The Annual Christmas ad Competition

The Annual Christmas ad Competition

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

You guessed it, the Christmas ad countdown has begun. However, this year it wasn’t the much-anticipated John Lewis ad everyone was talking about- instead, Iceland gripped the nation.

Iceland’s Christmas ad features an adorable cartoon orangutan called Rang-Tan and promotes awareness about the dangers the palm oil industry poses to the rainforest and the creatures that live there. Narrated by Emma Thompson and originally produced by Greenpeace, the ad was a welcome change from often overtly commercialised Christmas ads. The ad went viral after it was banned from tv for being too political, as a result, broadcasters have faced backlash and a plethora of petitions have been signed in an effort to stop the palm oil industry. Sign the petition here.

what the ad fails to acknowledge is that the holiday is not solely about gift giving

John Lewis’ much-anticipated ad took a far less political stance, choosing to focus on Elton John’s incredible music career. The narrative of the ad is that ‘some gifts are more than just a gift’ and that, like Elton’s piano, Christmas presents can have a huge impact on the recipient. However, what the ad fails to acknowledge is that the holiday is not solely about gift giving, and many families cannot afford £872 to spend on a gift- the price of the piano depicted in the ad.

In response to the John Lewis ad, supermarkets Lidl and Waitrose have poked fun at the department store. Lidl mocking the price of the piano and Waitrose the general build-up to the ad.

Sainsbury’s Christmas ad captures a better sense of Christmas spirit, focusing on a school pageant, the children dressed as stars, baubles and even a plug. The Greatest Showman director, Michael Gracey’s influence on the ad is clear- the equally heart-warming and festive feature is clearly a contender for the best Christmas ad of the year.

However, Iceland’s ad undoubtedly steals the show, though unreleased on tv, the ad carries an important message and reminds us that as consumers, we have the power to change how industries operate; Iceland has pledged to remove palm oil from all their own-brand products by the end of the year.

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