Aishwarya Ramesh

X-Mas Roundup - a look at Christmas themed ads from around the world

Here are the ads from major brands that stood out this year.

Christmas is a busy time of the year for advertisers in the West. Starting from Thanksgiving (celebrated on November 28), till Christmas (December 25) and the New Year, retailers and advertisers barely have a moment to breathe. Black Friday sales flag off the sale season and shoppers get access to goods at steeply discounted rates.

Advertising is a big part of making those sales. Here's a look at some ads that stood out this year.

1. Ikea

IKEA acknowledges that Christmas is that time of the year when families take time out to visit each other. With these visits, criticism of the state of one's home is likely - so IKEA's ad is a musical rap on the insecurities of a host.

2. Amazon

Once again, Amazon draws attention to their story boxes - this ad features singing story boxes and people working various jobs during the holiday season (including an Amazon delivery executive.) It seems to be Amazon's attempt to carve out a niche for themselves with a catchy tune and animated singing boxes.

3. Visa

In recent years, local shops and small businesses have been adversely affected by the e-commerce boom. This Visa ad asks viewers to 'show your High Street some love', and is accompanied by the hashtag #WhereYouShopMatters. Complementary to the video ad, VISA is also running localised display ads, encouraging local shopping with small businesses.

4. Iceland's 'Frozen' themed ad

Disney released the sequel to the popular children's movie Frozen in November this year and Iceland decided to build on that. The movie Frozen 2 is set in Iceland and the country capitalises on the popularity of the franchise in this Christmas themed family spot.

5. Apple

Apple is another major retailer that chose to go for a family themed spot for Christmas this year. The ad features two sisters fighting incessantly, eventually bonding with each other and the extended family, with the help of an iPad.

6. Boots UK

Typically, the most difficult part of Christmas is buying presents to suit different people's personalities. The ad presents caricatures of different generations, making references to YouTube celebrities, TikTok dance videos and televised reality shows. It presents Boots' online shopping boutique as a solution to this problem.

7. McDonald's

This year, the McDonald's UK Christmas spot has been created by Leo Burnett. The 90-second spot revolves around little Ellie who gets shut off from her sister - leading her to confide in a reindeer she befriended on her front lawn.

8. Facebook

Since the spirit of Christmas is all about 'coming together,' Wieden & Kennedy created the concept of a 'Mama Claus' - to emphasise Facebook's Group feature. The ad relies heavily on the concept of community building and family features as a strong theme yet again in this ad.

9. Pepsi

American rapper Cardi B was anointed Pepsi's brand ambassador earlier this year and her Christmas themed spot is directed to resemble a 'cartoony' carol. It begins with a storybook style narration and ends with a workshop where Cardi B turns Pepsi into cash for the purpose of gifting.

Wieden & Kennedy feature on this list for the second time for another ad that focuses heavily on personalised shopping. The ad stands out for its protagonist's deadpan narration and unbelievable stunts and storytelling.

Special mention: Mariah Carey's ad for Walkers Crisps

In the West, Mariah Carey is known as the Queen of Christmas, given the popularity of her song - 'All I want for Christmas is you.' In this ad for Walkers Crisps, Carey is seen in a festive red gown, handing out gifts to everyone and overall embodying what Christmas stands for.