Skip to Content

Examining the unforgettable Christmas ads of 2023

The question of whether it is ever too late to embrace one's inner child finds a whimsical answer in Amazon's lively and inspiring 60-second ad - eroding age limits on enjoyment and affirming that "joy is shared".

Amrita Rao Senior Executive 20/12/2023

Each year, the John Lewis Christmas advert rustles up so much momentum that its arrival has essentially become a tradition in its own right.

Celebrated for heartwarming narratives and imaginative charm, the retail giant has successfully established these creatives as an obligatory feature of the holiday season.

This year’s release, featuring an animated cactus, has inspired a collective departure from our comfort zones, encouraging an embrace of novel traditions.

Nevertheless, as the big day fast-approaches, let’s divert our attention from traditional champs like John Lewis & Partners, and instead focus on adverts that have left a lasting impact.

Boots: who gives presents to Santa?

In an entertaining narrative by Boots, a mother and child embark on a quest to give Santa a Christmas present, spreading festive joy to the often overlooked individuals in our lives.


All while showcasing Boots’ extensive product range, this commercial convinces us that there is a perfect Christmas gift for every individual, which leaves an indelible impression. But how did consumers receive it?

The proof is in the figgy pudding…

Data from BrandVue reveals a 6% increase in Brand Preference for Boots within just one day of the ad’s release (Nov 3rd), and a remarkable 18% increase by month’s end.

Brand Preference plays a crucial role in influencing consumer choices. It’s a particularly important metric for brands to excel in, especially during the competitive holiday shopping landscape.


Apple: Lights, iPhone, action!

Going down the more poignant route this year is Apple, portraying the intricate dynamics between an office worker and her manager – who embodies the archetypal Scrooge.

Aligning with Apple’s recurrent theme of ‘people being misunderstood’, the commercial urges viewers to see things through a new lens and sprinkle joy where it is least expected.

While I’ll refrain from labelling it a cinematic masterpiece, the seamless integration of live-action footage with stop-motion (cleverly captured on an iPhone 15 Pro camera) undeniably captivates audiences.

And the effort pays off:

According to BrandVue data, the day before release, Apple’s Positive Buzz stood at a little over 46%. Within just 5 days of launching, this increased by 13%, which bumped them up to 53%.

We also see a spike in consideration (+9%)

Perhaps the rise in Consideration is an outcome of Apple’s product placement. The way the tech-giant incorporates its product range transcends traditional methods; the iPhone becomes an integral part of the final product itself, making it uniquely engaging for viewers.

Not only does this approach elicit the “wow” factor, it demonstrates the quality and value of its product range. Presenting this footage is a testament to the capabilities of the smartphone and encourages viewers to reconsider the creative potential of their own devices – essentially presenting the gadget as a gift that keeps on giving.

All the while, George Harrison serenades us with an aural delight, evoking Beatles nostalgia, and a whole lot of emotion. What’s not to love?

Amazon: young at heart

The question of whether it is ever too late to embrace one’s inner child finds a whimsical answer in Amazon’s lively and inspiring 60-second ad – eroding age limits on enjoyment and affirming that “joy is shared”.

Three elderly women observe young children sledging down a snowy slope, inspiring one of them to purchase padded seat cushions and return to the joy of snow sledding. Like Boots, Amazon smoothly showcases its extensive product range and swift delivery service, suggesting that with a touch of wonder, good friendships, and access to the Amazon app, we can all rejuvenate the Christmas spirit.

Again, the data shows a notable shift in consumer perceptions. In less than a week after the commercial’s release (Nov 13th), consumers associating Amazon with being ‘exciting’ – increased by 14%.

So, Boots, Apple and Amazon successfully elicited emotional responses and enhanced their brand reputation. All these commercials skilfully navigate life’s subtleties, spotlighting the significance of overlooked nuances, daily interactions, and unspoken societal norms. Ultimately, they serve as touching reminders that we all appreciate authenticity.

There’s clearly a prevailing desire among consumers for emotionally evocative narratives; perhaps this is something all brands should consider in their approach to Christmas advertising in the coming years.

Knowledge centre

Read More