A holiday season tradition for many is being able to catch all of the festive, heartwarming, and sometimes heart-wrenching holiday advertisements that appear on television in between their favourite Christmas movies. From dogs that jump on trampolines to monsters who just want to be loved, here are the best holiday campaigns we’ve seen this year.
1. SickKids – “VS Missing Home”
The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) launched an ad campaign this October called VS in which children in the care of the hospital are pinned as warriors fighting back against the illnesses that have put them there. The most recent video in the campaign, called SickKids VS Missing Home touches on the fact that many children won’t be home this Christmas Eve and fear Santa may not be able to find them. SickKids holiday campaigns have traditionally been of a more somber tone, pulling at the heartstrings of the viewer, but the hospital along with the help of Cossette has evolved its approach to mirror the innovation and evolution of healthcare technologies.
2. Apple – “Frankie’s Holiday”
Apple’s 2016 holiday advertisement aims to position the iPhone as a piece of technology that brings people together. This is often the messaging in Apple’s ads, but at a time when the world feels socially divided, it’s especially important. Not only does this campaign advertise the new iPhone 7, but it frames Apple as a socially-conscious brand that cares about human issues and wants to work toward a better world in which people open their hearts to everyone (this happens to be the campaign tag line).
3. WestJet – “Christmas Miracle: Fort McMurray Strong”
As a brand, one of the things WestJet is most known for around the holidays is its annual Christmas Miracle campaign. In its fifth year, the 2016 campaign was focused on the displaced residents of the Fort McMurray fires that occurred earlier this year. WestJet threw a Snowflake Soiree for these residents, presenting them with custom ornaments and free flight vouchers. WestJet has always been connected to Fort McMurray with 16 weekly flights to the area from all over Canada. For them, it made perfect sense for this year’s Christmas Miracle to be focused on that specific community.
4. Alzheimer’s Research UK – “Santa Forgot”
As a way to bring awareness to Alzheimer’s and the research required to work on a cure, Alzheimer’s Research UK created a holiday campaign this year that shows anyone can fall victim to the disease – even Santa Claus. By bringing awareness to the fact that Alzheimer’s and Dementia do not discriminate, the charity is hoping that those in the holiday spirit will see Santa in a humanized way and donate to the cause.
5. John Lewis – “Buster the Boxer”
John Lewis holiday advertisements are looked forward to by millions every year. The UK-based department store takes their holiday campaigns one step further by offering new items for sale that relate to the ad of the year, this time including trampolines, Buster the Boxer plush toys and other Buster-branded gifts. This year’s heartwarming ad features a group of trampoline-loving animals, which aligns with a partnership between John Lewis and The Wildlife Trusts, who receives 10% of the revenue generated through Buster the Boxer plush toy sales.
Narrowing this list down to only five items was a difficult task as we saw so many amazing campaigns this year. The brands we did mention will have a level of creative quality to live up to and, hopefully, a new audience to impress this time next year.