Back

Campaign Tracker: The Most Popular Christmas Ad Campaigns of 2022

From Will Ferrell’s reprised role as Buddy the Elf at Asda supermarket to Aldi’s parody of Nike’s famous 1998 advert ahead of this year’s winter World Cup, we're tracking the most popular Christmas ad campaigns of 2022 all in one place.

The GO! Network team

As the winter gloom sweeps the nation combined with a worrying cost of living crisis, the wave of anticipated Christmas ads has hit earlier than ever to capture the hearts of viewers, bring communities together, and remind audiences of joyful times ahead.

Over the next month, we'll be adding more campaigns to the list - but for now, let’s get the snow-ball rolling with our sixteen...

More from GO! - The Most Impactful Campaigns of the Month

Campaign #1: John Lewis- The Beginner

BrandJohn Lewis

Category – Retailer

Creative Agencyadam&eveDBB

Medium – TVC

It's finally here! John Lewis has released their highly anticipated Christmas ad for 2022. The campaign is designed to raise awareness about young people in care. It follows the story of a soon-to-be foster dad as he prepares for the arrival of Ellie. So that they have something in common, the dad embarks on an effort to learn how to skate.

Claire Pointon, customer director at John Lewis, said the ad was a “very different story to what we have done before” which was intended to “make you stop and think and say ‘how can I help’.”

Campaign #2: Asda – Have your Elf a Merry Christmas

BrandAsda

Category – Retailer

Creative AgencyHavas London

Medium – TVC

 

Asda and its creative agency Havas London have employed beloved character Buddy portrayed by Will Ferrell from the 2003 Christmas hit film Elf, to bring fun and festivity to your screens. Featuring clips from the movie combined with newly filmed footage, Buddy has been brought in to help Asda in the busy period up to Christmas and is praised for his decorative work in the supermarket after finding himself in a spot of trouble at the start.

Campaign #3: Boots – Joy For All

BrandBoots UK

Category – Health and beauty retailer

Creative AgencyVMLY&R

Medium – TVC

Boots’ ’Joy For All’ 70-second advert by VMLY&R features Sin star Lydia West, who stumbles across a pair of magical glasses on her way from work. When the actress puts on the glasses, she can visualise what would bring joy to loved ones this Christmas, allowing her to purchase the perfect gifts. At the end of the ad, it’s revealed the glasses belong to none other than Santa Claus himself.

Campaign #4: JD Sports – King of the Game 

BrandJD Sports

Category – Sports-fashion retailer

Creative AgencyCake

Medium – TVC

Produced by creative agency Cake, part of the Vivendi-owned Havas Group, JD has released a star-studded advert for its Christmas campaign this year. Featuring a sack full of heroes from the world of sports and entertainment including Boxer Anthony Joshua and Youtubers KSI and Chunkz. Set in the ‘JD arcade’, the advert aims to celebrate the spirit of competition and thrill of Christmas.

Campaign #5: M&S – Gifts That Give

BrandM&S

Category – Clothing and homeware retailer

Creative AgencyHouse 337

Medium – TVC

Creative collective House 337 has launched a Christmas ad campaign for Marks & Spencer clothing and homeware offering that empathises the bliss of bringing families and communities together during the festive season. The campaign celebrates the generosity behind an M&S gift and will see the multinational retail donate £1 million to the Neighbourly Foundation, a charity that supports local community causes across the nation.

Campaign #6: Tesco – Stand Up For Joy

BrandTesco PLC

Category – Retailer

AgencyBBH

Medium – TVC

Tesco’s feel-good Christmas ad for 2022, created by BBH aims to encourage people to ‘stand up for joy’ in full festive merriment despite the current cost of living crisis. Featuring a broadcast by The Christmas Party and set to the soundtrack of Europe’s The Final Countdown, the ad highlights those who are struggling with their finances yet are still in joyful spirit this Christmas.

Campaign #7: Very – Gifts For All Your Christmases  

BrandVery

Category – Online Retailer

Creative AgencyGrey London

Medium – TVC

Online Retailer Very brought Christmas into our homes early this year, becoming the first UK brand to release its festive ad. Produced by creative agency Grey London, the advert plays upon the earliness of Christmas and celebrates how its more than just one day of enjoyment. The spot shows a family enjoying multiple occasions throughout the festive period from decorating the house weeks before Christmas to Boxing Day. Each scene is fully of toys, gifts and outfits available at Very.

View our ultimate guide to updating your video content strategy

Campaign #8: Aldi – Feast of Football

BrandAldi

Category – Retailer

Creative AgencyMcCann Manchester

Medium – TVC

Aldi pays homage to Nike’s famous 1998 World Cup airport ad with their festive parody starring the renowned Kevin the carrot and co. The spot created by long-time agency partner McCann leans into the anticipation surrounding this year’s World Cup which takes place during the lead up to Christmas. The puns come thick and fast throughout with footballers such as ‘Ronaldi’ and ‘Morrowdonna’ as well as the football fiasco taking place in ‘PeasyJet’s’ airport lounge. If the advert hasn’t already brought a nostalgic feeling, the spot also makes a massive reference to Christmas hit Home Alone as Kevin sadly misses the decisive shot and his flight to Paris!

Campaign #9: Morrisons – Farmer Christmas

BrandMorrisons

Category – Retailer

Creative Agency Publicis Poke

Medium – TVC


This year Morrison’s Christmas ad has highlighted the heroics of a particular set of workers – farmers. Created with agency partner Publics Poke, ‘Farmer Christmas’ pays tribute to farmers who provide us with the food for our delicious Christmas meal. The pun-tastic spot follows two young friends at the North Pole farm as they stumble across various workshops where bakers, butches and fishmongers are preparing festive treats ready for delivery by ‘Farmer Christmas.’

Campaign #10: Sainsbury’s – Once Upon a Pud

BrandSainsbury’s

Category – Retailer

Creative Agency Wieden + Kennedy London

Medium – TVC

Sticking with the theme of celebrity appearances, Sainsbury's have recruited TV personality Alison Hammond in their festive campaign along with a voiceover cameo from Stephen Fry. Created by long-time agency partner Wieden + Kennedy London, the ad displays the tale of a medieval countess, played by Alison, who oversees choosing the menu for this year’s Christmas dinner. However, her disgust for Christmas puddings means it is strictly off the menu – that is, until a young cook manages to change her mind with a delicious pudding that is available at – you guessed it –Sainsbury’s.

Campaign #11: McDonald's - The List

BrandMcDonald's

Category – Fast food

Creative Agency Leo Burnett

Medium – TVC

McDonald’s once again pulls at the heartstrings of its viewers with their Christmas ad ‘The List’ by Leo Burnett. Emphasising that the‘ little things’ carry a deeper meaning during the festive period, the heart-warming campaign follows a young boy who devises an extravagant Christmas list full of gifts whilst his mum prepares for the big day. The boy’s excitement is dampened when he loses the list but a visit to McDonald’s soon cheers him up and reminds us those little moments with family matter the most.

Campaign #12: O2- The Snowgran

BrandO2

Category – Telecommunications

Creative Agency VCCP London

Medium – TVC

Another heart-touching campaign to add to our tracker. ‘The Snowgran’ by O2, tells the tale of a secluded ‘snowgran’ that is gifted a sim card so she can connect with loved ones after longing for someone to talk to during the festive period. Produced by creative agency VCCP London the campaign aims to raise the spirit of those suffering from poverty across the nation by committing to gift one million GB of data to people in need this Christmas.

Campaign #13: Co-op - Community-Led Food Initiative

BrandCo-op

Category – Retailer

Medium – Social Cause

TV Chef and Rapper Big Zuu Collaborates with Co-op and Your Local Pantry

While supermarket giants such as Aldi, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons launch their joyous Christmas ads this year, Co-op has opted to abandon their annual multi-million festive campaign and focus on funding community food projects amid the nation’s worrying cost of living crisis.

The supermarket has partnered with membership-based food scheme and community hub - Your Local Pantry, as they aim to fund 150 new pantries, allowing Britons to purchase discounted food nationwide.

As part of the collaboration, TV Chef and Rapper Big Zuu will bring the Local Peckham Pantry community together, hosting a live cook along with special guests, members, and volunteers.

Campaign #14: Aldi - Home Alone

BrandAldi

Category – Retailer

Creative AgencyMcCann Manchester

Medium – TVC

There's a part 2! - Aldi's second Christmas campaign picks up from their teaser ad 'feast of football' with Kevin the carrot left behind as his family board the plane to Paris. The 90-second spot created by agency McCann, recreates the festive classic - 'Home Alone' as Kevin spends his Christmas holidays defending his house from intruders with improvised traps, reflecting the actions of Kevin McCallister in the 90s film.

The campaign also highlights Aldi’s partnership with food donation charity Neighbourly, with Kevin’s family stopping to donate to a Neighbourly stand in the airport.

Campaign #15: Cadbury - Secret Santa

BrandCadbury

Category – Confectionary

Creative AgencyVCCP

Medium – Digital, OOH

Cadbury has launched its iconic 'Secret Santa Postal Service'. Running until Christmas Eve, the highly anticipated festive activation will pop up in digital and static posters across the UK, inviting members of the public to send a free chocolate bar to someone special by simply scanning a QR code. Developed in partnership with VCCP, the heart-warming campaign aims to echo the true spirit of Christmas - so keep a lookout to take part in this year's generous ritual.

Campaign #16: The National Lottery - A Christmas Love Story

BrandThe National Lottery

Category – Confectionary

Creative Agencyadam&eveDDB

Medium – TVC

The National Lottery invites the nation to come together and imagine the joy of winning big this festive season, with an integrated campaign created by adam&eveDDB - 'A Christmas Love Story'.

Directed by Oscar-winner Tom Hooper, the 3 and half minute spot tells the tale of two people who meet on a train and exchange phone numbers on the back of a lottery ticket. However, tension mounts when the girl later realises the number is smudged and news breaks of an unclaimed winning lottery ticket - will they find each other?

Unlocking your creative strategy in 2023? GO! offer cost-free support to connect you to best-in-class marketing agencies. From independent recommendations to evaluation and pitch management, get in touch for an initial conversation with the team.

Back

our featured

article.