Two times a year Brief diverts from its mission of showcasing the best in entertainment marketing and dives into advertising: the Super Bowl is one time, the holidays are another.

Why? Because the ads at these times of the year are just too great to resist. And at Christmas, they are emotional and inspiring, creative and innovative—all things we need at this point in the long, strange, exhausting year that was 2020.

Many of the spots come from the U.K., because if we’re being honest, their holiday advertising tradition is better than the U.S.’s. And if you can’t be in the U.K. during the holidays—which, let’s face it, only people who live there can be right now—well, that’s why Santa gave us the internet.

Below are our 10 favorite holiday spots, in reverse order, from 2020. All of them are wonderful, but see which ones you like best.

10) Coors Light, “The Holiday Beerman”

Here’s the deal: If it’s featuring Boston’s “More Than A Feeling,” we de facto love it. Enjoy this semi-melted snowman and his front-yard band belting out Boston’s greatest hit in this spot for Coors Light.

The star of the spot, the somewhat obviously named “Beerman,” launches his career as a Coors Light spokes-symbol with this piece, which was created by DDB Chicago with VFX help from Legacy Effects, known for concocting both The Mandalorian’s Baby Yoda and Guardians of the Galaxy’s Groot.

READ MORE: Reel Chicago

9) McDonald’s UK “Inner Child”

The fast-food chain urges teens to find their inner child this holiday season with this spot created by Leo Burnett and set to a cover of Alphaville’s “Forever Young.”


8) Sky Sports, “Snowballs”

This is another spot, like Burberry’s later on the list, in which large objects drop from the sky but no one seems to mind as they herald the flurry of football games coming to the service.

London-based post-production house Coffee & TV worked with Sky Sports for the fifth consecutive year on the network’s Christmas campaign.


7) Germany’s Penny, “Imagine if Everybody Did That”

Amsterdam-based studio Glassworks got to really roll up their sleeves while creating this short 2D- and 3D-animated film that’s ultimately all about the spirit of Christmas. The spot is accompanied by a cover of Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds,” by singer/songwriter Frances.


6) Amazon, “The Show Must Go On”

A young girl has a chance to live her life-long dream to star in her ballet company’s holiday performance of The Nutcracker, only to see those dreams dashed by the pandemic. Luckily for her, her friends and family—with a little bit of help from Amazon—come to the rescue.

This spot by Lucky Generals features French ballet dancer Taïs Vinolo

5) Xfinity, “The Greatest Gift”

Steve Carell is perfectly cast as a stress-eating Santa who has tasked his elves with coming up with “the perfect gift” in the difficult year that is 2020. What they discover reminds us all of the true meaning of Christmas, even if togetherness means more Zoom calls.

The spot was created by Goodby Silverstein & Partners in collaboration with MJZ director Craig Gillespie.

READ MORE: Muse by Clio

4) Disney “From Our Family to Yours”

Disney icon Mickey Mouse represents the love that is passed on between generations in this emotional spot produced by Flux in Auckland, New Zealand.

The piece starts out when Lola is given a stuffed Mickey for Christmas when her dad returns from a trip. Mickey remains a toy she loves throughout her life and eventually shares with her granddaughter, with whom she also shares the Filipino Christmas tradition of making parol lanterns out of paper and bamboo sticks. As the granddaughter grows up, she naturally drifts away from her grandmother and their holiday traditions, but one Christmas Eve she remembers how special their bond is.


3) Coca-Cola “The Letter”

A Coca-Cola delivery truck driver and dad literally goes to the ends of the Earth, Bear Grylls-style, to deliver his daughter’s letter to Santa. This spot, created by Wieden + Kennedy London, has been seen more than 32 million times on YouTube since it debuted Nov. 9.

READ MORE: Marketing Week

2) John Lewis and Waitrose, “Give a Little Love”

UK retailer John Lewis never fails to disappoint with its holiday ad, something that viewers look forward to all year long. 2020 is no different, with this delightful tale of love being passed from one creature to another, all told in different animated vignettes, Exquisite-Corpse style.

John Lewis almost decided to skip its holiday ad this year due to the difficult environment, but ultimately decided the pandemic was exactly why it should go forward. The piece, which was created by the brand’s ad agency partner Adam&eveDDB, features the work of eight different artists as a show of support to creatives.

The spot also serves a larger goal, kicking off the brand’s new purpose-driven approach as well as the fundraising effort for two of its charitable partners, FairShare and Home-Start.


1) Burberry’s “Singin’ in the Rain”

This artistic ad is all about the joy of motion, as a dance troupe, choreographed by French collective (La)Horde, performs acrobatic feats in Burberry fashions as chunks of ice dangerously drop around them. The spot is directed by Megaforce with visual effects, which are many, by MPC. London-based hip-hop artist Dreya Mac provides the fun cover of “Singin’ in the Rain.”


Tags: burberry's coca-cola coors light holiday ads 2020 john lewis mcdonald's uk pennys sky sports waitrose xfinity

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