuinely having a great time re-enacting Home Alone movie scenes in this Portugese Telecoms company commercial. Good for him, however the commercial physically made our own Portugese-born Helena go red with embarrassment for her fellow countrymen and women.

Comments from Juicers include:


“It’s just not clever.”

Creative Concept: 9%

Execution: 11%

USA: Old Navy


Now we ALL love a bit of Schumer, so we were very excited to watch this Old Navy commercial with Amy in the lead. Although they tried to do something different and quirky, sadly it came up short. NB: This is one of a series of ads starring Amy Schumer, though this one disappointed, we’d definitely watch the others.

Comments from the Juicers include:


“Waste of a Schumer.”

Creative Conception: 29%

Execution: 18%

USA: Mercedes Benz

This is classy and funny. You can’t beat a bit of children acting as parents. It’s reminiscent of the 2009  Vauxhall’s ‘Little Dads’ commercial with the classic line ‘over-tired’.

Comments were generally: “Funny, simple and cute.”

Creative Concept: 66%

Execution: 68%

USA – Target


Target have spent a lot of money on copyright for these Disney characters.  The commercial is created as one long move-through shot and is cleverly directed. The direction was appreciated by our team, but sadly the content was not…

Comments include: “It’s really well shot, but I just didn’t connect with it.”

Creative Concept: 31%

Execution: 61%