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The best Christmas commercials of 2020

How brands around the world leverage the holiday spirit

At the beginning of every year, retailers and brands worldwide start developing their Christmas campaigns for the holiday season. As COVID-19 changed shoppers' daily lives everywhere, the Christmas commercials had to be adapted to this ‘new normal'. However, the question of addressing COVID-19 or not appears to have no definitive answer. According to Kantar, references to the pandemic without good reason are just an unwelcome reminder of this year’s challenges. Christmas ads generally provide a positive and hopeful message, and some really succeeded in this, despite the difficulties of 2020. Let's look at the best Christmas commercials in retail this year, and why they connect so well with the holiday spirit.

Coca Cola gives something only they can give 

This year, Coca-Cola created two different Christmas commercials, both heavily reliant on nostalgia and ‘warm feelings’. Combining them turns out to be very effective as both commercials are widely seen as some of the best Christmas commercials of 2020. The ‘Holidays Are Coming’ ad revolves around the red Coca-Cola trucks, a well-known symbol for the Christmas period's arrival. ‘The letter’ is an epic tale of a father trying to get a letter from his daughter to Santa Claus. What is written in the letter might pull your heartstrings quite a bit. The traditional values of family, warmth, and coming home for Christmas are obvious in these ads, and although they have been used many times before, this new story still provides a high-quality commercial.

There's no naughty list at Tesco this year

Tesco has used the pandemic situation to its advantage, without explicitly mentioning it. The commercial drops several nostalgic elements and uses music from Britney Spears to empower the ad's general message. According to Tesco, there is no naughty list this year because this year has already been hard enough. Using humor in every aspect of the ad – funky music, jokes about buying too much toilet paper, and naughty children - the ad becomes very powerful. Word of mouth did the rest, as UK parents begged Tesco (sarcastically) to drop the commercial because they had no ‘naughty list leverage’ anymore.

Yuu Rewards Club repurposes 'Uptown Girl'

Yuu is a relatively new rewards platform in Hong Kong that covers about 2,000 stores, making it easier to earn points and rewards digitally. In its Christmas commercial of 2020, Yuu does not focus on melancholy or a heartwarming story as many Western Christmas commercials do. Instead, it uses a catchy song to convert its name into a Christmas theme. Although the ad contains many traditional elements, like a Christmas hat, an advent calendar, and Christmas presents, the video's style is anything but traditional.

Nevi the snow monster and Coop Switzerland are saving winter this year

Many great Christmas stories have been told for hundreds of years. Coop Switzerland decided to add one more to the list and write a heartwarming Christmas story together with Nevi the snow monster. Nevi is probably the sweetest monster in existence and has the power to make it snow. Coop’s commercial shows a part of his story, and the complete tale is available as an audiobook. The combination of Nevi’s cuteness and his well-developed backstory makes it easy to fall in love with the character and remember the campaign. 

Disney tells a compelling story as nobody else could

Disney did what the company does best: combining beautiful animation with a great story. In its 3-minute short film, Disney describes the journey of a Mickey Mouse toy, which is gifted to a young girl called Lola in the Philippines. Later, it becomes a symbol for her childhood and a strong connection to her granddaughter. In a tear-jerking story, Lola ultimately has an amazing Christmas morning with her granddaughter. Because the ad runs in many countries worldwide, the message had to be universal and focus on family values. Disney Pixar’s unique animation style then provides a powerful visual message that probably no other company could have created. Some Disney easter eggs strengthen the connection between Christmas and the Disney brand.

Kevin the Carrot appears in both commercials from Aldi and Lidl

Christmas commercials are often not unique; some overarching themes return every year. Aldi followed this concept with the adventure of ‘Kevin the Carrot’ who must be home in time for Christmas. Along the way, he teams up with his animal friends and Santa Claus. These are the perfect ingredients for a lovable Christmas ad. However, Lidl went completely the other way by mocking the Aldi commercial and focusing its commercial on good value for low prices. By doing so, Lidl leverages Aldi’s commercial for its own purposes. Can you find Kevin the Carrot in both commercials?

A surprising ending in DocMorris' commercial

DocMorris is a Dutch pharmacy focused on home delivery of medicine, mostly in Germany. Their ad is quite simple without many special effects. However, for most of the commercial, the motivation of the main character remains a mystery. Only in the last few seconds, it becomes clear why he kept going, despite the difficulties. Because the commercial builds up the excitement and makes you wonder what is going on, the final message is compelling and powerful.

The ultimate gift guide for kids

What presents should you buy for your kids this Christmas? Our consumer insights specialists immersed themselves in the world of kids to see which gifts appeal the most this Christmas.

Go to gift guide

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