The Drum Awards for PR 2022

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By Amy Houston | Reporter

December 6, 2022 | 22 min read

Welcome to The Drum’s Christmas marketing campaign round-up for 2022. Here you’ll find all the latest ads from around the world.

The festive season is upon us as brands release their Christmas ads earlier than ever. Online retailer Very was once again first off the mark, this time with an upbeat short that played into its eagerness for the festive period.

Amid global economic uncertainties, however, the usual celebrations will look starkly different for many people this year. According to industry experts that The Drum spoke to back in September, brand campaigns must mirror the upcoming frugal festive period if they don’t want to seem grossly out-of-touch.

Here are all the best spots so far from major brands.

Dec 6

Aldi US: Twas the Night

Leaving its tried and true UK mascot Kevin the Carrot back across the pond, Aldi has introduced US audiences to a cast of new characters created by Leo Burnett (which famously developed Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger and Snap, Crackle and Pop, as well as the Jolly Green Giant) in partnership with Digitas and PXP.

‘Twas the Night’ sees the gang rally together to ensure the holidays feel special no matter what, highlighting Aldi’s US offering of over 1,199 products at affordable prices.

Dec 1

Erste Bank: Believe In Christmas by Jung von Matt Donau

In the ad, viewers see a mysterious man who takes it upon himself to ruin the holidays for everyone in a small village. All through the night, the mean character cuts power boxes and sabotages the gas tanks of cars. Due to his actions, people in the town are met with an energy crisis.

Determined not to let the miserly man spoil Christmas, the villagers come together to lift each other’s spirits and celebrate together with what they have.

Nov 25

Walkers: It Feels Good to Share by VCCP

Radio presenter Roman Kemp has lent his voice to Walkers’ annual festive campaign, which hopes to encourage people to open up about their mental health.

In ‘It Feels Good to Share,’ viewers see a young man called Larry turn up at a gathering where he is greeted by various family members. He’s followed by an emoji near his shoulder that conveys how he is truly feeling inside, even if he doesn’t let it be known on the outside.

During the final scene, Larry is in the kitchen with his friend who asks him how he’s getting on, to which he replies that he’s “fine“. Thankfully, his friend presses him further and questions him on how he really doing, which is when he begins to open up fully.

Nov 23

Spanish National Lottery: Vika

Each Christmas, the Spanish National Lottery releases a much-anticipated ad campaign. Similarly to John Lewis in the UK, it’s one that many people look forward to, and this year there are three separate films to enjoy.

The first spot ‘Vika’ is a tale of friendship between two co-workers. The protagonist Vika has recently moved to the country and doesn’t speak much of the language. She and her friendly new workmate communicate as best as they can, and eventually the pair decide to go halves on a lottery ticket.

Nov 22

Posten: Father Christmas and Mother Earth by POL

After the success of last year’s ‘When Harry Met Santa’ film, Posten has launched an equally bold and important Christmas ad that details the damage being done to the planet over the festive period.

In this year's ad, viewers see the dynamics between the two characters as they navigate their differences. Father Christmas is intent on bringing as much joy to people as possible through gift-giving, whereas Mother Earth views overconsumption as problematic.

Nov 21

Peta: Toby the Turkey by Dream Farm

Peta’s holiday campaign tells the tale of Toby the Turkey who is thrown off an abattoir-bound truck by his mother to save his life. The lovable animated animal ends up being taken in by a loving family and becomes integrated into their lives.

There’s a tense moment towards the end where viewers wonder if Toby will end up becoming the Christmas dinner, but thankfully, he’s welcomed around the table and not on it.

Nov 18

The National Lottery: Christmas Love Story by adam&eveDDB

Directed by Oscar-winner Tom Hooper, this ad tells of a chance encounter between two people who meet on a train and exchange a phone number on the back of a National Lottery ticket. When the girl realizes the number is smudged, viewers are left on the edge of their seats wondering if the pair will meet again. As the new breaks of an unclaimed winning lottery ticket, the tension mounts. Will they find each other?

Nov 15

Waitrose: It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas by Adam & Eve/DDB

Waitrose is celebrating its partners and suppliers in its annual Christmas campaign. Created by Adam & Eve/DDB, the 60-second spot showcases the level of care and commitment that goes into the supermarket’s food all year long.

The film highlights the icy conditions farmers work in throughout the winter months, the delicate task of beekeeping and even the attention to detail when it comes to picking crops.

Nov 14

Cadbury: Secret Santa by VCCP

Cadbury launched its ‘Secret Santa Postal Service’. The activation will pop up in digital and static posters across the country for six weeks until Christmas Eve.

The campaign hopes to unite the nation around a simple gesture that echoes the true spirit of Christmas and inspiring people to send a free chocolate bar, in secret, to someone special.

Nov 14

Amazon: Joy Is Made by Lucky Generals

Amazon has released its annual Christmas ad campaign – and it’s a real tear-jerker. In ‘Joy Is Made,’ viewers see a young child completely captivated by a festive snow globe. Carrying the ornament everywhere, from school to the dentist’s office, the youngster’s father begins to notice the obsession and wants to add to the magic.

He devises a plan to create a life-size version of the snowy world in the greenhouse in their garden, much to the delight of his daughter.

Nov 14

Heathrow: The Gift by St. Luke's

This heart-warming story details the feeling of being with loved ones over the festive period and features a couple who will be spending Christmas away from their grown-up children.

It’s the first work with St. Luke’s as lead strategic creative agency, since it won the pitch for the brand in August.

Nov 10

John Lewis: The Beginner by Adam & Eve/DDB

In this year's John Lewis viewers see an older man who is attempting to learn to skateboard. Set to the tune of Blink-182's punk pop tune 'All The Small Things', you might be forgiven for thinking the man is going through some kind of mid-life crisis. Turns out, he's learning the new skill to help bond with a young girl that he and his partner will be fostering over Christmas.

The closing scene ends with the note that 108,000 children within the UK currently reside within the care system. It highlights the 18-month-long project that John Lewis has undertaken in partnership with Action for Children and Who Cares? Scotland, with a John Lewis spokesperson noting that while the campaign features a story set at Christmas, the project itself extends past the festive season.

Nov 10

Aldi: Home Alone by McCann

Aldi’s teaser ad dropped last week and saw Kevin the Carrot and co waiting for a flight. Sadly, the root vegetable got distracted playing a game of football (think along the lines of Nike’s famous 1998 World Cup ad) and separated from his family.

In homage to the Macaulay Culkin Christmas classic Home Alone, Kevin spends the holidays in his house setting traps for a pesky intruder that is lurking outside.

As the scene progresses, and his family makes a speedy return from Paris, the true identity of the home intruder is made known.

Nov 10

McDonald's: The List by Leo Burnett

Fast-food chain McDonald's hopes to showcase the 'little things' that carry a deeper meaning this Christmas.

Turning the notion of gift-giving on its head, the campaign encourages friends and family to document the shared activities and experiences they would wish to have on the holiday rather than more presents.

Airing on prime time ITV and in cinemas for the release of Black Panther, the heartwarming campaign follows a young boy and his mum as they prepare for the big day, devising an ever-expanding Christmas list while his mum makes all the preparations.

Nov 7

02: The Snowgran by VCCP London

This endearing ad from 02 tells the tale of a 'snowgran' who longs for some human interaction during the festive period.

Written by Simon Connor and Stephen Cross, the ad has a happy ending when a young girl named Billie sees the women's seclusion and gifts her a sim card so she can connect with family and friends over Winter.

With the campaign, the network hopes to raise the Christmas spirit with real action as it commits to gifting one million GB of data to those in need this festive season.

Nov 7

Biscuiteers: The Nutcracker Biscuit Ballet by Mother Studio

For its first TV ad, hand-iced biscuit company Biscuiteers has drawn inspiration from the classic ballet 'The Nutcracker' for its festive campaign.

In the film, viewers see the sweet treats being constructed and then brought to life on a theatrical stage. Fans of the story will notice familiar characters such as Mouse King and Clara.

The ad was designed and delivered by the Biscuiteer team, working closely with Mother Studio who produced the animation and edited the film.

Nov 6

Aldi: Feast of Football by McCann

Aldi is leaning into the anticipation surrounding this year’s Christmas World Cup with an ad that once again features Kevin the Carrot and co for the seventh consecutive year.

The teaser is a homage to Nike’s famous Airport 1998 World Cup ad, and sees the nation's most-loved carrot make a glorious comeback.

Nov 6

Tesco: The Christmas Party by BBH

Tesco has pledged to help during the cost of living crisis this Christmas with a commitment to delivering an affordable festive season for everyone.

The supermarket's festive advert takes the style of a political party broadcast and features a message from the ‘Christmas Party,’ setting out its manifesto to #StandForJoy by helping people celebrate in style, irrespective of budget.

Nov 4

Barbour: One of a Kind-ness by againstallodds

Barbour has enlisted the help of a beloved children’s book character to spread the Christmas cheer this festive season. ‘One of a Kind-ness’ sees Paddington Bear delivering gifts when he notices that Mr Curry, the grumpy neighbor who appears to be a little misunderstood, feels left out by the local carol singers.

To cheer him up, the marmalade sandwich-loving bear decides to get the neighbor a gift. Paddington presents Mr Curry with a unique Barbour jacket that he loves, making him feel part of the community again.

Nov 4

Asda: Have your Elf a Merry Christmas by Havas London

To mark the festive period, Asda and its creative agency Havas London have recruited a very enthusiastic team member in Buddy the Elf, using footage from the hit Warner Bros movie. Read our interview with Havas London's Vicki Maguire to find out more about the ad.

Nov 4

Matalan: The Christmas Cupboard by McCann Manchester

This festive spot from Matalan sees a woman travel through her wardrobe and into the future, where she's able to watch herself enjoying the festive holidays.

She's bought herself a new Christmas dress, gifts for all her family and even set a glorious table for the all-important hosting.

Nov 4

Lidl: Lidl Bear by Accenture Song

Lidl's Christmas ad begins in a typical family home where, after a dad shrinks his jumper in the wash, his young daughter has the ingenious idea of putting the tiny sweater on her toy bear – and so our stuffed star is born.

Then, in the supermarket aisles, people begin to take photos of the toy and post them on social media. As fame ensues, the bear goes on to enjoy all the perks of going viral. The jet-setter becomes the face of Lidl, pens a memoir and even records a hit Christmas jingle.

All the while, his previous owner just longs to have him back at home with her

Nov 4

Sainsbury's: Once Upon a Pud by Wieden+Kennedy London

Alison Hammond has adopted the role of a picky countess for this year’s Sainsbury’s Christmas ad. Narrated by Stephen Fry, the ad is set in a land far far away where a feast is being planned in the castle.

One by one, chefs present their dishes to the countess for approval, but when it comes to the Christmas pudding she has a few choice words. Declaring that she doesn’t like the dessert, the disappointed chef retreats to his kitchen to come up with something better.

As an orchestral version of the hit noughties tune Teenage Dirtbag plays in the background, the nervous cook presents Hammond with a caramelized biscuit Christmas pudding that she loves.

Nov 4

Boots: Joy For All by VMLY&R

The ad follows Holly, played by It’s a Sin actor Lydia West, who finds a pair of magic glasses on the bus that let her see the hidden ’joy’ all around her.

The 60-second spot first aired during Channel 4’s Gogglebox last night.

Hall & Oates track You Make my Dreams (Come True) backs the ad, which was directed by Si&Ad through Academy Films.

To ensure the ad hit the right notes, Boots worked with marketing research company System 1 to test the creative with customers from storyboard to the edit.

Nov 4

Morrisons: Farmer Christmas by Publicis.Poke

Morrisons aimed to highlight the quality and value of its festive range, with his ‘seal of approval’ the common thread running through it all.

In the 60-second TV ad, the character appears as the other hero of Christmas as Morrisons once again illustrates the work British farmers do to help make it so special.

The spotlight is also on the supermarket's own colleagues – the “real life elves” who help make more than half the fresh food that Morrisons sells. Many of them feature in the ad.

Nov 2

Disney: The Gift by Flux Animation Studios

‘The Gift’ marks the final installment of the ‘From Our Family To Yours’ trilogy and tells the story of a little girl who is trying to adjust to the changing dynamics as her family prepares to welcome another child.

It’s a touching story of sibling relationships, with the brand’s iconic mascot Mickey Mouse the constant that connects past, present and future generations.

Nov 2

M&S Food: Fairy and Duckie by M&S in-house creative team

In this feel-good campaign from M&S Food, Dawn French reprised her role as the festive Fairy – this time joined by her comedy partner Jennifer Saunders.

As the animated ad begins, we see Fairy on the hunt for a new friend to celebrate the festive period with. After rejecting some unsuitable candidates, she heads to the dog’s bed in the living room and finds an adorable chew toy that she magically brings to life.

Voiced by Saunders, Duckie looks a little worse for wear and in need of some cheering up. As if by magic, a selection of enticing M&S food then appears on the table and the two chat about all the delicious things they are going to eat.

Nov 2

Shelter: Brave Face by Don't Panic

Following on from last year’s acclaimed film ‘The Drive’, Shelter has released another hard-hitting video that details the realities many families will face over the coming months.

Nov 1

Not On The High Street: Celebrate Christmas by New Commercial Arts

Following on from its ’Celebrate Life’ campaign, Not On The High Street is highlighting the smaller gifts that go a long way this festive season.

The spot starts with a man doing sit-ups in his living room, when the narrator informs him that the only six-pack he needs to work on is the beers that magically appear in his hand. It goes on to feature various other characters receiving gifts including a photo album, personalized birthday cake and jazzy earrings.

Nov 1

Etsy: Gifts for All Kinds of Giving by 72andSunny

Etsy's Christmas campaign includes two emotive ads. 'To the Travelers' and 'To the New Parents' both emphasize how the gift of giving can connect people, whether it is a small present or a grand gesture.

It's the first campaign introducing the online retailer's new creative platform 'Etsy has It,' which hopes to showcase the one-of-a-kind items available to purchase from independent sellers.

Nov 1

Lego: Build to Give by Lego Agency

Lego has gone all out for its festive campaign. Rather than picture-perfect shots of snow, festive feasts and open fires, its ad shows a group of kids delivering presents on a giant vehicle of their design. Riding atop is pop star Katy Perry, who belts out her hit Firework during the journey.

Nov 1

Lindt: You Choose the Moment, We’ll Provide the Bliss

In its first-ever Christmas television ad, Lindt is petitioning itself as the luxuriously smooth chocolate treat of the festive season. In the spot, viewers see a family coming together and sharing sweets together in a cozy, decorated home.

Launching November 1, the ad will be shown across ITV, Channel 4 and 5, plus digital platforms including Sky Atlantic, 5 Select, Drama, Eden, Alibi and E4 right up until Christmas day.

October 27

TK Maxx: Nail Christmas for Less by Wieden+Kennedy London

This fun ad from TK Maxx tells the story of Sam, a woman who absolutely nails her gifts this Christmas. After being praised by a family member, Sam then goes on to create a frenzy in her hometown, with many people looking to congratulate her for her successful shopping spree.

Soundtracked by Cerrone’s 1977 hit Supernature, it is the seventh time Wieden+Kennedy London has worked with the retailer.

October 27

Dobbies Garden Centre: Dobbies, Where Great Value Comes to Life by Elvis

This magical spot from Dobbies sees a sparkling Christmas bauble being watered, which brings it to life and spreads festive joy across the garden center.

As the ad continues, viewers see a jolly Santa Claus, a cozy family wearing Christmas jumpers and a huge tree adorned with decorations and gifts.

October 24

H Samuel: Unwrap the Sparkle by Bulletproof

This TV ad from British jewelry chain H Samuel begins with a glimpse of presents under a Christmas tree and a family excitedly waiting to open them. As they begin to pass the gifts around, viewers see each person open them to reveal a piece of sparkling jewelry, from a gold chain to a watch, and even a ring as a surprise proposal takes place beside the tree.

October 18

Ocean Spray: Power Your Holidays by Orchard Creative

Ocean Spray introduces its infectiously wiggling cranberry jelly as the most powerful party guest in the house. In the ad, viewers see the humble berry go from a traditional side dish to a bold center-stage star in this light-hearted spot.

It begins with bored dinner guests all sitting around a beige-looking spread, but when the bright red accompaniment is brought out the mood begins to change. As the jiggly cranberry jelly wobbles on the table, the guests mimic the movements in a hypnotic way.

October 15

Wish: Forced Smiles by Whale

This fun holiday ad from e-commerce platform Wish taps into the relatable scenario of receiving a gift from a loved one that you wouldn’t necessarily have chosen for yourself.

In the spot, viewers see a man being gifted with a tennis-racket-shaped present, leading to him putting on his best-forced smile to appease his family.

A Wish portal then opens above him and different items from his wish list begin falling into his living room. One of those items is a set of bagpipes that land in his arms, giving him the gift he really wanted and igniting a genuine smile.

October 13

Very: Gifts For All Your Christmasses by Grey London

Very was the first UK brand to release its festive campaign this year. The film plays up to the earliness and begins with a mother looking at the camera and stating that: “Christmas isn’t just one day, it’s lots of days” as her family exchange gifts.

As the video continues, viewers see the woman watching her partner put their decorations up during the autumn months in what she calls ‘early Christmas.’ She then attends a karaoke-themed office party at her ‘work Christmas,’ celebrates ‘birthday Christmas’ with her kids and continues the festivities on ‘Boxing Day Christmas.’

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