The best Christmas Commercials of 2018

Renske van den Bogaard

23-11-2018 | It’s that time of the year again! At least, for me it is. 😉 Our Dutch ‘Sinterklaas’ has only just arrived and will spend the next three weeks filling our shoes with presents, whereas my Christmas spirit started sparkling a month ago. Luckily the Americans and British feel me, resulting in tons of early Christmas commercials. I selected my favorite must-sees (so far) for you. In random order, as I was too excited to pick an ultimate favorite. Enjoy!

1) Heathrow – The Heathrow bears return

We all know our beloved granny and grandpa bear from the heartwarming Heathrow Christmas ads. Did you know they have actual names and even a family tree? Anyhow, this year Doris and Edward Bair are enjoying their retirement village in Florida, including yellow Speedo and retro sun visor. Until they Skype with the little ones… Tissues at the ready, because this is (candle)lit!

2) Aldi – Kevin the Carrot and the Wicked Parsnip

I don’t know how I’ve missed Kevin the Carrot and his aversion to parsnips, but I LOVE IT. I found this video hilarious, with its creative storytelling, genius puns, witty characters and the voice over talking in rhyme. Apparently after its introduction in 2016, Kevin the Carrot was responsible for a revenue growth of 15.1% and one million new customers, who were worth €1.1 billion of extra sales. Aldi, I’m on my way too.

And for those interested in all previous Christmas adventures of Kevin the Carrot, check out the compilation here:

3) Sainsbury’s – The Big Night

Sainsbury’s obviously can’t miss from this list. This year’s ad has a festive ‘School Play’ theme, which makes it adorable, touching and funny. However, it’s also the reason this video has received quite some criticism. None other than John Lewis used the same theme in their autumn campaign, that launched two months earlier. The similarities can’t be unseen, however I reckon that Sainbury’s already started working on their ad quite a while ago. An unfortunate coincidence, but I must admit… I really don’t mind. It only makes me wish we had these incredibly cute Christmas School Plays in The Netherlands too.

4) John Lewis – The Boy and The Piano

Speaking of which, there’s also this amazing John Lewis ad about Elton John. We go back in time, to the moment Elton gets his first piano for Christmas. Accompanied by his touching songs and many nostalgic images. In short, you don’t have to be a fan to be moved by this appealing ad. It makes you feel how wonderful life is 😉.


Another John Lewis video that is not officially allowed in this list, but I couldn’t keep from you. This one leaked in 2017, but it appeared only to be a ‘candidate’ that eventually lost to ‘Moz the Monster’. However, it’s a must-see starring a fox, an adorable mouse and true Christmas spirit. Need I say more?

5) Boots – #GiftsThatGetThem

This one from health and beauty store Boots highlights the beautiful, special and sometimes struggling relationship between a mother and her teenage daughter. The ultimate Christmas spirit comes together within this video. Just the customized song gave me goosebumps already. Or as we say in Dutch: chicken skin. Remember this for number 6. But first… goosebumps.

6) KFC UK – Turkey vs. Chicken

Okay, enough already with those sentimental ads! Time for a good laugh, which KFC decided to provide us with. A wonderful Christmas present to us all. Although I personally appreciate the way the chicken is worshipped, it may raise some eyebrows among animal rights activists. Brace yourself and prepare to laugh out loud.



7) CESAR – #TWINNING

Put a dog in a Christmas ad and I’m happy. But I didn’t see this one coming. Got some laughs left after the KFC ad? Then you should definitely check this pawesome CESAR video. They built a Doggy Design Studio, where dogs (yes, really!) could design matching Christmas sweater sets for them and their owner. How did they do this, I hear you ask. Well, by running, jumping, wagging and barking. I can’t even. Just watch it. Please.

8) Apple – Share your gifts

Have you had plenty of laughs? Then it’s time to discuss this inspiring ad by Apple. It’s wonderfully animated and has a beautiful ambiguous message within the title. The short movie is about creating something wonderful but being too afraid to share it. And that’s of course where Apple comes in, as usual in a natural and inspiring way. Must-see, because an apple a day…

9) Iceland Foods – Say hello to Rang-tan

Last but not least there’s a very special one. Nothing holly jolly, but an impactful message. Even too impactful to be allowed on TV. In their battle against palm oil production, Iceland Foods created a touching story about an orang-utan and a little girl. Nothing festive, yet a (banned) must-see.

Overall, I noticed that there were less sentimental and social subjects covered in the videos. Also, a lot of animated characters and stories were created, which I really loved. I hope you enjoyed these ads as much as I did, because we have plenty of days (and video ads!) to come until Christmas will officially start. Patience, Renske. Patience.