The time has come for the return of the Christmas advert competition and once again the contestants are desperately trying to win over the public and gain the title ‘Christmas ad of the year’. This year, John Lewis’ #BusterTheBoxer ad has left viewers divided, Aldi have pulled out all the stops to sit amongst the big brands with their ‘Kevin the Carrot’ ad, Heathrow’s first ever Christmas ad featuring two adorable teddy bears and the Sainsbury’s cartoon ad about a busy working father wanting to give his family the best gift is sweet, however for me, Marks and Spencer have really upped their game and have ‘dashed’ all the way to first place.
M&S have decided to take an entirely different route on the traditional Christmas advert with the appearance of ‘Mrs Claus’, a character that commonly gets forgotten about due to the main star of the show, Father Christmas. Marks and Spencer turn Mrs Claus into a stylish and jovial wife of the Big Man – played by 55-year-old Geordie actress Janet McTeer – who saves the day out of the generosity and kindness in her heart by helping the main character, Jake, on Christmas Eve. This advert lays emphasis on femininity and highlights that women are strong, independent women and don’t need men to help them get the job done, hence promoting female empowerment and ultimately showing that the older women have still got it! Good on you, Mrs Claus!
The ad is about a young boy, named Jake, calling upon Mrs Claus on Christmas Eve to help get his sister, Anna, the perfect Christmas present – a pair of sparkling red trainers. He wishes to apologise to her for being an annoying younger brother and showing her that despite his (typical younger sibling) behaviour – certainly a relatable situation for many of us – he still loves her dearly. Mrs Claus comes and saves the day by flying R-Dolf, the helicopter, to Jake’s home in London to personally deliver the pair of red trainers his sister, Anna, desperately wanted. At the end of the ad, on Christmas Day, we see a young brother and sister united by the power of gift-giving and it really does melt my heart. It’s all about love and kindness at this time of year, helping one another and making people smile, and this advert captures this more than any other for me.
The thing that Christmas advert campaigns sometimes forget is that it’s not always about making adverts emotional, such as last year’s John Lewis ad #ManOnTheMoon, pulling at the heart strings of their audience and reducing people to tears. No. It’s about showing what Christmas is all about… and that’s bringing friends and family together and making people happy. Marks and Spencer’s 2016 Christmas ad faultlessly captures this and epitomises the idea of Christmas for everyone, appealing to all across the country, and that is why M&S wins my vote for this year’s Christmas ad of the year.