The Top 10 Most Viewed Christmas Adverts

22/11/2019 4:44 PM - Updated: 3 months ago

By 23 Media Audits

Most Viewed Christmas Adverts

Here at 23 Media Audits, we love Christmas. Our office tree is up, the mince pies are out and the Christmas playlists are on. With the big day just around the corner, we thought what better a way to start the festive season than with a bit of nostalgia. Nothing says Christmas like the annual rollout of brand TV ads so let’s look at the YouTube top 10 most viewed Christmas adverts of all time!

Most Viewed Christmas Adverts

10. Get More Out of Giving - 2017

The gift of giving opens on a scene of childlike innocence and generosity, as a young girl, accompanied by her beloved toy wolf, Ulfie, embarks on a mission to spread Christmas cheer by delivering a collection of Very's signature pink-wrapped gifts. With each gift she hands out, the girl's face lights up with delight, reflecting the pure joy of giving.

However, amidst the merrymaking, Ulfie, the girl's faithful companion, accidentally slips away, lost amidst the festive revelry. The girl's heart sinks as she realizes her beloved toy is missing, her spirit momentarily dampened by the loss.

Just when hope seems lost, a glimmer of kindness emerges from the shadows. A wild wolf, drawn by the girl's genuine sorrow, approaches her, offering comfort and assistance in her search for Ulfie. Together, the girl and the wolf embark on a journey through the snowy landscape, their unlikely bond strengthening with each shared step.

Their pursuit leads them to a treacherous waterfall, its icy waters concealing an unknown fate. In a desperate attempt to save Ulfie, the girl plunges into the cascading waters, only to awaken on Christmas morning, her heart filled with a mix of trepidation and anticipation.

As she approaches the Christmas tree, a glimmer of pink catches her eye. Underneath the tree lies a mysterious pink box, its contents promising a heartwarming revelation. With trembling hands, the girl opens the box, and her eyes widen in disbelief. Inside, nestled comfortably, is Ulfie, his ear sewn up with care, his presence radiating warmth and reassurance.

Overwhelmed with joy, the girl embraces her beloved toy, her heart overflowing with gratitude for the kindness of strangers and the unexpected turn of events. The advert concludes with a heartwarming message: "Give a gift, spread the love," perfectly encapsulating the spirit of Christmas and the power of kindness.

The advert's emotional resonance lies in its ability to capture the purity of childhood innocence, the unwavering spirit of giving, and the unexpected kindness that can blossom in the most unlikely circumstances. It reminds us that the true essence of Christmas lies not in material possessions but in the connections we make, the joy we share, and the kindness we extend to others.

9. Christmas With Love from Mrs Claus

M&S - 2016

Christmas with love opens with a heartwarming scene of a young boy, Jake, writing a heartfelt letter to Mrs. Claus, expressing his desire to fulfill his sister Anna's Christmas wish for a pair of sparkly red trainers. Mrs. Claus, portrayed with captivating elegance by Janet McTeer, receives Jake's letter and immediately springs into action, determined to make his wish come true.

As Mrs. Claus skillfully navigates the logistics of Christmas gift deliveries, the advert showcases her modern-day approach to her role. Dressed in a stylish red outfit, she effortlessly pilots a helicopter aptly named 'R-DOLF,' traversing the skies of London with unwavering confidence.

Upon reaching Jake's home, Mrs. Claus discreetly places the desired trainers under the Christmas tree, leaving a trail of glitter as a subtle hint of her magical presence. The advert culminates in a heartwarming reunion between Jake and Anna on Christmas morning, their faces beaming with joy as they discover the longed-for trainers.

Marks and Spencer's "Christmas with Love" advert struck a chord with audiences worldwide, resonating with its message of love, compassion, and the importance of fulfilling wishes, especially for those we love. The advert's captivating visuals, uplifting soundtrack, and endearing characters left a lasting impression, solidifying its place among the most beloved Christmas advertisements of all time.

Here are some of the key factors that contributed to the advert's success:

  • Empowering Mrs. Claus: The advert's decision to focus on Mrs. Claus as the central character offered a refreshing perspective on the traditional Santa Claus narrative, highlighting her pivotal role in the Christmas spirit.
  • Modern Twist: The advert incorporated modern elements, such as Mrs. Claus piloting a helicopter, adding a touch of relatability and showcasing the adaptability of Christmas traditions.
  • Heartwarming Story: The advert's core message of love and the joy of fulfilling wishes resonated with audiences, evoking feelings of warmth and nostalgia.
  • Captivating Visuals: The advert's stunning visuals, particularly the helicopter sequence and the glittering trail left by Mrs. Claus, added to its magical appeal.
  • Uplifting Soundtrack: The advert's soundtrack, a gentle and heartwarming melody, perfectly complemented the story's themes, enhancing its emotional impact.

8. Christmas With Love from Mrs Claus

John Lewis - 2018

In the heart of a bustling city, amidst the twinkling lights and festive cheer of Christmas, John Lewis released an evocative tale of a young boy's enduring fascination with a Christmas gift that would shape his life in ways he could never have imagined.

The advert opens on a scene of childhood wonder, as a young boy unwraps a grand piano, his eyes sparkling with excitement and anticipation. As he tentatively places his fingers on the keys, a melody flows forth, filling the room with a sense of magic and possibility.

Through a series of poignant vignettes, the advert follows the young boy's journey through life, tracing the profound impact of the piano on his creative growth and emotional expression. As he navigates the challenges and triumphs of adolescence, the piano becomes his confidant, a source of solace and inspiration.

We witness the boy's blossoming talent as he immerses himself in music, his fingers dancing across the keys, transforming melodies into stories and emotions. The piano becomes an extension of his soul, a medium through which he expresses his deepest thoughts and feelings.

As the years pass, the boy matures into a young man, his passion for music unwavering. He dedicates himself to his craft, honing his skills and pursuing his dreams with unwavering determination. The piano remains his constant companion, a source of strength and inspiration as he faces the trials and tribulations of life.

In a climactic reveal, the advert unveils the identity of the young boy – none other than the legendary musician Elton John. As the iconic chords of "Your Song" fill the air, we are reminded of the transformative power of a single Christmas gift, a gift that ignited a spark within a young boy and set him on a path to musical stardom.

The advert concludes with a poignant message: "Sometimes, the greatest gifts are the ones that give you the most." It serves as a reminder that the true magic of Christmas lies not in material possessions but in the seeds that are sown, the passions that are ignited, and the dreams that are nurtured.

John Lewis's Christmas advert is a celebration of creativity, perseverance, and the transformative power of art. It is a testament to the enduring impact that a single moment, a single gift, can have on a person's life, shaping their identity and inspiring them to reach for their dreams.

7. Christmas With Love from Mrs Claus

Sainsbury’s - 2016

This lovely upbeat Christmas musical is a stop-frame animation featuring James Cordon, best known for his work on The Late Late Show with James Corden. The advert follows family man Dave on his whirlwind journey to try and get everyone's Christmas presents in time for the big day. Dave enlists the help of his friends and family to help him with his shopping, but he soon becomes overwhelmed by the stress of it all.

Just when Dave is about to give up, he has a Eureka moment when he realizes that the greatest gift he could give his family at Christmas was his time. He decides to put away the shopping list and spend the rest of the day with his loved ones, enjoying the simple things in life.

The advert ends with a heartwarming message: "The greatest gift this Christmas is to give your time." The advert was praised for its positive message and its reminder that the most important thing about Christmas is spending time with loved ones. It was a commercial success, helping to boost John Lewis's sales in the run-up to Christmas.

Here are some of the reasons why the advert was so popular:

  • It had a catchy and upbeat soundtrack that got people into the Christmas spirit.
  • It had a heartwarming message that resonated with families.
  • It was beautifully animated and featured some stunning visuals.
  • It was released at a time when people were feeling the Christmas spirit.

The advert is a reminder that the most important thing about Christmas is not the presents, but the time we spend with our loved ones. It is a timeless classic that is sure to be enjoyed for many years to come.

6. 1914

Sainsbury’s - 2014

Amidst the bustling festivities of Christmas, Sainsbury's 2014 advertisement 1914 took a poignant turn, transporting viewers back in time to the battlefields of World War I. In a stark contrast to the vibrant Christmas imagery that typically adorns the holiday season, Sainsbury's advert presented a somber yet deeply moving story of the Christmas Day truce of 1914.

The advert's narrative unfolds amidst the desolate trenches of no man's land, where soldiers from opposing sides cautiously emerge from their bunkers, drawn by the sound of music. As they approach, the tension and hostility that have characterized their daily existence momentarily dissipate, replaced by a sense of curiosity and camaraderie.

The soldiers, united by their shared humanity and the spirit of Christmas, engage in a series of tentative interactions. They exchange gifts, play football, and share stories, if only for a brief respite from the horrors of war.

The advert's message is simple yet profound: even in the darkest of times, the human spirit can rise above conflict and seek moments of peace and connection. The Christmas Day truce, though brief, serves as a beacon of hope and a reminder of the shared humanity that binds us all. It struck a chord with audiences worldwide, resonating with its poignant message of peace and reconciliation. It was praised for its understated approach, relying on the power of storytelling and imagery to convey its message rather than relying on sentimental clichés.

The impact of the campaign extended beyond its emotional resonance. It sparked conversations about the horrors of war and the importance of peace, reminding us of the fragility of human life and the need to cherish moments of unity and understanding.

1914 stands as a testament to the power of advertising to transcend commercial boundaries and touch upon themes of universal significance. It serves as a poignant reminder of the human spirit's capacity for compassion and the enduring hope for peace amidst the darkness of conflict.

5. Buster The Boxer

John Lewis - 2016

John Lewis's 2016 Christmas advertisement, "Buster the Boxer," is a heartwarming and humorous tale that embodies the true spirit of the holiday season. The advert revolves around a playful boxer dog named Buster and his unexpected love for a trampoline intended for his young human companion.

The advert opens with the anticipation of Christmas building in a family home. Amidst the excitement, a trampoline is assembled in the backyard, eagerly awaited by the young daughter. However, Buster, the family dog, has other plans.

Buster, with his boundless energy and enthusiasm, quickly becomes enamored with the trampoline, much to the chagrin of his human friend. The advert captures the comical antics of Buster as he gleefully bounces and flips on the trampoline, claiming it as his own.

Despite Buster's mischievous behavior, the advert highlights the enduring bond between a dog and its human family. The family's initial frustration with Buster's antics gradually turns into amusement and acceptance as they witness his pure joy.

The advert concludes with a heartwarming scene as the family gathers around the trampoline, watching Buster in his element. The young daughter, initially disappointed by Buster's appropriation of her gift, realizes that the true joy of Christmas lies in sharing and creating memories together.

"Buster the Boxer" is a testament to John Lewis's mastery of crafting Christmas advertisements that resonate with audiences worldwide. The advert's humor, heartwarming message, and captivating storytelling ensure its place among the most beloved Christmas advertisements of all time.

4. Monty The Penguin

John Lewis - 2014

Monty the Penguin tells the story of a young boy who befriends a lonely penguin named Monty. The boy does everything he can to make Monty happy at Christmas, including taking him to see the Christmas lights and buying him a present. The advert ends with the boy and Monty sharing a Christmas hug.

The advert was praised for its heartwarming story and its message of friendship and love. It was also a commercial success, helping to boost John Lewis's sales in the run-up to Christmas.

Here are some of the reasons why Monty the Penguin was so popular:

  • It was a heartwarming story that appealed to people of all ages.
  • It had a strong message of friendship and love.
  • It was beautifully made and featured stunning animation.
  • It was released at a time when people were feeling the Christmas spirit.
  • Monty the Penguin is a timeless Christmas classic that is sure to be enjoyed for many years to come.

3. The Bear and The Hare (Somewhere Only We Know)

John Lewis - 2013

John Lewis's "Somewhere Only We Know" is a heartwarming Christmas advertisement that captures the essence of friendship, loyalty, and the enduring power of shared memories. Set against the backdrop of a hauntingly beautiful cover of Keane's "Somewhere Only We Know" by Lily Allen, the advert unfolds a story that tugs at the heartstrings and reminds us of the importance of cherishing those we love.

The advert's protagonist is a bear named Bear, whose annual hibernation forces him to miss out on the festivities of Christmas. His best friend, Hare, is determined to make this Christmas one that Bear will never forget. With unwavering dedication, Hare sets about creating a winter wonderland in the forest, complete with Christmas decorations, a cozy den, and a heartwarming surprise for Bear.

As Bear awakens from his slumber, he is greeted by a sight that takes his breath away. The forest has been transformed into a magical Christmas haven, filled with festive cheer and the warmth of friendship. Hare's thoughtful gesture fills Bear's heart with joy, and they spend the day together, reminiscing about their shared adventures and indulging in the spirit of Christmas.

The advert's emotional climax arrives as Bear and Hare stand beneath a starlit sky, their silhouettes etched against the backdrop of the snow-covered forest. Hare confesses to Bear that he created this Christmas wonderland because he didn't want Bear to miss out on the magic of the season. Bear is deeply touched by Hare's generosity and expresses his gratitude for his unwavering friendship.

"Somewhere Only We Know" concludes with a poignant message that resonates with audiences worldwide: "For those moments that make Christmas special." It serves as a gentle reminder that the true spirit of Christmas lies not in material possessions but in the bonds of friendship, the joy of shared experiences, and the love we have for our loved ones.

The advert's enduring appeal can be attributed to its masterful blend of creativity and emotional resonance. The animation style is both whimsical and heartwarming, perfectly capturing the innocence and joy of childhood friendships. The use of Keane's "Somewhere Only We Know" as the soundtrack is a stroke of genius, as the song's melancholic melody perfectly complements the advert's themes of longing, friendship, and the cherished moments that make up our lives.

John Lewis's "Somewhere Only We Know" is more than just a Christmas advertisement; it is a timeless story of friendship, love, and the enduring power of shared memories. Its legacy lies in its ability to touch hearts, inspire acts of kindness, and remind us of the true essence of Christmas.

2. Man On The Moon

John Lewis - 2015

John Lewis has a long and illustrious history of crafting captivating Christmas advertisements that have touched the hearts of millions worldwide. Their 2015 masterpiece, "Man on the Moon," stands as a testament to their creative prowess and ability to evoke profound emotions through storytelling. Set to a hauntingly beautiful acoustic cover, the advert seamlessly weaves a narrative that resonates with the universal yearning for connection and love.

At the heart of the story lies an elderly man, isolated in his solitude, his gaze perpetually fixed on the moon, a celestial beacon in the vast expanse of the night sky. His loneliness is palpable, his longing for companionship etched on his weary face. As the Christmas season approaches, the festive cheer that surrounds him only amplifies his sense of isolation, a stark reminder of his solitary existence.

One starlit night, a glimmer of hope emerges from the darkness. A radiant light pierces the sky, drawing the man's attention. With a flicker of anticipation, he follows the celestial beacon, his heart pounding with a newfound hope. His journey leads him to an unexpected destination, a field bathed in the warmth of Christmas lights.

Amidst the festive revelry, a welcoming group of individuals extends their hands of friendship, inviting the lonely man into their circle of warmth and camaraderie. His heart swells with gratitude as he embraces the unexpected solace and joy that have enveloped him.

The advert concludes with a poignant message that transcends the boundaries of language and culture: "Show someone you care this Christmas." It serves as a gentle reminder that even those separated by vast distances can still be connected through the threads of love and compassion.

The power of "Man on the Moon" lies in its ability to capture the essence of human connection and the profound impact of simple gestures of kindness. It reminds us that even the smallest acts of empathy can illuminate the darkness of loneliness and bring warmth to the hearts of those who feel forgotten.

John Lewis's "Man on the Moon" is not merely a Christmas advertisement; it is a poignant reminder of the enduring power of human connection and the transformative impact of love and compassion.

1. Mog’s Christmas Calamity

Sainsbury’s - 2015

Mog's Christmas Calamity by Sainsbury's is the most viewed Christmas advert of all time, with over 42 million views on YouTube. The advert features the beloved character of Mog, a mischievous cat who inadvertently causes a series of calamities that almost ruin Christmas for his family. Despite the chaos, the advert ultimately conveys a heartwarming message of forgiveness, unity, and the importance of sharing during the festive season.

The advert's enduring popularity can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, it taps into the universal appeal of the Christmas spirit, capturing the joy, excitement, and anticipation that the holiday season brings. Secondly, the use of Mog as the main protagonist resonates with audiences worldwide, as Mog is a relatable and endearing character who embodies the spirit of mischief and innocence.

Furthermore, the advert's tagline, "Christmas is for sharing," perfectly encapsulates the essence of the holiday season. It reminds us that Christmas is not just about receiving gifts, but also about spending quality time with loved ones, cherishing shared moments, and creating lasting memories.

In addition to its heartwarming message, the advert is also visually appealing and engaging. The animation style is charming and expressive, bringing Mog's antics to life with humor and warmth. The advert's soundtrack is equally memorable, featuring a gentle and uplifting melody that complements the story's themes.

The advert's impact extends beyond its commercial success. It has become a cherished part of Christmas tradition for many families, and it continues to be enjoyed and shared year after year. The advert's enduring popularity is a testament to its ability to capture the true essence of Christmas and evoke warm feelings of nostalgia and joy.

Looking to benchmark your digital advertising spend? View our digital auditing page to get started.