I'm not crying, you're crying: The 10 best Christmas ads of 2020 – so far

Air New Zealand spreading the Christmas cheer. Photo / YouTube

The coronavirus pandemic will undoubtedly affect how most people spend Christmas around the globe.

Traditionally a time for family gatherings, this year will be a different one for many people, who won’t be able to share a Christmas meal or open presents near their loved ones.

The effects of the pandemic are also getting documented for posterity on this year’s Christmas advertising campaigns, which focus on remind people of what’s important – even when they can’t be close to the ones they love.

While most of the ads refrain from mentioning the pandemic directly, the effect of restrictions of movements and the renewed need for kindness around the globe is present throughout the campaigns.

A little over a month from Christmas Day, and in no particular order, here are 10 of the best Christmas ads released so far this year.

Grab some tissues and join us on this emotional rollercoaster.

SuperValu’s 2020 Christmas ad

The SuperValu ad, which has gone viral, features a young boy who repeatedly asks his parents if “he” is definitely coming this year, while the family prepares for Christmas.

In the minute-long clip that has captured the world, the boy hears the radio report on the latest Covid-19 restrictions, and worries that “he” might not be able to come this year.

The “he” everyone assumes is Santa – but there is an emotional twist at the end, which has left viewers in tears.

Watch it for yourself below before jumping to the next paragraph, which would otherwise spoil the ending for you.

It turns out the boy was not worried about Santa coming – but about being able to see his granddad for Christmas.

The ad went viral all over the world in a matter of hours, with thousands of people relating to that same feeling of not being able to be with family this Christmas.

Click here for the full story.

John Lewis and Waitrose – Give a Little Love

Kindness is definitely one of the words of the year and the overarching theme for John Lewis and Waitrose’s combined Christmas campaign.

The two-minute clip includes a song specifically written for the ad and each download of the song contributes a small amount to charity as well.

Coca-Cola’s Christmas ad, directed by Taika Waititi

Directed by Taika Waititi, Coca-Cola’s Christmas ad for 2020 is as good as you’d expect.

It tells the short story of a dad going to great lengths to ensure his child’s letter to Santa is delivered.

When he worries about failing his mission, he discovers what was actually in the letter.

Woodie’s homemakers ad

Irish DIY store Woodie’s has released its emotional Christmas ad, featuring an lonely elderly lady and the power of the community around her.

A touching reminder to look out for our neighbours, today and every day.

McDonald’s “Reindeer Ready” ad

Oh dear, hope you’ve got extra tissues handy. There aren’t many words in this one but there is emotional music and a feeling that we can all relate to.

Air New Zealand’s “‘Twas the Flight Before Christmas”

Air New Zealand decided to use its Christmas campaign to spread some extra holiday cheer this year, by surprising some Kiwi children and their whānau with return flights to see their loved ones.

The result is as heartwarming as you’d expect and yet another reminder of what is truly important this season.

Sainsbury’s “Gravy Song”

Oh dear. Mum’s roasties, dad’s gravy … and dad’s gravy song. This is a proper tearjerker.

The ad for the Spanish Lottery

You don’t have to understand a word of Spanish to feel the emotion in this ad campaign. Towards the end, the neighbour offers a woman a lottery ticket, with a note that thanks her for everything she’s done for her this year. “This year, there were times when I felt fear, but thanks to you I never felt alone,” the note says. We’ve all got people like that in our lives.

Bertrand bookstore Christmas ad (Portugal)

Once again, you don’t need to speak the language to get the emotion of this ad, by Portuguese booksellers Bertrand.

The daughter of a doctor awaits his arrival home for Christmas. Despite him being close to Covid-19 patients all day, she sneakily works on a clever way to be able to hug him safely.

“This Christmas will be different so things can go back to being the same,” the heartwarming campaign states.

New World’s Christmas ad

For this year’s campaign, New World takes a look at everything Kiwis have gone through this year, from haircuts at home to lockdown baking and to dining in when we couldn’t dine out.

The campaign suggests it’s time to reward ourselves for all the sacrifices and have a “cracking good Christmas”.

“2020 has been kinda weird,” the little girl narrating the ad says – which is probably the understatement of the year.


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