Christmas is fast approaching, which can only mean one thing: it’s time to rank the best food and drink adverts during the festive season. Which brands have created excellent ads that capture the yuletide spirit and make our hearts melt? The Small Films team have compiled their favourites below, so read on and discover the best F&B ads this Christmas.
The cheeky team over at Aldi have gone head-to-head with M&S throughout 2021, and they’ve used their festive ad for one more poke at the Colin the Caterpillar cake war. But this promotional gem is so much more with its fun play on the iconic A Christmas Carol. Aptly named A Christmas Carrot, the story follows Ebanana Scrooge (get it?) being shown the error of his Christmas-hating ways by Kevin the Carrot. It’s a surefire hit with topical jokes, puns galore, a cameo from footballer Marcus Rashford and some gorgeous animation. This is festive silliness at its best.
The beef between M&S and Aldi might be real, but both have knocked it out of the park this year with their Christmas ads. Guest appearances come in the form of Dawn French and Tom Holland (he of Spider-Man fame) as they come together to form an unlikely but lovable duo. The premise? Dawn as the tree fairy and Tom as Percy Pig run riot around an M&S store as Dawn shows Percy the food viewers need to buy this Xmas. The strapline says it all: this isn’t just Christmas food. It’s M&S Christmas food.
Sure, most people have turkey, stuffing and pigs in blankets at Christmas. But that hasn’t stopped McDonald’s from getting in on the act, just in case you fancy a Big Mac this festive season. Maccy D’s has hit us right in the feels with this emotional storyline following a little girl and her imaginary friend, who springs to life thanks to her active imagination. The ad follows their journey from childhood to a young adult, all to the backdrop of singer Mabel’s rendition to the classic Cindy Lauper hit, Time After Time. Now, where are the Kleenex?
Coca-Cola is responsible for how we see Santa today, so it’s only fitting that the drink brand has a five-star Xmas ad. This year’s iteration sees a young boy build the ultimate tunnel made from boxes (with some help from the local community) to ensure a neighbour gets her Xmas present. The ad hits all the right notes and brings everyone together. They also happen to be drinking Coca-Cola at the big Christmas dinner gathering at the end of the ad. What a coincidence.
Lidl has gone all futuristic with its Xmas ad, but the message is very on-brand. We see the same family throughout different timelines, including the present and several versions of the future, tucking into a tasty Lidl Christmas dinner. The common theme? No matter what year it is and where the dinner takes place, Lidl won’t be beaten on price.
Supermarkets go big at Christmas, and Sainsbury’s have pulled out all the stops with its big gathering Xmas dinner. Set to the background of Etta James’ At Last, everyone in the ad freezes as the food becomes the focal point, which, you know, makes sense considering Sainsbury’s wants you to buy your turkey from one of its stores this festive season.
Sometimes keeping it simple is the best method, and Starbucks has nailed it when it comes to being concise. The coffee brand’s Xmas ad is just 15 seconds long but tells us everything we need to know. It’s good to do kind things for people, and sometimes sharing the little moments are most important. And, of course, it helps if you’ve got Starbucks almond milk Latte in your hand while you do it.
Asda plans to make your Christmas spectacular with an advert based around ice skating. There’s a lot to unpack, from school Christmas plays to Asda employees showing us what’s in their fridges as they open them in unison while on skates. Everyone in this ad is on skates. Like, everyone. Because, well, why not?
This year, Tesco’s effort racked up more than 1,500 complaints, which must tell you it’s doing something worth talking about. Instead of playing it safe, the supermarket went for Santa holding up a COVID pass (how very 2021). But that’s not actually what the ad is about. Instead, it offers a sense of freedom after a hard 18-plus months, with the idea that nothing is going to stop anyone from having a great Christmas this year. Oh, and it all plays to the backdrop of Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Know. We wouldn’t know how to even if we tried.
Amazon makes the cut for this year’s top 10 food and drinks Xmas ads, with kindness being the greatest gift (or something you buy from Amazon). Coming in at a hefty 2.30 minutes long, the ad sees a young woman who has suffered from anxiety due to the pandemic receiving a surprise gift from a concerned neighbour. Things are reversed here, though, and the typical theme of younger people looking after older ones is flipped on its head, with the older person looking out for the younger neighbour during the holidays. The soundtrack also features Adele, which means instant classic.
Summary: A tasty Christmas
There’s nothing quite like a Christmas advert to get us in the mood for the big day. And these food and drink ads are particularly special, as they get us salivating for what’s to come around the dinner table – be it turkey, goose or vegan delights.