Dueling Christmas adverts jumpstart the 2016 UK holiday buying season

Some of our most nostalgic holiday memories are triggered by classic American commercials such as the unforgettable “Peter Comes Home” mid-80’s commercial for Folgers Coffee, the late 70’s Santa coming down a ski slope on a Norelco shaver and the 1970’s snowman warming up in front of a bowl of chicken noodle soup from Campbell’s Soup.

With still over a week to go before Thanksgiving, it’s time, once again boys and girls, for the unveiling of the 2016 Christmas adverts from UK retailers such as John Lewis and Sainsbury’s as the onslaught to tear-jerker holiday adverts have already hit the air not only in America but in the UK as well. This year is no exception as the bar is raised, budgets are higher and public anticipation is higher than the law allows. John Lewis, the U.K. department store chain finds itself battling it out with two supermarket chains, Sainsbury and Waitrose, for the one that will  generate the greatest number of teary-eyed moments.

Sainsbury’s Christmas advert – 2016


What’s not to like about laser-printed puppets created in stop frame animation with each shot frame filmed a quarter of a second at a time and featuring vocals by the king of Carpool Karaoke, James Corden! This year’s Sainsbury’s Christmas advert tells the story of Dave, a hard-working and devoted Dad, who realizes that the greatest gift he can give people this Christmas is his time. Cue the tears…

John Lewis Christmas advert – 2016


This year’s John Lewis advert features five-year-old Biff the Boxer as Buster the dog who is enviously watching the neighborhood’s wildlife leap around on the family’s brand new trampoline on Christmas Eve. At a cost of around £1 million, the UK retailer is going to have to sell a lot of the plush toy versions of the featured animals at £12 each to make it worth the cost. While it’s not their traditional over-emotional tear-jerker, how can you not love a wildly happy dog at Christmas time and, besides, it has a hedgehog, a badger, two foxes and a squirrel on a trampoline!

Waitrose Christmas advert – 2016


Titled “Coming Home”, the 2016 Christmas advert from Waitrose features a courageous Scandinavian robin (Britain’s national bird, btw) that undertakes an epic journey home to Britain where a young girl eagerly awaits the courageous robin’s annual winter migration as it battles against weather conditions, high seas, hawks and exhaustion to reach its preferred British garden to find food, warmer climes and a breeding partner. According to producers, the idea is that the robin acts as a symbol for all the journeys we all make to be with our families and friends at Christmas and the efforts we go to in getting home to connect with loved ones.


In: Odds & Sods