Christmas Adverts 2018

Christmas Adverts 2018

December 24, 2018 Advertising 0


It’s that time of the year when retailers start their Christmas adverts. They can be inspiring, tear-jerking and even highlight the real problems and spark debate. Some people love them, some hate it, and some want to ban them as was the case with Iceland’s 2018 advert. Advertisers in the UK are expected to spend $6.4bln for Christmas adverts in 2018 (The Drum, 2018).


Biggest retailers, such as John Lewis, M&S, Aldi, Iceland and others have already released their Christmas adverts. Let’s analyse them and see whether they have been successful, as well as their impact on people.



Originally it was a Greenpeace advertisement created back in August. The ad was narrated by Emma Thompson and featured the main character Rang-tang who invaded a girl’s bedroom. Iceland decided to choose this advertisement as their 2018 Christmas campaign. With that, Iceland has announced that they are cutting down palm oil from 100’s of products including shampoo. Surprisingly, the advertisement was banned with the pretext that it is too political.


Despite that, it has received a lot of media coverage – from British news sites, such as BBC, The Guardian and Daily Mail, to American newspapers, such as The New York Times. Iceland surely has gotten a lot of publicity and therefore, we would rate the campaign as a big success.

People’s Reaction on Social Media

Generally, people have responded well to the advertisement. It has received 82k like vs 1k dislike ratio on YouTube. The video has amassed 5.4million views. Here are the top comments from the YouTube section.

Some of the comments were humorous, such as this one.

Others were inspired by the creative process.

And finally, there were many comments such as this one outlining how it doesn’t feel political.

John Lewis

Everyone in the UK waits for the Christmas advert that John Lewis puts out. It officially starts the Christmas adverts marathon as well. This year John Lewis went with the theme of ‘power of the gift’ and nostalgia. They have used celebrity endorsement – Elton John to tell a story about his love of music from the point of view from childhood to adulthood and vice versa. John Lewis used a clever hashtag to promote this campaign #EltonJohnLewis that ties the two together.

The slogan at the end of the video said: ‘Some gifts are more than just a gift’. The meaning behind the ad was that meaningful gifts can change lives.


John Lewis ad was widely talked about and returned 56 million search results for ‘John Lewis Christmas ad 2018’. Magazines, like Cosmopolitan, Hello! and news sites, such as the Telegraph, Mirror, Daily Mail, Independent covered the ad.

The Telegraph called this ad ‘heartwarming’. Whilst The Guardian attacked the retailer with a headline: ‘Why John Lewis’ lavish Christmas ad ignores the failing high street’. It argues that spending £7 million on a Christmas ad is not wise when John Lewis profit has ‘fell to almost zero by the end of July.’ However, those estimates were proved wrong by John Lewis spokesperson.

People’s Reaction on Social Media

On YouTube, it has 12 million views and 117k like versus 10k dislike ratio. On Twitter, #eltonjohnlewis received 489 tweets in 7 days and most of the tweets were positive. People have been reacting emotionally to the ad and thought that the meaning behind was to follow your dreams. Here are the top comments from YouTube & Twitter:

People loved the advert and even tweeted & wrote comments on YouTube to express their opinion.


Kevin the Carrot was the star of the Aldi Christmas 2018 advert. It was an animated film showcasing Kevin’s family and evil parsnip Pascal who imprisoned them. It was a continuation from 2017 Kevin’s adventures of meeting his carrot wife Kate and it also featured two-part episodes with a literal cliffhanger. Definitely, Aldi advertising and marketing departments have an amazing imagination to create such original advertisements.

In addition, Aldi has released Kevin & his family’s toys, as well as other characters, such as Pascal that later got sold out.


Classic British news sites mentioned above all covered Aldi Christmas advert. Interior decorating magazine called House Beautiful has criticized the ad of copying Coca Cola’s ‘Holidays Are Coming’ campaign concept (

Liverpool Echo speculated whether they have killed off Kevin in the cliffhanger episode with 1472 shares for the article. It proved extremely popular with 45 million Google Search results.

People’s Reaction on Social Media

On YouTube, it has received 3.4 million views with 10k like versus 1.3k dislike ratio. However, the comments section was disabled. The discount retailer has also used a bunch of hashtags to promote the campaign, such as #savekevin and #kevinthecarrot. On Twitter, it had 1,170 tweets about #kevinthecarrot in the last 7 days. People shared a few cute photos of Kevin on Twitter:


Google brought a smile on our faces when they featured Macaulay Culkin in this year’s Christmas advert for Google Assistant. It’s exactly what this year’s Christmas needed. 2018 was based heavily on nostalgia and this ad proves it. Home Alone is a classic Christmas staple film and Google making a remastered version of the main scenes was excellent.

Media Reaction

Google returned 158 million search results for the term ‘Google Assistant Christmas ad 2018’. That is a crazy high statistic for an advert that came out 4 days ago. Forbes Will Burns listed 12 reasons why he loved the ad:

TechCrunch also praised the advert calling it ‘fantastic and Home Alone reimagined’. Cosmopolitan called it ‘incredible and a Christmas miracle’. The reaction from media was unison where everyone loved the ad.

People’s Reaction on Social Media

In 4 days of uploading the ad has amassed 23 million views and a staggering 481k likes against only 9k dislikes. This video clearly was extremely engaging compared to other Christmas ads.  #Googleassistant had 1,999 tweets in the last 7 days. Clearly, on social media, the campaign was very engaging. You can read most liked comments here:


This year’s Heathrow Christmas advert was shown with animated teddy bears. The advert was really about spending time with your loved ones on holidays and reconnecting. And how? Of course, by flying with Heathrow airport that connects families across the world. It was heart-warming and received overall good feedback. The official campaign’s hashtag was #HeathrowBears and the slogan ‘Making it home makes it Christmas’.

Media Reaction

Express news site wrote the headline about the ad that viewers were left in tears after seeing the ad. Others, such as House Beautiful pointed at the comeback of Doris and Edward bears that made viewers feel nostalgic. Independent found the ad ‘heart-warming’. The media loved Heathrow’s campaign.  

People’s Reaction on Social Media

Heathrow’s Christmas advert 2018 returns 114 million search results which prove its popularity. On YouTube, the video received 1.2 million views with 5.8k likes against 1k dislikes. Honestly, we have no idea where those dislikes are coming from. In the last 7 days, it has received 79 tweets. Read people’s opinion about the ad below:



This year many Christmas adverts were paying attention to nostalgia. Overall, in 2018 we saw marketers use nostalgia in films, fashion, games and now advertisements. Ads that had that nostalgia element, such as John Lewis, Heathrow and of course Google Assistant performed better than other ads.

Another trend with retailers was reusing the same characters from previous years. The reason behind it is because people get to know them and familiarity breeds likeability. Therefore, marketers & retailers stick with safe options and make things like continuations or cliffhangers to the stories.

In addition, animated ads performed well with brands such as Aldi, Heathrow and especially Iceland.

See you next year! 

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