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.
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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 '
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'
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'
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?'
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'
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?'
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 '
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'