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Dedicated British TV fans will know that nobody does Christmas adverts quite like the British. While there are definitely exceptions, most of the really good British Christmas ones are less about products and more about telling stories and creating feelings in the viewer.
Below, we've highlighted some of this year's best British Christmas adverts – and they're much hedge-hoggier than usual (which we feel is a good thing).
The Best British Christmas Adverts of 2020
Waitrose & John Lewis Christmas
As a huge pigeon fan (birds in general, really), this one certainly gets my vote. The commercial follows a series of people and animals doing nice things for one another. While a commercial about good deeds at Christmas isn't exactly original, it's cute and classy and doesn't try too hard.
Woodie's Christmas Advert
Woodie's is actually an Irish company, but (a) Ireland is included in the British Isles (that's close enough for our purposes), and (b) it's a cute advert – so we're including it.
The advert follows an older lady whose gate is broken, and one great neighbour who paid attention.
Argos Christmas Advert: An Evening with AbracaDaisy & The Incredible Lucy
In this one, two young girls put on a magic show for delighted (and occasionally horrified) friends and family.
Walkers Christmas Advert: Featuring Gary Lineker & LadBaby
If you've spent much time in the UK or you read our post on unique British crisp flavours, you'll surely know the name Walkers. Last year, they did an advert with Mariah Carey, and a YouTuber named LadBaby (real name: Mark Hoyle) made a public request to appear in a future campaign because the delicate way she ate crisps horrified him. To their credit, Walkers jumped on it.
Marks & Spencer Christmas Advert
Olivia Colman does the voiceover on this year's M&S Christmas advert. It's hunger-inducing but a bit dull – though again, it's completely understandable given the challenges of 2020.
Sainsbury's Christmas Advert: Gravy Song
This year's Sainsbury's advert makes us long for the days when they did cute adverts. They peaked back in 2015 with “Mog's Christmas Calamity” (below), and their 2019 “Nicholas the Sweep” was also quite good – but this series of three separate adverts was just a bunch of shaky, old-looking footage.
Hopefully, life will get back to normal next year and we can look forward to the sort of more cinematic adverts they've done in the past.
Aldi Christmas Advert
At this point, it seems likely that if Aldi *didn't* offer up another Kevin the Carrot Christmas advert, people would get quite angry. The little orange fellow returns this year for his fifth Christmas advert, this time with a wild hedgehog ride home to his family – wife Katie, and children Chantenay, Jasper, and Baby Carrot.
TK Maxx Christmas Advert
For Americans wondering what “TK Maxx” is, it's the same thing as the American “TJ Maxx” – but with a K. The name is different because when it opened in the UK, there was another company called TJ Hughes, and they wanted to avoid confusion.
Anyway, this cute commercial features a flamboyantly-dressed goat prancing through the countryside to urban music. A confused wife asks her husband if he bought the goat a designer outfit, and he asserts that after a tough year, she deserves it.
Very.Co.UK Christmas Advert
This advert pokes fun at some of the expectations of Christmas vs. the realities. Though it doesn't particularly tug at the heartstrings, it definitely scores points for being relatable to some people.
Barbour Christmas Advert
Barbour is well-known for their classic, family-friendly Christmas adverts – and 2020 is no exception. This one is based on the much-loved Raymond Briggs' book, Father Christmas. Considering they've based some previous adverts on other Raymond Briggs books, that's not at all surprising.
Boots Christmas Advert: Fight Hygiene Poverty
Recent Boots ads have often focused on their charitable efforts during the Christmas season, and this one is no exception. This time, animated hygiene products go about their business – washing, scrubbing, brushing, bubbling, etc. The message reminds people that many in the UK can't afford basic hygiene products.
ASDA Christmas Advert: That's an ASDA Price Christmas
ASDA's advert this year focuses on the fact that yes, Christmas will be different this year – but we can still enjoy it and hold onto many of our traditions. It's not super memorable, but it's pleasant and accurate for 2020.
Morrisons Christmas Advert: Making Christmas Special
This advert sees a diverse array of families being festive – though it feels a bit odd for this year, since many families will be skipping normal festivities.
Co-op Christmas Advert
On a much more realistic note, Co-op's advert features a little boy busking as masked shoppers surround him and his brother. As more people stop to appreciate his music, he grows more confident, bringing holiday cheer to the socially-distanced crowd around them.
Iceland Christmas Advert
After their controversial palm oil advert a couple years back, Iceland has gone with an extremely low-key, downright boring advert this year. It's just food. Of course, if that means their employees stayed home, stayed distant, and stayed safe, we're all for it.
Lidl Christmas Advert: Big on a Christmas You Can Believe In
A bit more product-focused than most, this animated advert celebrates some of the best holiday-oriented products on offer at Lidl.
What's Your Favourite British Christmas Advert?
Though we're big fans of Kevin the Carrot, we're also huge Waitrose fans – and the fact that they brought in a pigeon really pushed them over the top.
What was your favourite? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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