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The Best Christmas campaigns
past and present

When is it finally time to begin your wind-down from the year and look towards the festivities? Some might say any earlier than December is ridiculous. Some people are Scrooges. For us here at Orb however, the indication that Christmas is well and truly upon the horizon is when our beloved brands begin their festive campaigns.

With that in mind, here’s 8 of our favourites over the years:

1. Spotify Wrapped

Whilst not strictly tied into Christmas, this is a gift that the innate egotist in all of us can’t wait to unwrap. Of course, we’re talking about Spotify Wrapped, the end of year review that stylishly presents users with a recap of their favourite artist, songs, and podcasts… just in case they’ve forgotten who they’ve been listening to for the past 12 months.

Spotify is able to gift 350million+ users with a bespoke review that feels unique to them; which is only fitting for something as individual as a music taste. However, what’s best about this yearly campaign is that it taps into the “look at me” response within millions of social media users, rendering Spotify’s brand as unavoidable if you plan on using Instagram during this period.

2. The Grinch (2018)

Provoking your audience is a tool that needs to be expertly wielded. Failing to nail it could see your brand slapped with the nightmarish label: ‘cancelled’… or worse, unfunny. So, surely a time of love and cheer isn’t the best time to insult your audience… Unless of course you’re a green, furry, Christmas-thief.


Rollout for this campaign featured 4th wall breaking OOH media that preyed on the inconveniences of its audience – taunting them in traffic and revelling in missed trains.


But this campaign didn’t end here, and was truly brought to life with an accompanying soundtrack written by maverick, rap artist – Tyler, the Creator – who epitomises the cheerish/dark dichotomy synonymous with The Grinch. This daring, multichannel Christmas campaign combined for a uniquely loveable result; perfectly suited for a for our festive anti-hero.

3. Google: Home Alone Again

Ask around which is the best Christmas film and it won’t be long before you’re told it’s Home Alone. So, when Google needed to promote their Google Home system, how better to do so than to enlist Macaulay Culkin to reprise his timeless role of Kevin McCallister in a nostalgia-drenched campaign? 28 years later, we see Kevin up to his same old tricks, though this time with the help of Google Home. Hooked by familiar scenes of nearly 3 decades ago, viewers witness Google Home help our plucky childhood hero carry out ‘operation Kevin’ to keep those pesky burglars at bay once again; but not before we see how useful the device is for ordering aftershave and checking calendars!

4. John Lewis: Buster the Boxer

No Christmas campaign list would be complete without at least one John Lewis feature. However, this year the much-anticipated ad steered away from the usual tearjerkers in favour of some comic relief.


If there’s one thing people love more than Christmas, it’s dogs. Now, Christmas plus dogs? Genius! Buster’s jealousy of the garden’s wild nocturnal visitors as they frolic on the family’s new trampoline is finally met with relief as our clumsy, quadrupedal protagonist finally gets his turn. It’s a simple, but effective moment from John Lewis that rarely fails to garner a smile from its audience.

5. Google: Santa Tracker

Interactivity is always something that we feel can make a campaign truly special and memorable, and this annual, online event is a stellar example of getting your audience involved. If you never stayed up as a child in the hopes of catching a rare sighting of Santa, then you’re a liar. However, keeping tabs on the elusive Mr. Clause is now easier than ever thanks to Google’s unprecedented sleigh-tracking technology. When Christmas Eve finally arrives, this online event allows its users to track the jolly, red man in real time as he delivers presents across the globe.

6. Marks and Spencer: This is Not Just Food, This is M&S Christmas Food

It’s not just a campaign, this is an M&S Christmas campaign.


It’s a slogan that’s been imprinted in the minds of Brits since its introduction in 2004, and has been a staple weapon in the Dad banter arsenal for just as long. However, it’s 2007 disappearance shocked the nation, but was this dismissal all just a ploy to build hype for its return? Well, after a 12 year hiatus, its return in 2019 was certainly a welcomed one.


However, there’s more to this campaign than a catchy slogan, and its accompanying physical presence made for multi-channel excellence. Setting up a real-life Christmas market once again encouraged people to get involved, all whilst using the unscripted setup to film a successful ad in what was the brand’s biggest ever social media campaign.

7. Durex

The festive season is all about spending time with family; watching Elf for the 50th time, sharing laughs around a game of Monopoly, and laughing at Grandad as he enters his brandy-induced blackout at 4pm.


Times like these and the emotions they evoke are lent on by just about every brand to communicate the same heartwarming messages each and every year. Yawn.


However, sometimes cheesy cliches and Christmas carols just aren’t on brand. Enter Durex (no pun intended). This adult company subtly eludes to what they stand for, whilst leaning on the year’s period of unanimous joy. If you don’t get it, you’re reading it upside down.

8. Coca Cola – Xmas Packaging

It would be impossible to talk about Christmas campaigns without giving a mention to the people that essentially rebranded the holiday into what we know today. However, red vs. green Santa is a debate for yesteryear, as Coca Cola have impressed once again with the festive packaging of their bottles.


Wrapping your gifts is usually a chore we all put off for as long as possible each December, but when it’s as easy as pulling a tab to transform a label into a perfectly formed bow, we can’t help but get immense satisfaction – and that’s exactly what makes the Christmas edition of Coca Cola bottles so special.

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