Which Is The Best 2018 Christmas Ad?

By Phil Clarke, Editor of The Handbook website Phil Clarke |
12th December 2018

If you’re watching any telly at the moment then you’ll know that with Christmas commercials, it all ads up. Every single ad break is crammed with wall-to-wall Christmas. It’s got to the point where I’m longing for someone to come on asking ‘have you had an accident at work that wasn’t your fault?’. Even the Go Compare guy would soothe my Christmased-out nerves. But there are a small selection of adverts that are, actually, bloody brilliant; and it’s these that we’re honouring here. So here are 2018’s best Christmas adverts.

7. The Barbour Snowman

Barbour might have made a mint by cladding Bond for shooting up The Highlands in Skyfall the other year, but it seems they’ve now returned to their natural habitat, keeping upper middle class people slightly warmer than if they weren’t wearing a Barbour (but significantly colder than if they were wearing any other coat). The Snowman couldn’t have sold out a nicer brand.

6. The KFC Chicken

A rather long wait for a punchline here, but rather beautifully shot and probably one of the few fast food joints to actually feature the animals we eat there, which is admirable. Doubt they’re this free-range, though.

5. The Sainsbury’s Nativity

Typical heart-warming fare, it’s difficult not to love this one. As ever suspend disbelief (in these days of austerity what state primary has the resources brought to bare here?), but it’s a great ad. Particularly the kid who jumps into the plug socket. Solid ad.

4. Twitter and the real John Lewis

Quite why Twitter needs a Christmas ad is unclear, but don’t let that detract from one of the best commercials of the year. As we all know (because the papers report it each and every year) a man called  @JohnLewis in the US is routinely mistaken for the department store @JohnLewisRetail, so Twitter decided to honour him.

3. McDonald’s Carrots

Given McDonald’s entire business model is built on production line principles and a ruthless quest for consistency, it strikes me as unlikely they have sacks of raw carrots kicking around. But when it’s up against flying reindeer and Father Christmas, I suppose it’s difficult to decide which is less likely. Quite a cute film, though.

2. Elton John Lewis

I’m not sure I thought the John Lewis advert was quite as amazing as everyone else reckons, but perhaps it’s just that Elton always comes across as a bit of a knob. The song is a total classic, and it’s well made and everything. Just don’t get too many ideas from it, John Lewis don’t actually sell traditional pianos any more, so no more JL Piano Men on the horizon.

1. The Heathrow Bears

Pooh and Paddington can go do one as far as I’m concerned, the Heathrow Bears are the only carnivorous mammals in town. Each year it’s the only advert that leaves me in floods of tears and I just think they’re perfect. Check out last year’s and the year before’s too as the story of Edward and Doris Bear develops.

And so there we go, my top 7 Christmas adverts. What are yours?

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