It was official minutes after the clock struck 12 on Halloween night – the start of November signified that the holiday season had arrived!
Several shops, including Aldi, Lidl, Asda, Marks & Spencer, and others, began releasing their Christmas advertisements for 2023 almost immediately.
While we wait for additional festive items to be announced (we’re all curious what John Lewis has in store for us this year), let’s take a look at the biggest launches so far.
This year, it appears that many firms have opted to take a more lighthearted approach, rather than competing to see who can make their customers weep the most.
Nonetheless, some of the advertisements convey poignant themes of unity and remembering people who may be suffering more than you think at this time of year.
Let’s take a peek at the spread thus far before we get to the ads that moved and thrilled us the most.
Very: ‘Let’s Make It Sparkle’
Very’s Christmas commercial is bright and joyful… It’s also quite pink.
You might not have connected flamingos with Yuletide festivities previously, but after viewing the retailer’s ‘Let’s Make It Sparkle’ campaign, you might.
The commercial isn’t the ground-breaking accomplishment that one might anticipate from major stores over the holiday season, but the new flamingo characters – Kerry, Terry, and Cherry – are chirpy enough to make you grin.
The trio brightens up a drab metropolis by delivering gifts and glitter aplenty to the tune of a remastered version of Girls Aloud‘s Merry Christmas, Everybody.
You may have spotted doll Connie and dinosaur Trevor in recent Argos advertisements, and the duo returns for the Christmas campaign.
Trevor is tasked with shooting Connie on her smartphone while she dances to Chic’s Le Freak while dressed in a hot pink sequin costume and a silver jacket.
In a perfectly predictable twist, Trevor learns he was taping himself on the gadget by mistake.
Again, the tale isn’t going to blow you away, but the animation is excellent and deserves to be recognised!
TK Maxx: ‘Festive Farm’
Remember the happy goat from TK Maxx’s 2020 Christmas commercial?
They’re back, and this time they’ve brought along some more farmyard pals to flaunt their thing in the snow while dressed stylishly from the store.
To be honest, seeing a llama trot out of a barn door wearing an emerald green roll neck sweater, or a duck waddle in pink fluffy slippers, brings us delight.
The goat, however, may have best them all in the fashion stakes, dressed in a crimson beret and a pink satin jacket, ready for the holiday festivities to begin.
Asda: ‘Pop the Bublé! It’s officially Christmas’
When one thinks of Christmas, certain superstars come to mind: a defrosted Mariah Carey, an angelic Leona Lewis… and, of course, the velvety-voiced Michael Bublé.
With their new ad, Asda takes full advantage of the worldwide love with Michael’s seasonal record, as three staff explore a strange gurgling sound that they can hear in their warehouse.
Finally, they reach a door with a sign on it that reads: ‘MB inside. Do not open till 1.11.23.’
Of course, they open the door, and lo and behold it’s Michael belting a tune, before putting a name tag on his jacket as the message ‘To be continued…’ appears on screen. Sweet, simple and jolly!
Baileys: ‘Tis The Season To Baileys!’
Let’s face it: putting Ted Lasso star Hannah Waddingham up and centre in the middle of a Christmas ad is guaranteed to be entertaining.
The Baileys commercial is simple: the actress is joined by wonderfully gifted singers from The Gold Vocal Collective to sing harmonies as the silky smooth drink is poured into cups.
It would not have been as endearing if another celebrity had been in the advertisement.
That, however, is the easy quality of Hannah’s stardom.
Waitrose: ‘It’s Time For The GOOD Stuff’
Waitrose has gone in swinging with their joyous Christmas ad, as a home party slowly becomes fuller and busier with visitors coming ladened with wonderful food.
Two ladies are trapped in the bathroom with a bath full of drinks, while an attractive woman dressed in silver blocks entrance to the food table by hand-feeding canapés to a possible suitor.
As Depeche Mode’s Just Can’t Get Enough plays in the background, Graham Norton appears at the door, carrying a Golden Bûche de Noel.
The party is a shambles, but it’s precisely the type of thing we’d like to be invited to this Christmas season.
M&S Food: ‘This Is Not Just Any Christmas Ad…’
Last year, Marks & Spencer engaged Spider-Man Tom Holland to assist launch their Christmas food campaign, and the actor was introduced as the first ever voice of Percy Pig.
Dawn French, the Christmas fairy, is joined this time by two more Hollywood heavyweights: Deadpool’s Ryan Reynolds and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Rob McElhenney, aka the proprietors of Wrexham Football Club.
Ryan and Rob’s voices Left and right mittens, gloves lost in the snow after becoming separated from their owner Lilly.
Rob and Ryan, being the dynamic combo that they are, inject life into the knitted accessories, bouncing off each other while Dawn cheers them up with holiday sweets.
M&S recently apologised for an outtake from a clothes commercial that depicted red, green, and silver party hats that some people mistook for the colours of the Palestinian flag being burned in a fire grate, during the continuing conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Disney: ‘A Wish For The Holidays’
Disney’s Christmas commercial is an elaborate marketing for the company’s impending new film Wish, but it is still a pleasant release.
The commercial brings viewers into the homes of families around the world to the tune of Cinderella’s A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes, using the vocal skills of main actress Ariana DeBose and the other voice actresses who play her character Asha in 17 other languages.
The advertisement, which focuses on traditional festivities like as Christmas, Chanukah, and Diwali, was developed in support of Make-A-Wish, and we couldn’t think of a finer message to communicate at this time of year (or any time really) than giving to and thinking of others.
Disney’s magic prevails once more!
Shelter: ‘Good As Gold’
Among the multitude of cheerful Christmas commercials this year, Shelter’s release gives forth a stirring and vitally necessary message.
nice As Gold is the story of a little girl who is informed that if she is as nice as she can be, she would get whatever she wants for Christmas.
The night before Christmas, the little girl goes to bed with a great grin on her face, certain that all of her good actions for others would result in the next day being as spectacular as it can be.
She awakens in a harsh, freezing room with her mother and newborn sibling, with a statement on TV reading: ‘No child should have to wish for a home.’
It serves as a timely reminder that, in the midst of the holiday season’s rampant materialism, we must never lose sight of what truly counts and those who may require assistance the most.
Lidl: ‘A Magical Christmas’
If you liked previous Christmas commercials like the penguin hoping to fall in love and the bulldog enjoying life on the trampoline, you’re probably a sucker for attractive animals in festive advertising.
Lidl’s gift is as endearing as it is heartbreaking, following the misery of a lonely raccoon who lives in a tree opposite a family’s house, watching them celebrate the holidays from the outside.
When the puppy-eyed raccoon discovers that the mother has dropped a toy for their youngster, they sneak inside to replace it before being driven out by their beloved dog.
However, it turns out that the dog only wants to keep the raccoon company, so they share a Christmas supper as the family dines inside. What’s not to appreciate about a joyful ending for everyone?