Opinion: Festive ad campaigns are tugging at the heart strings again this year

Festive adverts are constantly on our televisions now.Festive adverts are constantly on our televisions now.
Festive adverts are constantly on our televisions now.
Christmas has to be one of my favourite times of year, and the build up is a huge part of that.

As we get closer and closer to December the excitement starts to build – probably more so now there’s a younger generation of the family to take in all the Christmas magic.

Although there are still some more November days to go, in the last few weeks the anticipation has begun to build and a sure sign for me that the festive season is just around the corner is when companies start to launch their advertising campaigns.

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With the year we’ve all had and the sacrifices we’ve had to make due to the pandemic, Christmas is looking like it will be a little different in 2020.

But one thing that has remained the same is the retailers and other advertisers have still come up with some offerings that aim to put us all in the spirit.

And in fact many have taken inspiration from the Covid-19 situation and added that into their ads – some doing so better than others.

I can’t talk about Christmas ads without mentioning John Lewis. The retail giant has earned itself a reputation in recent years for tugging at the heart strings and creating some characters the nation came to love, including Edgar the Dragon, the Bear and the Hare and Monty the Penguin.

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However, this year’s campaign – like 2020 itself – is a little different. Give a Little Love urges members of the public to do small acts of kindness through its mix of animation and live motion.

Although it was – as always – much talked about and eagerly anticipated prior to its launch, it’s not my favourite festive advert this year.

It’s not Tesco’s ad either – I can’t be the only parent questioning why they think it’s a good idea to say there’s no naughty list this year for young ears to hear?

The interest in a talking carrot and his family on my part has waned – sorry Aldi.

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For all that some of the others don’t tug at the heart string this year, there’s two brands for me that truly do.

They would have been winners for me even if coronavirus wasn’t here.

Disney and McDonald’s are the stand out winners for me – both I can relate to.

From Disney it’s the heart warming story of a girl who we see given a cuddly Mickey Mouse from her father in 1940. Skip forward in time and she gifts it to her own granddaughter.

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It’s a tale of family tradition and love and it’s similar to the story of the boy and his mum in the McDonald’s ad.

He’s a teenager now and seems disinterested in any of the fun his mum tries to have with him, it’s obviously not cool, yet we can see his inner child bursting with laughter and excitement.

After a trip to McDonald’s it all changes and he releases that inner child to do the fun festive traditions with his mum.

Yes, it’s a reminder that our children will grow up and some of that Christmas magic may be lost, but it doesn’t have to be as t here's an inner child in all of us. Whatever our age we can all enjoy the festivities together.

Family is always important, but perhaps even more so this year.