Some of Our Favorite Holiday Ads—and Why They Work

It’s that time of year again! With the holiday season well under way, we’re revisiting our top holiday ads that tap into everything that makes this season special. Grab a cup of hot chocolate and settle in for some holiday nostalgia with our team’s favorites.

Allegro, “English for Beginners”


It works because it tells a compelling but simple story. And while the ending is directionally what you’re expecting, it’s still a powerful twist (and way ahead of its time from a DE&I perspective). The main character has a brightness that draws you in, they balance humor with tugging at your heartstrings, and the scenes they use to tell the story allow it to connect with a global audience. The holidays are about family and togetherness, and Allegro delivered a hero’s journey in a refreshing way that lifts me up, even after all these years.

—Brent Barbour, Account Director


Chick-fil-A, “The Whoopsery”


I love the message of taking something broken or unperfected and making it perfect.

—Brett Thompson, Senior Creative Producer


Campbell’s, “Snowman”


A nostalgic and simple way to communicate the product’s key benefits without heavy copy or VO. Speaks to the kid in all of us and portrays a sense of warmth and fulfillment, just like the product.

—Allie Williams, Account Director


Hershey, “Hershey Kisses Christmas”


It’s timeless and has been around a long time. It doesn’t have to say a thing. It feels inclusive. Will never go out of style. Simple and effective.

—Wade Stringfellow, Associate Creative Director


Tim Hortons, “Snowpeople”


This 2020 campaign for iconic Canadian brand Tim Hortons is a celebration of the diverse identities and communities represented in Canada. The snowpeople in this spot are all submissions from real Canadian families who pitched their unique snowperson to Tim Hortons for the campaign. Each snowperson reflects the story and pride of the family who created it, and the montage of all the snowpeople together beautifully depicts both the diverse and shared identities of the people who call Canada home.

—Sophia Kressierer, Strategic Coordinator


Schweppes, “Christmas Entertainment”


These are awesome little zingers that take what was obviously a pretty modest budget and blow it out. Clever writing, production techniques, spot-on voice work and great minimal sound design make these a joy to watch.

—Scott Brooks, Video Production Manager


John Lewis, “Monty the Penguin”


John Lewis is a fancy department store, and that year Monty was a HUGE hit through a seven-week fully integrated campaign. Everyone had these stuffed penguins after the commercial aired, and there were experiential bits all over town. I think it’s so sweet because you don’t realize that it’s just the kid’s imagination until the end of the ad. It’s a tearjerker.

—Rosie Colman, Interactive Senior Account Executive


Sprite, “The Thirstiest Time of the Year”


This is an iconic Christmas-time ad for me! It’s a really unique athlete endorsement commercial with the animation, but you can still immediately tell it’s Lebron. It makes so much sense because the NBA is always such a big part of Christmas (since they always schedule huge games during the day). I also really relate to the feeling of being stuck in your grandparents’ house and being forced to wear a big Christmas sweater when they have the heat up to 95 degrees and it’s just something you put up with when you go see them. Such a fun way to get the message across that you can enjoy a refreshing fall-ish/Christmas-y Sprite flavor.

—Hudson Nuckolls, Account Coordinator, Social Media


Dick’s Sporting Goods, “The Hoop”


This is a feel-good ad that many can relate to. It reminds me that a single Christmas gift can create memories for years to come!

—Leah Joye Wilschetz, Account Coordinator


Home Depot, “Does Santa Work Here?”


This ad is refreshingly not about the consumer but about the employees, so it feels like you’re being let in on a fun joke. It features real employees over actors, making it feel more authentic. It also does a nice job of capturing the Christmas spirit without being too gimmicky.

—Charlotte Arnold, Public Relations Account Coordinator


Nashville’s NewsChannel 5, “NewsChannel 5 Christmas”


Created in the mid-70s by Charlie DePriest, this holiday spot has run every December in Nashville. Each frame was meticulously hand-drawn and included some of his daughter’s toys as models. Truly a nostalgic holiday classic for those of us that have spent many years in this city.

—Laramey Lawson, EVP, Director of Insights & Engagement


Apple, “Share Your Gifts”


This was the first time I ever heard Billie Eilish and was blown away by how well her voice worked alongside the inspirational message of sharing your true self with others. The product placement is far from being in your face; the main character uses a MacBook to create her work and that’s it!

—Tiff Vandermark, UX Designer

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