7 Christmas TV ads guaranteed to stir your emotions in 2016

19 Nov 2016

We dare you not to well up at Buster the Boxer’s childish delight at a new trampoline. Image: John Lewis

It’s November! But here are the 2016 Christmas ads anyway, and they are guaranteed to make you tear up.

Christmas ads have become something of an art form.

It seems like every year the big retail stores are in a race to outdo each other, not with slick advertising exactly, but with ads designed to pull on the heartstrings. And they certainly work.

There is always the inevitable question: “Do you know how old the girl in the Coca-Cola ad is now?”

Whether you like the onset of Christmas the minute Hallowe’en ends, or if you were there by accident for the switching on of the lights on Grafton Street and see the whole thing as a commercial Hallmark holiday, you love these ads. Right?

Well, I still haven’t recovered from the John Lewis ad from last year with the man on the moon, but in 2016, I have to admit I feel a little ambushed by the brands. It’s like they are ganging up to make us all emotional and thoughtful… and thankful.

So here are the best of the 2016 Christmas ads that are trending on YouTube.

Unborn baby

1. John Lewis Christmas Advert 2016 – Buster the Boxer

This year’s John Lewis Christmas ad features Buster the bouncing boxer. Just like pets aren’t just for Christmas, it appears trampolines aren’t just for little girls.

Buster clearly isn’t the only boxer who loves to bounce – here is Buzz who is a big fan of the ad:

2. M&S 2016 Christmas Ad – Christmas with love from Mrs Claus

The 2016 M&S offering has a modern feminist twist, with Mrs Claus coming to the rescue for little Jake, who has annoyed his sister to no end but still wants her to be happy. It features helicopters, power suits and snow speeders. I dare you not to well up.

3. Sainsbury’s official Christmas advert 2016 – The Greatest Gift

Featuring vocals from James Corden, the Sainsbury’s Christmas ad is a kind of modern take on It’s A Wonderful Life and tells the story of hardworking dad Dave, who realises the greatest gift he can give his family is his time.

4. Coming Home for Christmas – Heathrow Airport

The Heathrow ad is inspired. It shows two teddy bears making their way through an airport but is really a metaphor for connecting people, especially elderly loved ones, in these modern times. The ending will get you.

5. Lidl Ireland Christmas TV – 2016

Lidl has gone all out to break our hearts and remember loved ones who aren’t with us this Christmas, while also reminding us all to be grateful for what we have. Ah, here… sniff.

6. Waitrose Christmas TV ad 2016

The Waitrose offering for 2016 is epic and poignant. It tells the story of a bond forged between a little girl and an injured robin who thereafter makes an annual pilgrimage to greet his saviour.

7. Aldi Christmas Advert 2016 – Kevin the Carrot

This Aldi Christmas ad tells the story of Kevin the Carrot, who ends up hitching a ride on Santa’s sleigh. It probably won’t make you cry, but this ad is definitely guaranteed to make you hungry. Especially those roast potatoes…

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years