Ah Christmas, a time for matching onesies, drunken Mariah Carey whistle-note attempts, and the re-emergence of the Festive Ad Spot (some more blemish worthy than others). So, rejoice as the year’s most emotionally manipulative – in the cute way that kids are to their parents- adverts are here!

This year we’ve been graced with Buddy the Elf, stuffed bears, a father worthy of the “best dad in the world” mug, and the return of Kevin (Kev to close friends) the carrot, but what adverts left us warm-hearted, and which left us turning the Ad break into a bathroom break before Love Actually pops back on the telly box?
Here are my top 5 Christmas Adverts for 2022.

5. John Lewis – The Beginner

On the first day of Christmas John Lewis gave to me, emotions I rarely see!
Now I didn’t think it could get any sadder than a man who appeared to be tackling his midlife crisis by picking up a skateboard, but then it did and in a really good way. The ending (SPOILER ALERT) revealed he’s learning to skate to bond with his foster kid, who arrives at the door clutching her own board. But it gets even better because the ad comes with a commitment by the retailer to support kids in care. Good on ya.

4. ASDA- Have Your Elf A Merry Christmas

Santa hats off to ASDA for this one. By repurposing lines and scenes from Elf they’ve made it seem like Buddy’s there interacting with his fellow employees, and sure he’s already got the green uniform down.
The spot is funny, engaging, and avoids the yellow snow territory (utter p***) a lot of other brand films fall into during the festive season.

3. Sainsbury’s – Once Upon A Pud

Finally, a Brummy fairytale, just what the holidays called for!
The spots giving Bridgeton realness and follows the story of a cook on a mission to serve the ever-delightful Alison Hammond a dessert she likes and serves this ad most certainly does!

2. TK Maxx- Christmas Nailed

You know an ad is good when people (who don’t work in advertising) are talking about it. This spot sees the hero being
congratulated by everyone she meets on her great-value gifts. It throws me back to the moment social distancing was reduced an my hand had her first outing. Clap, clap Tk Maxx.

1. Boots – Joy For All

And the number one Christmas spot goes to Cliff Richards Boots for this cinematic delight!  The ad stars Lydia West, a girl not enjoying her time on public transport (we feel you sis) until she finds a pair of magic glasses that allow her to see everyone’s Christmas Wishes. It’s fun, it’s playful, and yanno what it feels rather magical. Now I won’t just be going to Boots for a haul of multi-pack razors and sudocrem, but also for amazing adverts- bargain!

Aoife O Leary is a Multi-Award-Winning Creative at VMLY&R