Christmas TV ads: Un joyeux Noël dans l’hypermarché (or, if you fling enough tinsel around eventually some of it will stick)

As we move into the middle of November, brands have inevitably begun rolling out their Christmas ad campaigns. Leading the charge are the UK’s leading supermarkets, who have all launched their Yuletide cries for you to buy your cranberry sauce in their particular halogen-lit hangar. Rather than be horrified by the ever-encroaching start point of the festive season we’ve decided to embrace it and take a look at the televisual offerings from the Big Four.


Morrison’s have mercifully done away with their celebrity themed ads for Christmas this year so thankfully there’ll be no more of Richard Hammond’s bizarre hairstyles to put you off your Christmas pud. Instead they’ve gone for something a bit more bright and breezy that puts the spotlight on one Mum’s role in a family Christmas.

The angle: Tongue-in-cheek, female-focused with a feel-good finale.


There’s been a bit of a to-do about Asda’s offering with 160 people complaining to the ASA that their ad reinforces negative gender stereotypes. Truthfully, if we were ASDA we’d be far more concerned that our advert is almost identical to Morrison’s.

The angle: The same as Morrison’s. But less funny.


Sainsbury’s marketing execs clearly take the view that if you fling enough tinsel around eventually some of it will stick. We say this because Jamie Oliver’s old bosses have produced a whopping 14 festive adverts that are set to run in the countdown to Christmas.

The angle: Fourteen glimpses of festive family fun. This is the one where the Mum (again) gets the thin end of the wedge.


Tesco have gone with a classic Christmas double points offer. Generous deals like this at a usually expensive time of year almost make you forget about their sinister Orwellian ambitions to own seemingly intangible things like “the entire film experience”.

The angle: Who cares if one day you’ll be drinking a Tescobucks coffee, riding the TescoTrain to your job working for Tesco when today you can get twice as many tokens to spend on sinister singing furbies?

So there you have it. If the UK’s largest supermarkets are to be believed the true meaning of Christmas is one family member dashing around desperately trying to get everything required to provide a perfect day for their family – this monumental effort will leave her exhausted and be totally unappreciated when the day itself actually rolls around. Doesn’t it make you feel warm and fuzzy inside?


Author: Tom Owen

A strategic storyteller and compelling content creator, awash with acuity and adept at alliteration. I work for Speak Media.

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