Every 2017 Christmas advert so far, ranked from worst to best
It's easy to forget the true spirit of Christmas - producing the best advertisement and forcing your competitors into bankruptcy.
A concise 42 days before Christmas, we've been inundated with a selection of advertisements designed to tug at our heartstrings, then convince us to spend a large amount of money in those specific shops as a result.
But which one is the best? The criteria I'm looking for is simple, I want to find the advertisement that makes me feel something good. If there is a cute anthropomorphic animal involved, so be it.
In the interest of housekeeping, I'm omitting the Tesco ad because there was a heap of controversy surrounding it so I can no longer view it objectively in terms of feelings. Also, the Vodafone ad comes in four parts and I cannot find the fourth bit so therefore cannot judge it as a whole.
Behold, the definitive ranking of (almost) every 2017 Christmas advert (so far).
14. Sainsbury's - Every Bit Of Christmas
An unfortunate placement in this list, but something had to come last and unfortunately, on this occasion, it's Sainsbury's. Sadly, it's the karaoke aspect that doesn't quite work for me with this one. If it wasn't for the genius inclusion of Ricky Tomlinson in his adorable little Christmas cracker hat, it would've been a total flop.
There are cute moments, like the rapping child dressed as a sheep and the line "You bring the pigs and I'll bring the blankets", but I have to query why it's in black and white apart from the intermittent shots of party food? It's all just a bit manic and the only feeling it evoked in me personally was confusion, a slight disdain for the human race and a lament for The Royle Family.
13. House of Fraser - Bring Merry Back
Did 'merry' ever leave? Logistics aside, this is perfectly pleasant Christmas ad, but it kind of goes nowhere. They focus on the sister angle which is a real heartstring tugger, flashing forward and back between the past and present of two sisters spending Christmas day together.
One of the sisters then cries for no apparent reason, possibly based on the gift she's been given so we can only assume that it was a voucher of some description. In terms of evoking feelings, it's a bit bankrupt in that department. Sure, it's nice to spend Christmas with your sister, but where's the absurd amount of food and drink?
12. Aldi - Kevin The Carrot
Kevin's back and this time, he's looking for carroty love. He gets on a train that turns into a bit of a Murder On The Orient Express situation when a gingerbread man dies, so Kevin (like a sociopath) uses the threat of murder to protect the object of his affections, thereby winning her heart.
The plot was confusing, the joke that he peed himself when he'd been struck by a pea was only a little bit funny and the lady carrot didn't really do anything except sit around waiting to be wooed. It's 2017 FFS, male and female carrots can pursue each other with equal levels of intent. It's a cute ad though, I'll give them that.
11. Morrisons - Free From
Kind of a bold choice to shoehorn their range of gluten-free food at Christmas time into an ad, but 'tis the season for corporate advertising after all. A nervous little girl is goaded into doing things by her older brother who says 'Go on' more times than Mrs. Doyle in an episode of Father Ted.
It's cute to see sibling affection and a brother genuinely looking out for his sister, but it's all a bit unrealistic for my liking. Most brothers don't convince their younger siblings to do something out of the goodness of their hearts, it's usually a trap. That girl is going to commit several crimes at his behest in years to come, I can feel it.
10. Toys 'R' Us - Geoffrey The Part-Time Reindeer
Respectfully, Geoffrey, stay in your h*ckin lane sir. Just because Santa arrived to get his toys from Toys 'R' Us, then the reindeer got distracted by the abundance of fun on offer, doesn't mean you get to swoop in and take their jobs, you snivelling leech.
Firstly, Santa's elves make the toys so why would he ever need to stop at Toys 'R' Us? Secondly, giraffes do not possess the ability to lead an entire sleigh (as well as Santa) around the world by flight. It's insulting nonsense that logistically doesn't add up. The animation was nice though, and that song is an eternal banger.
9. Asda - Best Christmas Ever
It's extremely Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, except what child would ever have the same desire to go to the Asda factory on par with Charlie's desire to see how chocolate gets made? Her grandad's delight at seeing tiny workers assembling vol-au-vents is tricky to buy into and the pop-up cookbook is extremely farfetched.
Then a security guard catches the pair of them spying on the gin lab and rather than toss them out into the street where they belong, he takes them up in a lift to see the whole place from a higher vantage point. In terms of logic, it's bereft. The ad looks good though, there's a high chance the director had recently watched a Wes Anderson movie before they started filming. Also, props for using a Fleetwood Mac song.
8. Boots - Show Them You Know Them
The sister theme strikes again. In comparison with House of Fraser, Boots came closer to whatever the mark is. The montage of their lives together was more affecting and wasn't afraid to delve into the dirty stuff. The concept that a 'perfect gift from Boots' can evoke such powerful memories is sketchy, but we'll allow it.
However, we need to address the fact that we never got to see what the present actually was. Did she get her some heated hair curlers? A frizz-reducing shampoo? Some bed socks? What the h*ck did she get? Boots, you are a relentless tease. Christmas shopping is hard enough without this kind of savagery.
7. John Lewis - Moz The Monster
I feel for John Lewis because the expectations on their Christmas adverts each year must be incredibly daunting. As a stand-alone ad, this one wasn't hugely affecting for me personally, but I don't think it was supposed to be. It seems to be geared towards parents with children of a certain age, rather than idiots with no real responsibility in life.
For me, nothing will ever top the one with the penguin. I tried my best not to allow that to cloud my judgement, but when you compare the two, they're nowhere near each other. The kid is adorable and the monster is precious, but it just didn't do anything for me emotionally. I wanted a good Christmas cry, FFS. Let's just blame Guy Garvey.
6. Argos - Ready For Take Off
Visually, this one is brilliant. The warehouse looks incredible and the modern day elves all played the part expertly well. The score makes it feel like the pivotal scene from a movie and the storyline is simple and inoffensively obvious. Unfortunately, Argos is a victim of circumstance here and has very narrowly missed out on a spot in the top five.
My only gripe with the advert is how the toys aren't tied down properly on the spacecraft. There's no way they're all going to stay put at such a turbulent high speed. She throws the toy and it miraculously lands on a big soft teddy. The way that car was bouncing along the runway, it's unlikely any of those toys are going to make it to their intended destinations. Christmas is ruined.
5. TK Maxx - A White Christmas
This one is likely to be met with 'WHAT? ARE THEY REALLY?' in every household across the nation, as TK Maxx promise that they will deliver actual snow to people for free if you find an exclusive snow globe in the shop. Everything else is just background noise once that information emerges, all interest is lost in the art of advertising.
It's now my (and countless others') ambition to get TK Maxx to call over with a heap of snow this Christmas. I don't know or care how they're going to do it, I just want it. Also is that Bill Nighy doing the voiceover? Who cares, they're going to MAKE IT SNOW OUTSIDE YOUR HOUSE.
4. Lidl - Beautifully Normal
Hats off to Lidl for being the only ones to acknowledge how ridiculous Christmas ads have gotten in recent years. The polar bear that stopped to wave whilst walking his/her pony was very bloody funny. They've put together an accurate representation of what Christmas is actually like at home with your eccentric extended family.
However, the music is an ear sore and should've been scrapped, in my opinion. It's just a garbage song that doesn't really do much for the whole thing, but I'm not Simon Cowell so I probably have no right to evaluate it. The best part of this ad is the dabbing polar bear near the end, so whoever decided to include that should receive a beefy Christmas bonus.
3. Debenhams - You Shall
Yeah they've plagiarised Cinderella, but it's Christmas, so it doesn't count. It's a very 2017 take on the classic tale, but it's not without its plot holes. For instance, the lady has clearly been shopping and somehow drops an expensive looking shoe on the train before she departs. Last time I checked, expensive shoes are sold in boxes, not as loose items that could easily go astray.
Regardless, I'm willing to overlook this logistical error because it's a touching piece of advertising that proves that love is extremely important, especially at Christmas. Also Ewan McGregor isn't very good at changing lightbulbs because he somehow managed to cause a power outage for an entire street. Stupidity aside, well done Debenhams.
2. M&S - Paddington & The Christmas Visitor
Yes, they sold out and enlisted the help of Paddington, but it bloody well works so get over it. It's a guaranteed 10/10 from me if some kind of animal is the main character in a Christmas ad because, as we know, all humans are garbage and full of flaws but animals are precious and pure.
The only thing keeping Paddington from the top spot is the guy who played the robber/Santa. His grunts and just generally odd sound effects ruin it a bit, plus where on earth would you even find a pair of red tights to use as a balaclava? Flesh coloured, navy and black are the most commonly found colours. 0/10 for realism.
1. Waitrose - Christmas Together
An unexpected first place for Waitrose this year, but it's fully deserved. It taps into the childlike obsession with being snowed in somewhere cosy that inhabits all of us. Then it taps into the adult fantasy of being snowed in in a pub and you've struck gold. Imagine all the booze you could drink, which the bar owners would likely give out for free because of their guilt and potential insurance threatening hazards after hours.
These strangers all band together to make a delicious Christmas dinner with frankly a very small turkey that's unlikely to fill the bellies of everyone present, but it's more about the sense of community at Christmas time, when everyone just wants to eat and drink everything together, regardless of the circumstance.
Waitrose have smashed it and put together a simple but effective piece of advertising. John Lewis should be suitably shook.