The Best of Christmas-Themed Advertising in 2018

Posted on December 24, 2018

Christmas Eve has arrived, which means any advertising or marketing efforts for the holiday have long been developed and deployed. Now that we have all the submissions in, let’s take a look at our favorites in Christmas-themed advertising this year:

5. Santa vs. E-Commerce

As a kid, I was blown away by the idea Santa could deliver gifts to every house in the world in just one night. Now, I’m far more infatuated with the idea that retail giants — headed by Amazon — are increasingly able to provide same-day delivery. This ad from PostNord, Sweden’s postal service, highlights that shift in thinking by consumers.  

Yes, it’s humorous watching Santa try to keep up the demands of e-commerce today. But it also highlights the massive demand and expectation being placed on businesses and delivery services these days. Personally, I’m a big fan of the final image in this ad with Santa riding a reindeer through the city.

4. Lil Jon and Kool-Aid

It never occurred to me before seeing this ad, but Lil Jon and Kool-Aid Man are truly a match made in heaven. One them is famous for saying “yeah!” and the other for saying “oh yeah!”. They’re both known for bringing a lot of energy and straddling the line between fun and obnoxious.

So, it was really only a matter of time before they got together for a collaboration, which they did for this Christmas ad. “Feliz Navidad, no eggnog, more Kool-Aid, oh yeah, yeah!” might be my favorite verse of 2018. This is fun advertising.

3. Portal: Ugly Christmas Sweater

This ad for the Portal from Facebook clearly hits on the humor that can come with being around family at Christmas. It also doesn’t miss on displaying the Portal’s ability to connect you with loved ones that may be far away for the holidays.

As a whole, the ad absolutely lines up with how Facebook would like to be viewed by the public. It shows wholesomeness and a simple goal of providing the ability to bring people closer together. That’s not really an image Facebook has been delivering on lately, but that’s an entirely different story.

2. Apple’s Share Your Gifts

If you prefer things appealing to your sentimental side during the holidays, Apple’s Share Your Gifts ad is for you. It’s all about being unafraid to share your creativity with others because you never know when you might be sitting on something great or inspiring. It’s also animated in a Pixar-like fashion, which is a cool twist that helps drive home the point.

My favorite part about this ad is leaving it to the dog to ultimately show the human what’s best. We really don’t deserve dogs. 

1. Google Assistant and Home Alone

Google Assistant is designed with the intention of making daily tasks performed at home a little bit easier. What better way to advertise for that during the Christmas season than an ad based around Home Alone. Google went for it, and it was fantastic. They even got Macaulay Culkin himself to play his role as Kevin McCallister 18 years after the movie released.

We’ve recently discussed how effective nostalgia marketing can be these days. That’s exactly the lever Google is pulling here, and it’s very well executed. 

Bonus: Don’t Wear That Jersey!

As a bonus, let’s include a throwback to my favorite Christmas ad of 2017, and maybe ever. You just can’t wear a Raiders jersey to a Chiefs’ family Christmas. But that doesn’t mean you can’t wear a Raiders ugly Christmas sweater. Well done, NFL Shop.