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Welcome to The Drum’s Creative Works, in partnership with Adobe Stock, dedicated to showing the best creative work from around the globe.

It’s been one hell of a year and this Christmas is set to be even smaller than many of us could have ever anticipated. However, that hasn’t stopped some of the world’s biggest brands from pushing the boat out in an attempt to encourage some festive feelings.  

With ads from the likes of Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Burberry, you can scroll down to see a selection of the year’s best Christmas spots as chosen by The Drum’s very own. 

For project information, including creative credits, click on the project to expand to full screen, and click on the stars to vote for your favourite.

To submit work for our Creative Works section, please fill out this online form.

 

Tesco: ‘No Naughty List’

Cameron Clarke, editor, The Drum

One of the season’s most popular spots was Tesco’s offering, ‘No Naughty List’.  It recognises the tough year we’ve all endured by telling customers not to worry about any past ‘naughtiness’ and encouraging them to instead look for small moments of joy and indulgence this Christmas. Couldn’t have said it better myself. 

Find out more about how the ad was made here.

: 'No Naughty List '

Agency:
Client:
Date: November 2020
As a brand, Tesco has always aimed to reflect the mood of the country in its advertising. That angle has never been more prescient than at the current moment, with Brits in dire spirits under varying degrees of lockdown, and an especially strange Christmas on the horizon.
Developed by agency BBH, and directed by Raine Allen-Miller from production company Somesuch, the ad absolves customers of anything that might have landed them a place on the ‘naughty list’ this year – from bad video call etiquette to buying too much loo roll – and instead encourages them to indulge as much as they want this Christmas.
Credits:
 
Tags: UK
 
 
 
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Walkers: ‘A Sausage CaRoll’

Dani Gibson, digital media producer, The Drum

This ad had it all. Created by Elvis, the team brought together East 17’s Tony Mortimer, Walking in the Air singer Aled Jones, Walkers’ Gary Lineker and loveable internet sensation LadBaby.

For the past two years, LadyBaby has snapped up the UK Christmas Charts number one, so this year a brand collaboration with Walkers Crisps was a refreshing change. Releasing the crisp brand’s sausage roll offering, the ad sees the group singing carols with the lyrics adapted to echo the new flavour.

And what’s even better is that the ad was created in partnership with The Trussell Trust, supporting food banks across the UK.

Cheeky, funny and a right laugh, all in the name of helping those in need – it’s exactly what we need to end 2020.

: 'A Sausage CaRoll'

Agency:
Client:
Date: November 2020
This Christmas, YouTuber LadBaby along with some special guests are spreading the word about the power of sausage rolls - the brand new crisp flavour from Walkers.
The brand has created the flavour in partnership with The Trussell Trust, which supports a network of foodbanks across the UK.
Credits:
 
Tags: UK
 
 
 
 
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KFC: ‘A Recipe for Seduction’

Shawn Lim, reporter, The Drum

I have never seen a fast-food chain produce a drama show before and I thought it was really brave and unique of KFC to do so. I have no idea why they went with Mario Lopez, but he really does look like Col Sanders!

: 'A Recipe For Seduction'

Agency:
Client:
Date: December 2020
A lot of odd things have happened this year, but the news that Mario Lopez (Slater from Saved By the Bell) is to play a ‘hot’ version of KFC founder Colonel Sanders in a Lifetime Christmas movie titled ‘A Recipe For Seduction’ is high up on the list.
While some brands have dialled down efforts this Christmas, KFC has turned the oven up to 100 degrees, serving its chicken fans with a parody short film due to debut on Lifetime this Sunday (13 December).
While ‘Colonel Sanders’ and ‘hot’ are only uttered in the same sentence when talking about KFC's spicy wings, the dramatic trailer for the short-film conjures up an entirely different image of its prized mascot. Falling afoul of a pair of malevolent elites, who try to pluck his secret chicken recipe, this Colonel catches the attention of a young heiress, drawn in by his spiciness.
Marking KFC's first-ever branded mid-form content, ‘A Recipe For Seduction’ joins Lifetimes annual ‘It's A Wonderful Lifetime’ movie slate.
“We're no stranger to heating things up for the holidays, just like our famous fried chicken-scented Firelog. But let's face it, we could all use a little distraction this holiday season, so why not fill some of your time at home with a suspenseful drama and the comfort of our world-famous fried chicken?“ said Andrea Zahumensky, KFC US chief marketing officer. “A Recipe for Seduction is a perfect excuse to curl up at home and escape to your own happily ever after.“
Credits:
 
Tags: United States
 
 
 
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SuperValu: ‘Christmas 2020’

John McCarthy, online senior reporter, The Drum

I’m not really in the mood for Christmas this year. The great ads, as meticulously crafted as they are, won’t crack my frosty festive heart. Or so I thought. So respect to Irish supermarket chain Supervalu for sparking my Crimbo feels.

Picture an Irish family in a humble house (those accents are lovely too). That’s our setting, everything else is a spoiler so watch it first.

The boy asks: “Mum, is he still coming this year?“ and mum responds: “Of course he is.”

HE is coming. I won’t lie. This took me back to ceaseless queries I had about the mechanics and schedules of the Claus – all thinly veiled ‘When are my presents coming!’ questions. So we’ve got a dose of nostalgia followed by a modern sucker-punch twist.

He isn’t talking about Santa; he misses his grandpa after a long lockdown. We miss our family. Christmas IS different this year. The real gift will be (safely, and I stress that) spending time with people we’ve been separated from.

So it’s a lovely film, but is it a good ad? It’s a supermarket, we all need to stock up for grandpa. There are a few shopping bags and products thrown in there. Supervalu brings the emotion heavier than it should. Well done TBWA\Dublin.

: 'Is He Still Coming This Year?'

Agency:
Client:
Date: December 2020
Created by TBWA\Dublin,  SuperValu's Christmas spot tells the story of a child looking for reassurance at Christmas, something that will feel familiar for most households in the run up to Christmas.
Credits:
 
Tags: Ireland
 
 
 
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Sainsbury’s: ‘Gravy Song’

Thomas O'Neill, managing editor, The Drum

What’s not to love about the Sainsbury’s Christmas ad this year? 

You’ve got an oh-so-relatable tale of a family hoping and praying they’ll be able to come together for it, without Covid actually being mentioned.

You’ve a warm-and-fuzzy father-daughter relationship playing out through home video, good-natured teasing and embarrassing song.

And you’ve got gravy – the best bit of any roast dinner, I’m sure we can all agree.

Best thing about it, however, is that it has reduced the likelihood of you running into a fascist in the freezer section. Turns out that some horrible people out there plan on boycotting the supermarket for featuring a Black family when they’d been dreaming of an all-white Christmas.

Where exactly they’ll shop now remains a mystery as the UK ad industry had its very own Spartacus moment when every major supermarket brand came to Sainsbury’s defence and told the racists they’re really not welcome in their stores.

And in an unprecedented move, Aldi, Asda, Co-op, Iceland, Lidl, M&S, Tesco and Waitrose & Partners all ran their festive spots over two ad breaks on Channel 4 on 27 November, one after the other and all carrying the hashtag #StandAgainstRacism.

Whether or not that family in the ad will manage to get together for the big day remains to be seen, but seeing retailers stand side-by-side and put their festive rivalries aside for a greater cause was the Christmas gift we all needed.

: 'Gravy Song'

Agency:
Client:
Date: November 2020
Sainsbury’s has fired the starting gun on its Christmas campaign, inviting audiences into the homes of three families to establish what the holiday means to people on a personal level. Evoking a more carefree age symbolised by family, laughter and lashings of gravy, Sainsbury’s campaign aims to celebrating the true stars of Christmas dinner.
The first of these, ’Gravy Song’, recounts a daughter’s excitement for her dad’s gravy tempered by his penchant for singing. Combining home-video-style footage and phone conversations, the campaign seeks to honestly reflect modern life.
Conspicuous by its absence is any reference to the ongoing pandemic, although social distancing restrictions presented their own challenges off-screen. Emma Bisley, head of broadcast marketing at Sainsbury’s, explains: “All cast and key crew were tested two days prior to being on set, and then isolated before coming to set. There was a Covid-19 officer on-site at all times to ensure all rules were adhered to. All members of the cast and crew were temperature checked daily.“
Credits:
 
Tags: UK
 
 
 
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The Big Issue: ‘Remember Me?’

Ellen Ormesher, editorial assistant, The Drum

Despite an attempted ban on evictions during the Covid-19 pandemic, 2020 saw a significant rise in the number of people experiencing homelessness in the UK.

Those who have been made homeless this year, as well as those who were already displaced, have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Difficulties maintaining social distancing as well as personal hygiene in homeless shelters or while sleeping rough have meant that many people experiencing homelessness are at greater risk of catching the virus. 

Furthermore, many have also lost sources of income due to fewer people donating to charity, or picking up a copy of the Big Issue while out on the streets. 

In order to remind us that the problem of homelessness persists and to ensure the survival of its vendors, the Big Issue released its first-ever Christmas campaign this year. Featuring a voiceover by Christopher Eccleston who was recently appointed brand ambassador, the spot is a timely reminder to give back this Christmas.

: 'Remember Me?'

Agency:
Client:
Date: December 2020
The Big Issue has launched its first ever Christmas Appeal film to help raise awareness of the need for support for its network of magazine vendors who are facing an unprecedented period of hardship this winter.
The film features the fond recollections of Big issue vendor Martin McKenzie has of his customers before the pandemic and contrasts it with the far emptier streets that he faces when out selling the magazine in present times.
It also features a voiceover from Christopher Eccleston, who is a long-term supporter of the organisation, having first appeared on the cover of the magazine in 1996, and who was recently appointed a Big Issue Brand Ambassador.
Credits:
 
 
Client: The Big Issue
CEO - Paul Cheal
Group Executive Director – Lara McCullagh
Group Marketing & Communications Director – Zoe Hayward & Iain Morrison
Head of Communications – Ruth Law
Group Head of Marketing – Nashitha Suren
Marketing and Communications Executive – Vicky Major
Agency : FCB Inferno Senior Account Director – Hannah Thorn
Strategy – Imogen Armstrong Creative Directors – Jess Giles & Austin Hamilton
Creatives – Francesca Ferracini & Alice Teruzzi
Production: FCB Inferno
Director & Editor – Alvaro Ramirez
Producer – Livvy Tidd
Camera Operator – Andy Muir
AC – Kitt Sullivan
Runners – Will Akbar / Joseph Sy
Casting – Mad Dog 2020
Photographer – Louise Haywood –Schiefer
Post-Production
Sound – No.8 London
Grade - No.8 London
Flame - Ewanme
Tags: UK
 
 
 
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Doc Morris: ‘Take Care of Yourself’

Rebecca Stewart, trends editor, The Drum

John Lewis’s ’Man on the Moon’, the Spanish Lottery’s humble security guard Justino... concerningly, my favourite Christmas ads all seem to fall into the category of ’tear-jerkers’ starring frail, elderly men. And this year is no exception.

A late contender for the most emotional Christmas spot of 2020, ’Take Care of Yourself’ by German pharmacy company Doc Morris has warmed up my cold, cynical heart. The ad tells the story of one determined grandfather’s mission to lift up his granddaughter at Christmas. Watch for yourself and see why. I’m not crying, you are.

: 'Take Care '

Agency:
Client:
Date: December 2020
Has a relatively unknown Dutch pharmaceutical company taken the 2020 Christmas ad crown? Well, if Twitter is anything to go by, then DocMorris' moving Christmas spot has stolen people's hearts, racking up over 8 million views since it went live. 
Created by Jung von Matt/Saga, 'Take Care' follows an old man, presumably bereaved, who for a reason unbeknown to the viewer or his neighbours, starts training with a heavy kettlebell - a dusty remnant from his more active glory days.  
Refusing to let his older body hold him back, the viewer sees the old man endeavour to keep going with this new fitness regime. Is he training for an older gentleman Olympics, or is this some kind of Covid-prevention technique, the viewer ponders. 
By the sweet revelation, the viewer is helplessly invested in the old man's story. After arriving at his daughter's house for Christmas, the old man gives his granddaughter a gift - a star to place at the top of the Christmas tree - before picking her up with the same technique he approached the kettlebell, to allow her to put the star at the top of the tree. 
 
 
Credits:
 
Tags: Netherlands
 
 
 
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Burberry: ‘Singin’ in the Rain’

Imogen Watson, reporter, The Drum

This Christmas, the question on everyone’s lips was whether brands would delve headfirst into festive fantasy or try to tactfully tackle the pandemic head-on. Well, my choice did neither.

Instead, my heart fell for Burberry’s beautiful ode to gritty East London – a salute to its sweltering kebab shops, half-dismantled market stalls and sporadic rain showers. However grey, like a siren, this grubbier side of London beckons to all those well-versed in these unquestionably charming streets. 

Set in centuries-old Petticoat Lane Market, it artfully evades a descent into traditional Christmas tropes. Instead, it offers a choreographed street dance rendition of ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ that wrenches Gene Kelly’s classic into the contemporary, infusing it with an urban edge as giant clusters of ice smash upon the ground.

: 'Singing In the Rain'

Agency:
Client:
Date: November 2020
Fashion house Burberry is making a splash this Christmas with a timeless rendition of Singin' in the Rain, infusing the Gene Kelly classic with the brand’s distinctive urban edginess.
Produced by RiffRaff Films and directed by MegaForce, the classical climatic dance-off has been choreographed by dance collective (La)Horde, amping up the thrill factor by introducing falling blocks of ice for the fleet-footed quartet to circumnavigate.
Evading a descent into tired schmaltz and cheese the short film brings the 1950s straight into the 21st century with a hailstorm on London’s Petticoat Lane.
Naturally, each dancer is bedecked in Burberry’s latest collection for the spot, with Kevin Bago, Robinson Cassarino, Chantel Food and Zhané Samuels dressed head to toe in tartan and tweed.
Megaforce said: “We found the idea for this film digging through Burberry’s history. The founder, Thomas Burberry, created innovative weatherproof clothing that was used by polar explorers, which gave us this idea of a story that saw its characters braving the elements with ease.“
Keen to fashion more than just a video, Burberry is aiming to celebrate its capacity to provide social good, signified by a partnership with footballer and activist Marcus Rashford to finance a network of British youth centres.
Riccardo Tisci, chief creative officer, said: “This campaign is about looking forwards, looking to the future – inspired by youth, it brings together a community of different talents and worlds as one. United by passion, commitment and love, this campaign is a celebration of their dreams, of exploring and of always going beyond.
“I’m honoured that Burberry can partner with Marcus Rashford and amazing organisations around the world to give back to the next generation, allowing them to explore their dreams. And I wanted to take that concept – of exploring beyond – to express a real sense of freedom in the campaign. It’s all about that fearless spirit and imagination when pushing boundaries, something that we hold so close to our hearts at Burberry.“
Credits:
 
Tags: UK, Burberry
 
 
 
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