Asda, Aldi, Disney, Smyths Toys, Amazon deck the halls

Xmas_2023_4It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…well, in the retail world anyway, with another fresh round of festive TV ad campaigns being released this week, as singing stars – and carrots – bid to put the nation in the mood for the big day.

First up is Asda’s “Make your Christmas Incredibublé” by Havas London, which follows last week’s teaser.

Shot by Oscar-winning director Taika Waititi, the 90-second ad opens with the “Just Haven’t Met You Yet” warbler sitting with his feet up on a desk dishing out orders as chief quality officer in an Asda warehouse. “Products to approve – so bring Mr Bublé your best”, orders an Asda staffer, once Bublé has finished requesting a “clean up on aisle five”.

He then goes out on an inspection, and, tasked with ensuring the supermarket delivers the very best quality for the nation this Christmas, Bublé is seen measuring rows of individual chocolate and orange panettones and indulging in some brown butter and spiced dark rum mince pies.

As the ad draws to a close an Asda staffer calls out “Off for the night are you?” – to which Bublé declares he’s just getting started, as he joins a store-front choir to sing Walking in a Winter Wonderland.

Meanwhile, Aldi is sticking to what it knows best, with Kevin the Carrot returning for its Christmas 2023 ad, with a nod to Willy Wonka, “Kevin and the Christmas Factory” by McCann.

It opens with five lucky winners of a festive competition, including Kevin, Greedy Gluttonous Grape, Sulky Sour Rhubarb and Mischievous Kiwi, waiting to enter William Conker’s gravy-filled wonderland.

One by one, the visitors fall at various hurdles until Kevin is the one standing. Upon passing the test, Kevin starts handing out gifts to the Plumty Dumptys before he is presented with the ‘cheese’ to the factory.

He then asks the question: “Can I share my good fortune with everyone?” The ad closes with the voiceover: “Seasonal goodwill was truly in the air as Christmas is a time that’s sweeter when you share.”

Next up is Disney’s “A Wish For The Holidays”, produced by Ridley Scott Associates, focusing on the power of wishes for its 100th anniversary.

Running across 50 countries, the 90-second ad features children singing a rendition of the A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes from Cinderella. With scenes representing six geographical locations, the festive film sees the children with family and friends in each of their home settings singing in their own language.

Directed by Grammy Award-winning Nigerian/British director Meji Alabi, and developed in collaboration with Disney Parks, Experiences and Products internal advertising agency Yellow Shoes, the film takes inspiration from Disney’s upcoming movie, Wish.

The ad, which also stars the voice of Oscar-award winner Ariana DeBose, highlights how each individual is united by a universal wish to be together with their loved ones during the festive period, by recognising a range of traditions.

Smyths Toys has also launched its Christmas campaign, which shows the magic of a toy store through the eyes of a child.

“We Really Want to go to Smyths Toys”, devised by creative agency McCann Manchester, is an animated 60-second creative that puts the in-store experience and the toys at the centre of its messaging, featuring four children being transported into their own imagination, breathing life into the toys, with the shop itself being transformed into an “enchanted” kingdom.

Among other things, the children are able to enjoy pizza with their favourite Ninja Turtles, frolic with Ken and Barbie on a sun-kissed beach and even be submerged into a sea of Squishmallows.

Finally, Amazon’s “Joy Ride” campaign, produced by an internal creative team and production company Hungry Man, aims to shows how joyful festive moments are made even more special when they are shared and that having fun does not have to stop when you get old and grey.

It is being led by a 60-second film, which stars three old women as main characters in a story about life-long friends reviving the joy at the top of a sledding hill – all thanks to a flash of inspiration (and Amazon’s shopping selection and convenience, naturally).

While the world around them whizzes by, the friends stay seated, quiet and still. But not for long. The lead character takes in the scene, noticing that her friends are looking out longingly. With that, we see an idea spark within her and a mischievous smile appears. She opens the Amazon shopping app on her mobile phone and adds padded seat cushions to her shopping cart.

The next day, the delivery arrives and, back to their special spot, the friends are presented with the Amazon box. When they open it, they are mystified with its contents.

The scene cuts to the friends, now ankle-deep in fresh snow, placing the new seat cushions into their sleds. The trio are full of joy as they zoom down the hill with their arms waving in the air. The younger generation look on in admiration.

Directed by award-winning director Wayne McClammy, the spot features an instrumental rendition of The Beatles’ In My Life which was chosen as an ode to enduring friendships and shared memories, which marries perfectly with the core theme of the ad.

Amazon VP global CCO Jo Shoesmith said: “The stories we tell serve as a reminder that sometimes the joy you receive from doing something special, for those you love, can uplift us all at this time of year. We also wanted to give these wonderful women the chance to celebrate the different facets of themselves and how they express joy, regardless of their age.”

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