As much as we gripe about Christmas starting earlier every year in the United States, we should all praise St. Nick we don't live in the United Kingdom. Without Thanksgiving as a holiday backstop (and Black Friday, despite the best efforts of some marketers, still hasn't quite caught on), Christmas advertising in the U.K. starts, well, now.
But the UK's Christmas ads are something to behold, a creative showcase that rivals — and possibly surpassess — the Super Bowl in terms of cultural relevance and, sometimes, brilliance. Here's the first of what will be many weekly UK Christmas roundups. Ho, ho bloody ho.
John Lewis "Man on the Moon" by Adam & Eve/DDB
The retailer's eagerly awaited festive campaign tells the story of a young girl who brings Christmas to a lonely old man living on the moon. (John Lewis won Christmas last year with its "Monty the Penguin" campaign.) The campaign was created in partnership with Age UK and is intended to raise awareness of isolation among the elderly.
Boots UK "Discover More" by Mother
The pharmacy chain has employed pop singer Jessie J to sing on the soundtrack for this year's Christmas ad campaign, which transports the viewer into a world of style and glamour. Shot through the eyes of a firefly, its sweeps through an array of festive rooms filled with beauty products.
The Body Shop "Jingle Bells" by Mr President
Men and women from around the world indulge in a spot of shower karaoke in The Body Shop's new Christmas ad. The online spot shows snippets of people singing "Jingle Bells" in English, Cantonese, Portuguese, Japanese, German and French. The Body Shop also uses the spot to pledge to donate one day’s worth of safe water to a family in Ethiopia, through WaterAid, every time it sells a gift set.
Marks and Spencer "The Art of Christmas" and "Adventures in Christmas"
The retailer has moved away from one longer Christmas ad this year, instead releasing two spots that build on its existing "The Art of" and "Adventures in" formats. M&S won't be debuting the ads on TV or social first, as per last year, but will instead give the 2 million members of its Sparks loyalty program the chance to view the campaign first. The first and primary ad, "The Art of Christmas," is a compilation film showing exaggerated versions of events that take place before Christmas, soundtracked to a remix of Mark Ronson’s "Uptown Funk." The ads were created by Mark Roalfe at Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R. They were copywritten by Adrian Lim and art directed by Steve Williams.
Morrisons "Make It Magical"
The campaign comprises three ads, each of which show the supermarket chain's staff, such as butchers, bakers and fishmongers, explaining how they source, prepare or make the foods that people love to eat at Christmas. The ad was created by Phil Cockrell and Graham Storey at DLKW Lowe. The agency parted ways with the retailer earlier this year when Morrisons called a review and DLKW Lowe declined to re-pitch.
Cadbury "Advent Calendar" by Fallon
The Mondelez candy brand's advent calendar is made up of 24 Cadbury purple buses, with each vehicle representing a different door of the advent calendar. They will drive to a different location every day in the countdown to Christmas
Burberry "Billy Celebrating 15 Years of Billy Elliot"
The three-minute film features Julie Walters, Elton John, Naomi Campbell, Romeo Beckham and James Corden recreate a scene from "Billy Elliot," to celebrate the movie's 15th anniversary for the distinctly British fashion label.