It’s the best day of the year – for brands and consumers alike.

Christmas is a time for laughter, sharing food with friends and family, and for celebrating the end of the year.

It’s also the best season for advertisers, since almost everyone will be scurrying around for the perfect gift. Sometimes, those advertisements can feel pandering or contrived, but every so often, an ad will be pitch-perfect in tone. The best Christmas ads can be anything from innovative to humorous to incredibly sweet, and we’ve gathered them up for you to watch and delight in yourself:


John Lewis: The Long Wait (2011)

This John Lewis ad is not less poignant now, six years later, than it was when first released. Both the young boy in the ad and the audience watching are swept up in the arduous process of counting down the days until the most magical day of the year. The twist ending makes everything all the more sweet, subverting audiences’ assumptions of why, exactly, this boy is waiting for Christmas.


Allegro: Czego szukasz w Święta? | English for beginners (2016) 

Almost painfully relatable for anyone who’s tried or is trying to learn a second language, this tale of an old man trying to learn English in the festive season is at times endearing and humorous, with a surprise ending that’ll have you in tears.


Air New Zealand: A Very Merry Mistake (2017)

Ever wondered how Santa managed to get all the boys and girls of the world their presents, despite language barriers? Turns out that accents can be just as much an impediment, as this 2017 ad shows, offering a lighthearted look at the struggle of understanding the Kiwi accent straight from Air New Zealand themselves.


Apple: Misunderstood (2013)

Apple’s always had an eye for good ads, and this 2013 Christmas ad is no different – taking the audience on a journey of a teenager on his phone in the midst of numerous family activities, before revealing the reason behind his screen addiction.


Westjet: Real-time Giving (2013)

In an absolutely crazy endeavour, the good people at Westjet decided to make their passengers’ Christmases just that little bit more magical by taking on the roles of Santa Claus and his elves. A surprise unlike any other, this tearjerker will make you feel all kinds of warm.


Sainsbury’s: 1914 (2014)

The iconic Sainsbury’s 1914 ad, criticised for using historical events for advertising purposes, but no less heart-wrenching for that. The brand intrusion is minimal, barely touching this re-enactment of the historical truce between British and German soldiers on Christmas Day 1914. Instead, Sainsbury’s treated the story with respect and great cinematography, to create an ad that’ll touch on anyone’s heartstrings.

John Lewis: Buster the Boxer (2016)

Another one from John Lewis, a retailer that’s produced so many brilliant Christmas ads that their campaigns are heavily anticipated, this story of a girl, her dog, and her Christmas present is stunning both visually and emotionally. Light-hearted and absurdly sweet, this ad will leave you in hysterics.


(Feature image via Wesley Tingey)