The Christmas Adverts of 2021: Weird or Wonderful?

The Christmas Adverts of 2021: Weird or Wonderful?

Christmas seems to be getting bigger every year, and one recent tradition has taken off with a star-studded bang. This year’s Christmas adverts are filled with graphics that rival movie quality, and feature celebs from Spiderman's Tom Holland, to the Vicar of Dibley's Dawn French. Without further ado, let's have a look at this year's cheerful promos.

1. Marks & Spencers

Marks and Sparks actually surprised us with two Christmas adverts this year. Because we’re gluttons, we decided to focus on the one featuring M&S’s famous food halls. In this commercial, the Vicar of Dibley and Spider-Man, or Dawn French and Tom Holland, form an unusual but entirely lovable partnership. Holland voices Percy Pig, and French portrays a Christmas fairy. So far, so psychedelic, but we applaud this ad for the fact that it appears to be actually advertising something, rather than some TV spots this year where you’re not even sure what the product or the brand is. The message is well conveyed, brief but not rushed. Exceptional work. Let us know what you think of their other commercial!

2. Sports Direct

We're great fans of this one, perhaps because, for one thing, they certainly know their audience, with sports stars galore. It has Jack Grealish doing his best East 17 impression, Jordan "Crazy Eyes" Pickford looking like he's going to get down, and even Emma Raducanu, the country's newest non-footballing star, sending up snowball aces. It's a cameo-fest to the max, but Bukayo Saka and his inflatable unicorn are nowhere to be found. Perhaps he was kidnapped by JD Sports.

3. Lidl

This is a Christmas advert. It has one of the best-worst Christmas sweater montages we've ever seen, shows some of Lidl's very delectable discounts without being too aggressive, has some truly humorous moments, as well as a fun nod to the spirit of Christmas future. Lidl, you've done us proud.

4. Asda

The supermarket’s theme of Christmas on ice is a different take, skating through like a Christmas panto and checking off the lists of Christmas traditions we partake in every year. The ad itself gives a subtle nod to its wares, without being overly pushy, but the first half of the ad certainly hints at something more interesting than the ending we got. A solid B?

5. Boots

If you'd asked Tom Hooper how he anticipated his life after Cats, he'd probably predict a few more Oscar nominations instead of directing a Boots commercial. But, here we are. The filmmaker oversees a very serviceable advertisement, which may go a little too heavy on the mushiness. Bonus points for bringing in Jenna Coleman, a fantastic actress. I did find myself longing for the handbag more than the contents inside of it, Mary Poppins vibes anyone?

6. Selfridges

This one feels a little like teenage punk rocker's first art project. It's over in less than 40 seconds, compared to the Boots commercial, which is a colossal three minutes of screen time, not cheap to run at all. Well, there's no beating about the bush, this commercial is completely insane. There's a talking Christmas tree, a drag queen, about a million different products on screen in a fast pace and frenzied manner that you'd need to pause frame by frame to see. After a few glasses of mulled wine, maybe it'll all make sense. Or something much, much stronger.

7. Aldi

Have you ever wanted to see Mr Scrooge played by an animated banana? No? Well, that’s what we’ve got from Aldi this year. Knocking over snowmen, going into a vegetable ensnared fever dream of the Christmas Carol, before finally ending with the banana embracing his fellow vegetables. Did it make me feel more confused than filled with Christmas joy? In a word, yes. But I’ll give it its due, it’s very funny to watch Tiny Tim being portrayed as a cherry tomato.

8. Tesco

Say what you will, but I think Tesco nailed their Christmas advert this year. Everyone has either been making grand gestures that “this year things will be normal again” or just ignoring the concept of 2020 altogether (I think the Aldi fever dream about anthropomorphic vegetables sums that up). Instead, Tesco fully embraces the ups and downs, the annoyances, restrictions and the huge revolving question mark hovering in everyone’s mind. But overall it sends a message: Everyone, keep calm and Christmas on. I like it, very stout. Well done Tesco.

9. John Lewis

Well, John Lewis is continuing its tradition of making something Christmas adjacent, by creating something nothing to do with Christmas at all. An extraterrestrial who develops a touching bond with a human? Alright. An eerie acoustic version of a well-known pop song? Check. And no mention of the shop or anything they sell? Well, obviously. It does feel that with each passing year, John Lewis gets just a little bit weirder in its ad campaigns. Everyone alright over there chaps?

Do you agree with our list? What are some of your favourite Christmas adverts from this year? Let us know on our Facebook page!