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Deck the halls: 10 of 2012’s top Christmas ads

It’s that time of the year again. Trees are covered in snow (real or fake depending on what hemisphere you’re in), the malls are crowded and people are in a panic trying to decide on what last-minute gifts to give their loved ones and bosses.

Yup, Christmas is a truly magical time of the year. But how do you decide who you should give your hard-earned money to? One way is to figure out which retailer or brand wants your cash the most. To help you decide (and for general entertainment purposes) we’ve scoured YouTube for a selection of Christmas ads that’ll tug at your heart strings, make you laugh and generally remind you that the true meaning of the holidays is buying high-end retail objects.

1. John Lewis
UK retailer John Lewis has a penchant for creating special Christmas ads. This year, it’s gone for a snowman love story and it’s bang on the mark. Even if you’re on a warm beach somewhere in the Southern hemisphere, this ad will have you yearning for the kind of simple, innocent Christmas you’ve never really had.

2. Samsung Galaxy Note II
Samsung’s had a strong year with ads so far. The Galaxy Note II Christmas ad is no exception. The spot uses the art of Kirigami (a variation of origami that includes cutting the paper) to show off the Paper Artist app and the Note II’s larger screen. Christmas-filled and informative. Win.

3. Harvey Nichols

Luxury fashion retailer Harvey Nichols’ ad decided to go after the office Christmas party set rather than mushy family stereotypes. Apparently if two women wear the same dress to the annual work-sponsored booze up, they are granted super powers and must battle it out to the death. Who knew?

4. Marks & Spencers
Colloquially referred to as “Marks and Sparks” the high-end retailer’s Christmas ad starts out a little naughty before getting slightly more serious about the stuff you can buy this Christmas. And that’s what makes it brilliant. It’s like a studious schoolboy caught reading a lingerie catalogue before returning to his Latin homework.

5. Coca Cola
No one does Christmas quite like Coca Cola, and 2012r sees the famous lit-up delivery trucks making a comeback. This year though, their delivery is designed to remind adults that some of their “childish” beliefs were what made Christmas magical in the first place.

6. Debenhams
What sets this ad apart from some of the others on the list is its built-in ecommerce elements. Hover over an object in the video and you get given the option to go shop for it. Nifty.

7. Canadian Tire
If you don’t feel even a remote upswelling of sentimentality over this advert, then you have a heart of stone. It really doesn’t matter that the ad’s for tyres. It could be for pickled herring and you’d still find yourself welling up when the little boy sees the lights.

8. TK Maxx
European retailer TK Maxx pulled something special out of the bag with this ad. It’s got the same kind of cool as Volkswagen’s 1987 Golf GTI ad along with hipster cred and Christmas magic. Yeah, you found yourself thinking after watching it, I can also be a gift guru and have ultra-chic boho Christmases too.

9. Boots
Christmas should feel good. And giving someone a gift with genuine thought in it goes a long way to making that happen. It’s also good to know you can get such things from a pharmacy chain.

10. Samsung S Beam
Hey, remember that slightly naughty ad for the Samsung Galaxy SIII? Well the Korean tech giant has brought out a Christmas edition. “You probably should’t watch it in the sleigh”. Ho ho ho.

Author | Stuart Thomas

Stuart Thomas
Stuart is the editor-in-chief of Engage Me Online. After pursuing an MA in South African literature, he spent five years reporting on the global technology scene. Intrigued by the intersection of technology and work, he joined Engage Me as the editor-in-chief. He is a passionate runner, and recently ran... More
  • A list of South African Christmas ads would be cool too. ;-)

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