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Campaign Spotlight

Campaign Showcase: Christmas ads for 2020 remain creative even during a pandemic

MANILA, PHILIPPINES– It will not be a stretch to say that the Christmas season for 2020 will be different from any season prior to it. With the global pandemic still present and a vaccine only beginning to be rolled out, social distancing and holiday celebrations from home will likely be more muted.

However, with the world desperate to find something to celebrate as this year finally nears its end, several brands have begun to roll out their different Christmas ads to trigger different kinds of feelings.


Coca-Cola has long been associated with Christmas, with a classic image of Santa Claus adorning Coke cans and memorable holidays ads produced by the softdrink brand for decades. This year, Wieden+Kennedy tugs at the heartstrings when a little girl asks her dad to deliver a letter to Santa at the North Pole. When the dad literally misses the boat to have the letter delivered, he decides to do so himself.

Underlining how parents will do anything for their children, this dad is no different; going underwater, climbing mountains, walking through a jungle, before finally arriving at Santa’s home, which is closed for Christmas. When a delivery truck for Coca-Cola pulls over to offer him a ride home, the truck driver shows him the contents of the letter: a plea for Santa to bring her dad home for the holiday. Of course, it’s the classic image of Kris Kringle himself driving the truck.

In a similar vein, McCann UK created an ad about coming home for Christmas on behalf of discount supermarket chain Aldi. A family of anthropomorphic carrots witnesses a shooting star signifying Christmas was near but the baby of the family insists it isn’t Christmas until their father comes home. That father, named Kevin the Carrot, was actually the star and falls far from his house.

Rescued by a porcupine who offers to take him home, Kevin fears that he might not make it in time for the holiday until he is rescued by Santa Claus himself. Santa then gets on a flying bicycle and brings Kevin home to enjoy a feast ordered through Aldi.

In the case of British furniture maker DFS, agency Krow London went the claymation route to deliver their Christmas message, specifically through the popular animated duo of Wallace and Gromit from Aardman Animations. Dubbed “A Comfy Carol,” good-natured inventor Wallace is shown caroling door- to-door with his dog Gromit and a “ewe-phonia” that reminds us of another Aardman creation, Shaun the Sheep.


Even as another home enjoys the singing sheep, Wallace notices Gromit shivering from the cold even as the dog sees a family warming themselves comfortable on a sofa in front of a fire. They are then invited inside to also sit on the couch as the narrator says, “Wishing you a Merry Christmas. DFS.”

Health and beauty retailer Boots UK Limited uses a 1965 classic written by the songwriting duo of Burt Bacharach and Hal David to deliver a message that resonates to this day. Different products offered by Boots are shown with eyes and a mouth singing the lyrics first recorded by Jackie DeShannon even as they are used. These include bath soap, toothpaste, hairbrushes, and the like.

As this cover by singer Rachel Chinouriri reaches its crescendo in the ad from Ogilvy UK, a graphic is displayed noting that not millions of people in the UK can’t afford hygiene essentials. Thus, Boots is donating 1million pounds to help fight hygiene poverty and is asking people to donate to The Hygiene Bank as well.

Every year, high-end British department store chain John Lewis & Partners comes up with Christmas ads that catch people’s eye for their innovation, intelligence, execution, and message. The 2020 ad from adam&eve DDB lives up to that legacy with nine different vignettes created by eight different artists in a celebration of different kinds of moving art.

John Lewis & Partners has not been spared from the pandemic, closing eight department stores and four Waitrose supermarket sites resulting in jobs lost. Yet the message of hope in this campaign remains clear with a heart being passed on from person to person or even to a snowman, a pigeon, and a porcupine.

Agency PRETTYBIRD worked with Lucky Generals to create a campaign for Amazon to show how pandemic life may have changed this year’s Christmas but that the show must definitely go on. After a young lady is announced as “star of the winter show” in anticipation of the annual school celebration, she keeps practicing her ballet routine, hoping to perform well.


Even under lockdown conditions and forced to practice alone, she is devastated when the school cancels the show due to the pandemic. Through the efforts of her kid sister and some orders through Amazon, the girl gets to perform outside for her neighbors, all while a rousing instrumental version of Queen’s classic “The Show Must Go On” blares in the background.

As early as November, Disney already made Filipino heads turn with an ad featuring a Mickey Mouse stuffed toy passed across generations. Beginning in 1940, a young girl does the mano po greeting to her father even as several traditional Christmas lanterns (a.k.a. parol) hang above them. When the little girl receives a Mickey Mouse toy, she hugs it closely before the scene flashes forward to 2005.

Now a grandmother in the snowy United Kingdom, the girl passes on the doll to her own granddaughter before teaching her how to build her own parol. Some years later, the granddaughter heads out to meet friends and ends up leaving the Mickey Mouse doll behind.

When the grandmother awakes the next day, she is shocked to find the living room adorned with different colored parol and she gives her lola the toy once more as a Christmas gift. “Love is a Compass” by Griff accompanies this campaign and proceeds from downloads of the track have been given to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

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