‘Tis the season for holiday cheer! As folks finally pack their bags and hop on flights to celebrate with loved ones, Campaign US looked back at all the campaigns that got us into the festive spirit this year.
From tearjerkers to ones that made us feel warm and fuzzy inside, these were our favorite:
Independent ad agency Terri & Sandy continued to warm hearts this holiday season by releasing an inclusive holiday children’s book called “Santa’s Slay.”
Written, illustrated, and published by the agency, the book tells the story of a little boy named James whose Christmas list doesn’t truly reflect who he is. While James really wants pink tiaras and tutus, he asks for sports gear and video games. When Santa reads his letter, he realizes this is not the James he knows, and takes matters into his own hands to help him feel comfortable in his skin.
Launched with a microsite and a YouTube read-along, the campaign captures the holiday spirit of acceptance, compassion and love while pushing gender barriers and empowering children — a group notably vulnerable to prejudice and discrimination. The agency also delivered on the season of giving with a donation to the Hetrick-Martin Institute, which provides basic needs as well as health, education and career services to thousands of LGBTQIA+ youth every year.
The campaign is a reminder that whether on Christmas morning or any other time of year, the toys a child plays with or the clothes they wear shouldn’t matter. Their happiness and cheer is all that counts. — Sabrina Sanchez
With a little bit of technical ingenuity and a lot of kindness, David&Goliath created a heart-warming holiday campaign for Kia, in partnership with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
The 60-second hero spot “Holiday Joyride” sits hospital-bound children in a Kia vehicle for a trip through snowy forests and star-lit skies. The tour takes them through the “North Pole,” using hundreds of LED screens and hydraulics to simulate movement. Kia and Nexus Studios built the impressive set within the walls of a St. Jude facility in Memphis, Tennessee.
Alongside giving children the opportunity to experience a holiday adventure without risking their health, Kia committed to donating $8 to St. Jude for vehicles it sells from authorized dealerships between November 11 and December 31. It guaranteed a minimum donation of $1 million.
The spot is running on broadcast TV while other campaign elements appear across social media, OOH, radio and print. — Brandon Doerrer
Call me a sucker for an animated short and a nostalgic ‘90s reference. My favorite holiday campaign this year was from the UK for German supermarket chain Aldi, created by McCann UK. The 90-second spot recreates all of the classic scenes from “Home Alone” with its very cute 3D animated mascot, Kevin the Carrot, in place of MaCaulay Culkin.
Kevin’s family forgets him at home on their holiday in Paris, but they don't realize until they’re already in the air. Kevin is left home alone to fend for himself against a burglar who happens to be Santa Claus. The spot recreates many of the iconic scenes from the classic Christmas film.
In a naughty moment for the adults in the room, Kevin ziplines out of the window on a clothing line to hide as the nose of a snowman that’s in the front yard, but ends up putting the man in snowman instead.
The ad put a smile on my face and got me in the mood to make a mug of hot chocolate, put on a cozy sweater and rewatch all of my holiday favorites. — Alison Weissbrot
I appreciate when brands get their positioning across without having to be too overt or absurdly unrealistic.
In this spot by Adam & Eve/DDB, Waitrose positions itself as a grocery store that cares about product sourcing and quality by highlighting all the elbow grease that goes into getting food on the table and into our bellies.
It’s a gentle reminder to be grateful to those who may lament that their wallets are a little lighter this year — at least you don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn and defrost the pigs’ water trough so everyone can stuff their faces with Christmas ham in 12 months’ time.
Life is pretty rough right now for a lot of people around the world, but probably less so for Waitrose customers. Hats off to Waitrose for recognizing that and not being tempted to position itself as a savior of Christmas as so many brands do every year.
Of course they threw in a sprinkling of cute children at the end, but what a delight! Find me someone who didn’t smile. Pardon me while I hunt for some pigs in blankets U.K.-style, I’m suddenly rather hungry. — Jessica Heygate