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Fabulous to frightful – The Annual Christmas 2017 Round-Up

Most people who read our blog, know we are a sucker for a good Christmas ad. Traditionally in this hemisphere we do a pretty poor job of finding ways to connect with shopper’s heartstrings to drive their engagement with the retailer and brand. While, particularly in the UK, it’s as traditional as mince pies and carols to spend a considerable amount of resource, commitment and insight to win hearts, minds and wallets.


First up, we want to celebrate one of the best Christmas TVC’s delivered from right here in NZ in the past few years. A big gold star this year goes to Farmer’s. Rather than their stack it high, watch-it fly advertising of past Christmas’s they have deserved an accolade for being brave and emotional.

Gold star Farmer’s for hitting us right in the heart

Gold star Farmer’s for hitting us right in the heart


This in a time when many NZ retailers have been right old scrooges with their approach to Christmas. (Have we mentioned the lack of Christmas decorations throughout stores?) Simply whacking up a piece of tinsel and equally whacking out so many discounts, we don’t know when they ever sell product at full price anymore.

This lovely tale centres on the protagonist; a grumpy old dude who has the heart of a Santa in disguise. It connects as it is relatable, compelling and heartwarming. All the ingredients of a superb Christmas campaign.

Air New Zealand

Equally as brave and stunning is Air New Zealand. They have a wicked sense of humour and undeniably get Kiwi’s. I love how they share our spirit to the rest of the world. Who wouldn’t want to come here?

What makes a great Christmas ad really?

Big budget, big names, big production? Actually, all you really need is an idea that includes something unexpected, big heart….and in my opinion big music to pull on the heartstrings.

There certainly isn’t any new-all-time-best TVC ever emerge in 2017 but over to you to make your mind up on your favourite. So over to the international players.


I do love a happy heartstrings Christmas story. An unexpected gathering of strangers when a freak snowstorm leaves them stuck in a pub (could be worse things). Thumbs-up for shooting this in black and white and bring to life the spirit of Christmas.

TK Maxx

Utter madness

You can always rely on TK Maxx to do something silly at Christmas, and this promise of real snow – ON YOUR DOORSTEP – is no exception. Madness at its best.

Best Aussie ad – David Jones

Great story and simply fabulous music. It certainly brought a tear to my eye.

Myer’s Elf Journey

This simply hasn’t done it for me. I get the concept and message of loving and being grateful for what you have, but I’ve found this lacking any real emotion.


One of my favourites this year. Great music and a bit of flashback and humour we all sort of get. Reminds me of my family a little…….

A simple story of two sisters and the special bond they share. Lump in throat material.


Another favourite because of the music and simplicity of message.


Keeping with the music theme, this has an excellent choice. A quirky wee ad – not sure if I get the Willy Wonker shopping experience but it’s certainly unexpected. #bestchristmasever


Completely different TopShop didn’t do an ad this year. They have a strong digital approach which includes some new up and coming artists singing their Wishing on a Star song while showcasing some fashion.

Tesco Turkey

This is my experience many times over including my daughter and tomato sauce. It’s probably been you at some point. Strong campaign and simple message. Way better than last year for Tesco. Good job.


One for the kids. Big production values, nice message.

Argos – Ready for takeoff

Arthur Christmas in a TVC essentially. Argos has a simple and compelling message

Aldi – Kevin the Carrot returns

I am still so undecided on whether this is whack-pot or genius.

John Lewis

I always love John Lewis to see which character is next. Meet Moz. He’s the monster under the bed. Another delightful story which ensures that John Lewis are destined to sell bucket-loads of Moz toys this year.


I cannot stand this ad. Thank god I don’t have to see it every day on TV. It’s utter rubbish.

It’s a wrap

All wonderful in their own way. All original (well unless ripping off movies count). But I did want to show you what “good looks like” from past years.

They have an idea that includes:

  • something unexpected

  • big heart

  • big music to pull on the heartstrings.

One of my all time favourites - Apple iPhone 2013

Incredible music and emotion - John Lewis 2010

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