Guerillascope's Top Christmas TV Adverts of 2017

East 17 have been imploring us to stay another day for over a month now, the outdoor fairy lights your dad keeps up all year round have been switched on, and you’ve dominated your fifth Christmas turkey dinner already. Yet, something has been missing; that special sprinkling of festive magic that drags you into the spirit of the season kicking and screaming.

Yes, we know you’ve been awaiting our countdown of the ten best Christmas TV adverts of 2017 like the pooch sat staring up at that ham on the kitchen top, ears pricked and head tilted in expectation. It’s been a tough call – one we’ve spent time trying to get right. Such lists cannot be taken lately. Yet finally, the ham has dropped. So, sink your teeth into our rundown of this year’s Christmas zingers. While you're here, why not let us know your thoughts via our Facebook and Twitter pages?

1. M&S - Paddington & the Christmas Visitor

If I was the protagonist in M&S’ 2017 festive smash and found anybody – and I mean anybody, including Father Christmas – walking across my roof on Christmas eve, let’s just say this Yuletide humdinger of an ad would not be fit for broadcast. Thankfully for British TV viewers, Paddington Bear is an altogether more chilled out character.

Mistaking a burglar for old Saint Nick himself, Paddington takes it upon himself to assist him in delivering/returning presents to their rightful addresses. Along the way, he inadvertently teaches the crook the meaning of Christmas, and reduces kids and adults to blubbing messes in the process. Encapsulating the power of brand partnerships to add new depth to a marketing message, for us there’s no other possible conclusion: M&S has won Christmas.

2. Aldi - Kevin the Carrot

Kevin the carrot gifts us another instalment of his odyssey across food spreads in Aldi’s 2017 Christmas opus – a move that would ordinarily leave us with suspicions of a lazy marketing strategy.

We’ll leave the cynicism at the door, however, and doth our caps to another fun-laden TV campaign that sees Kevin boarding a midnight express train complete with – you guessed it – a hazardous feast of Aldi Christmas food. The stakes couldn’t be higher, with his dream girl-carrot lying atop mince pies at the other end of the table. Cue 60-seconds of high octane drama that ends with Kevin throwing himself in front of a rogue pea to save his fair maiden.

Bringing ample festive cheer and a cameo from Santa himself, Aldi adds credence to the proverb, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.

Extra kudos for the expertly crafted pun.

3. Waitrose - Snowed In

Sorry mum, but in the event that I get ‘snowed in’ at a pub on Christmas eve and consequently have to spend the big day itself drinking the bar dry with strangers, I would end up having one hell of a time. How do I know this for sure? Blame Waitrose.

Melding tasteful, cosy black and white shots arranged with the soundtrack of Carol of the Bells, the Queen’s supermarket has delivered a festive TV ad that hits regal heights. It does exactly what a Christmas commercial should do: it makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside, whilst reminding us that it’s the people around us that make the festive season such a special time. 

Also, it’s set in a 17th century inn that genuinely has issues with being snowed in at winter… who’s up for a trip to the Yorkshire Dales?

4. Debenhams - You Shall Find Your Fairytale Christmas

A thoroughly 21st century take on the classic Cinderella story, Debenhams has gone with a tried-and-tested formula of tugging at our heart strings with a maudlin love story.

Yet, whilst we’ve been here before, we prove powerless to resist its charms, vicariously living every near miss, heartfelt social media appeal and longing middle-distance gaze until BANG, Ewan McGregor magically turns off the streetlights and the stars align to see girl and boy kiss in the middle of the road. Safety concerns? Sure. But Ewan clearly knows best.

Plus, it’s all so festive and warming, Donald Trump could make a cameo appearance and we’d still well up.

5. RSPCA - Stars

RSPCA has a history of making Christmas ads that reduce viewers to sobbing wrecks – and this year’s effort has upped the ante. Unlike the other ads on this list, it isn’t trying to sell products or increase market share. It’s simply trying to remind us that it isn’t the presents and parties that make Christmas such a special time – it’s the acts of kindness.

Shot in-house without the involvement of an agency, the simplicity of the message is its strength. Bulging with cuteness, the ad does a great job at showcasing the incredible work done by the RSPCA staff; it’s a cause we can all rally behind, and one that we can learn a lot from.

6. Tesco - Turkey, Every Which Way

Tesco has courted some controversy with 2017’s festive effort, but that does not stop it from featuring in our list. In creating an ad that celebrates inclusivity and diversity, the supermarket delivers perhaps the most realistic depiction of what Christmas in 21st century Britain is and should be about. Regardless of your religious beliefs, sexuality or family structure, it’s a day full of mishaps, stress, joy and exhausted people in chairs. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

7. John Lewis - Moz the Monster

It may not hit the heights of Xmas TV adverts unveiled by John Lewis over the last few years, but Moz the Monster has still garnered 9 million views on YouTube and countless column inches since its launch just a few weeks ago. If the mark of a successful campaign is determined by the attention it attracts, then this ode to selflessness and childhood imagination is another winner.

Indeed, there’s a strong argument in saying that John Lewis has simply become a victim of its own success.

8. Notonthehighstreet... Presents Christmas

Why do we love this collection of short 20-second Christmas ads from Notonthehighstreet? Chiefly, they make us laugh. Self-deprecating humour rooted in somebody else’s embarrassment is always the most direct route into the affections of us Brits, after all. Secondly, they eschew the usual Christmas trimmings – the fairy lights, the acoustic cover song, the anthropomorphic characters – in favour of an austere, silent delivery. There’s nothing wrong with going for the nuclear option in the festivity stakes of course, but sometimes all you need is a good piece of relatable comedy.

We could have put any of the three ads up, but here’s our favourite.

9. Boots - Show Them You Know Them

Part of me resents Boots’ 2017 Christmas campaign for the fact that it’s never this easy to absolutely nail a present for any family member. However, there simply is no denying that the message at its heart ruthlessly tickles the tear ducts. Sometimes we all need a little reminder of the importance of family; in fact, we wouldn’t be the people we become without those precious bonds that last a lifetime. This TV ad is a poignant, montage-powered reflection of that.

Though, I will be defending vouchers till my dying day.

10. TK Maxx - A White Christmas

TK Maxx brings the quirkiness in spades with this year’s festive TV campaign, but that’s not why it makes our list – though it certainly helps. Ultimately, it boils down to the brand’s ingenious marketing gimmick: should your TK Maxx purchase come complete with a hidden snow globe, the company will rock up at your house and cover it in actual real snow. That’s right – a small number of lucky families will actually have a white Christmas, whilst the rest of us put up with the usual drizzle.

Sorry, fam, but it’s TK Maxx all round this year.