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Vote for your favourite 2021 Christmas advert

We want to know your favourite Christmas adverts this year - have your say in our poll here.

Aldi's Christmas advert features Kevin the Carrot and the voice of England striker Marcus Rashford
Aldi's Christmas advert features Kevin the Carrot and the voice of England striker Marcus Rashford

There’s not many risks being taken by big brands with their adverts this Christmas.

Some have tried to tug at the heartstrings and others have gone for belly laughs.

Many touch on Covid, the green agenda or social issues. But most simply remind us that Christmas is the time for giving – and spending.

Vote for your favourite in our poll here, and see a full rundown of Christmas adverts this year:

The pretentious

John Lewis

Is John Lewis trying too hard? It has found a tried and tested formula, with a sentimental story being played out to a mournful cover of a once uplifting tune.

This year’s effort shows a boy teaching the joy of Christmas to a young alien called Skye whose ship has crashed on Earth. ‘Unexpected Guest’ features a soft piano cover of the 80s’ classic ‘Together in Electric Dreams’ by 20-year-old singer Lola Young. The song was first made a hit by Human League frontman Philip Oakey and iconic producer Giorgio Moroder. The ad is loved by some, mocked by others, but has got us talking, which is just what John Lewis wants.

Lush

This year, for the first time, Lush has brought The Snow Fairy to life for its debut Christmas animation based on its best-selling Snow Fairy product range. Lush collaborated with FeralChild – directing duo Rogan van den Berg and Nella Addy – to create the story of Aki and The Snow Fairy.

Chief digital officer Jack Constantine said: “Seeing ‘The Snow Fairy’ evolve from a pink bubblegum shower gel into a character that brings confidence, courage and kindness embraces our ‘all are welcome, always’ ethos.”

The sentimental

Amazon

Celebrating kindness this year, Amazon’s advert shows a woman noticing her young neighbour seems to be dealing with some anxiety following the pandemic. Sharing a smile as she feeds the birds, she gifts her neighbour with a bird feeder of her own, showing how small yet important an act of kindness can be. The advert is soundtracked by Adele’s ‘Hold On’.

Co-op

The Co-op Christmas advert, which features two young real-life brothers from Leeds, serves as a reminder that no matter how Christmas may look this year, community spirit can make all the difference.

It starts off with a boy watching the news in the living room, where the newsreader says, ‘ministers have just announced Christmas will be different for thousands of us,’ in reference to the coronavirus pandemic. It spurs the boy into action as he grabs his coat and guitar, and takes his little brother with him, who wears a Santa hat. Soon enough, they are standing outside their local Co-op store, singing a rendition of Oasis’ song, ‘Round Are Way’.

Debenhams

After a tough Christmas in 2020, Debenhams.com is on hand to remind us of the Christmas we missed last year – one of togetherness. The commercial is narrated by a young girl and her father and reminisces on everything we didn’t do last year, and highlights everything Christmas should be this year. The now-online retailer encourages us to make this Christmas one to remember, adding: “This year, being together is top of the list.”

Disney

If anyone was going to give John Lewis a run for its money in the tearjerker stakes, it was going to be Disney. The animated short centres on a new stepdad as he moves in with his partner and her two children, and tries to find his place in the family around the festive period. It’s also a sequel to last year’s advert, where little girl Nicole bonded with her grandmother over their Christmas traditions. Nicole is now the grown-up, with two children of her own.

McDonald’s

Like many major brands, McDonald’s chooses to tug on viewers’ heart strings and, if social media is to be believed, has left a nation in tears. In the advert, viewers watch the journey of Matilda, a young girl bonding with her imaginary friend Iggy, before growing up and leaving him behind. That’s until a moment of Christmas joy in McDonald’s helps to spark her memory. Pop star Mabel covers Cyndi Lauper’s hit ‘Time After Time’ in the ad, and is giving 10p from every download to food charity FareShare.

The McDonald's advert

Morrisons

For its 2021 festive advert, Morrisons is introducing Farmer Christmas to the nation as it follows two young friends discovering the other hero of Christmas. The 60 second TV advert tells a tale about Farmer Christmas who works “all year too” in order to deliver a delicious Christmas feast to tables all over the country. As British farming’s single biggest customer, Morrisons has chosen to hero farmers in its advert as a way of thanking them for all the work they do to help make Christmas so special.

The Morrisons advert

Sainsbury’s

Sainsbury’s has said it strives to “represent a modern Britain” in a series of three adverts. The first, titled Gravy Song, features a heartwarming phone call between a father and daughter as they share their excitement The store says it has created a “collection of nostalgic adverts that aims to celebrate culinary memories with loved ones and transport viewers through time by centring around stories of modern British families and their connection to Christmas food.”

TK Maxx

Putting a new twist on a classic song has become all the rage in Christmas adverts, and TK Maxx’s commercial is no different. The ad features young Laurie, who nervously tries to play the organ at a Christmas concert. But after a few bum notes – and inspired by an early Christmas present of shiny blue boots – Laurie gains the confidence to perform a rocking version of Aerosmith’s ‘Walk This Way’.

The funny

Tesco

The pandemic looms large in the ad which also pokes fun at the UK’s ever-changing travel rules and reports of stock shortages. The light-hearted ad has already garnered hundreds of thousands of views online and received kind words from some customers who praised its message that nothing will stop Christmas from being celebrated this year. But it has also generated a predictable backlash among hysterical anti-vaxxers, who are pledging to boycott the shop.

Tesco's advert

Iceland

Iceland launched a cheeky spoof of John Lewis’ hotly anticipated Christmas 2021 ad – just hours after it launched.

The supermarket made a parody of the blockbuster advert, turning the main character, the alien Skye, into a potato snack. Her spaceship is also a Space Raiders crisp. Iceland’s cheeky ad has had fans in stitches, with some calling it “brilliant”.

The video ends with the caption: “For a Christmas as magical as your first…Eat An Alien.”

Iceland's advert

Aldi

Kevin The Carrot is back, and this year he’s teaching lessons in joy and goodwill to rotten old Ebanana Scrooge. The animated ad also features a special cameo from Marcus Radishford (voiced by Marcus Rashford himself), and teaches the important lesson “For you to be happy, you need to be kind.” The commercial is in partnership with children’s charity Barnados.

Eagle-eyed viewers will also notice the ad pokes fun at the supermarket’s rivalry with M&S, as their caterpillar cake Cuthbert is seen being arrested by two police-lemons.

Argos

Argos, now mostly tucked inside Sainsbury’s stores, declares ‘Baubles to Last Year’ in its bright and breezy advert that is unashamedly upbeat and with lack of schmaltz.

Asda

Asda gets its skates on. The commercial is set to the Bolero and, as you’d expect, takes us around every aspect of Christmas, from parties to school plays, all while on ice. The advert was choreographed by none other than Dancing on Ice champion Daniel Whiston.

Celebrations

Anyone who leaves the Bounty in the bottom of the box may find this year’s ad from Celebrations really hits a nerve. The lonely chocolate treat struggles to find a match, even with the help of a dating site and singles night.

But in a Love Actually-style spoof, he finds his perfect match in Christmas’ other divisive food – the brussels sprout.

It also launches the new Bounty Return Scheme, where coconut-hating customers can swap the sweet treat for a miniature Maltesers bar instead.

The 'Lonely Bounty' character and his love interest, 'Sprout' appear in scenes from a new Celebrations Christmas advert

Domino’s

Domino’s has launched its first festive campaign. It drives home the joy of sharing a Domino’s slice with friends, family and colleagues. Domino’s invites customers to put a yodel call out to loved ones for a rollover Christmas, and introduces ‘The Festive One’ – Domino’s first foray into a festive menu.

The Domino's advert

Homebase

Escape to the Chateau’s Dick and Angel Strawbridge are the leading stars in the Homebase Christmas advert 2021.

Titled It’s Showtime, the fun-filled ad follows the famous TV duo as they sneak past Homebase security guards to give the store a full festive makeover. With their DIY expertise and creative flair, the couple create a magical festive wonderland using Homebase’s Christmas range.

From trimming the tree to hanging a giant bauble disco ball, it all seems to be going to plan until staff members arrive for their morning shift.

To avoid being caught, Dick dresses up as Santa Claus, while Angel hides behind him disguised as an elf.

Lidl

Lidl has gone futuristic for its advert with a family-based commercial taking us on a whistle-stop tour through time. The whole ad centres around one family who enjoy all the trimmings for their festive time – no matter what the year. One day we’re going to be carving our turkey with a laser.

The celebrity

Boots

Boots brought in former Doctor Who star Jenna Coleman, introducing us to the ultimate Christmas gift from her nan – a bottomless bag, just like Mary Poppins. Filled to the brim with Christmas wonder and excitement, she finds everything she needs, and somethings she didn’t realise she did.

JD Sports

JD Sports has brought out the stars. KSI, Jadon Sancho, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Aitch, Maya Jama and Kalvin Phillips all appear in a campaign aiming to reflect youth culture.

M&S

Marks and Spencer actually released not one but two Christmas adverts this year – one to show off its fabulous food and another to show off clothing and gifting selection. The first features none other than Percy the Pig as he’s finally brought to (animated) life when Dawn French’s fairy drops her magic wand on some Percy wrapping paper. The nation’s favourite pig is voiced by Spider-Man himself, Tom Holland.

The second features a woman having ‘the time of her life’ in a winter wonderland, dancing around trees, presents and a whole load of festive fabrics to the tune of Marshmallow World by Darlene Love.

Selfridges

Selfridges has unveiled its Christmas campaign with new window displays and an advert starring actor Jane Horrocks and drag queen Juno Birch.

The luxury retailer has launched the Christmas of Dreams campaign across stores in Birmingham, London and Manchester, as well as online.

The “slightly surreal, enchanted dream world” of Christmas at Selfridges this year features a mix of references, from the golden age of Hollywood to classic 1950s technicolour film musicals.

Sports Direct

Jack Grealish, Declan Rice, Mason Mount Jordan Pickford, Emma Raducanu, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Big Narstie all appear, encouraging viewers to get up and go play some games this Christmas, all while wrapping up warm in the latest sports fits. It marks another ambitious – and expensive – campaign from the retailer.

Sports Direct chief marketing officer Beckie Stanion said: “From your TV screens to your smartphones, Go All Out is a truly integrated campaign that shows up consistently, and natively, across multiple channels.”

Sports Direct's advert

Vote for your favourite in the poll here, and see a full rundown of the main contenders.

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