The 9 Best Christmas Ads of the 2020 Holiday Season
High-budget TV commercials are a hallmark of the holiday season, but advertisers worldwide were on their A-game this year. Not only is money tight for countless families, but 2020 has left exactly no one in a holly, jolly mood.
Many of this year's holiday ads, then, convey the message that Christmas isn’t about extravagant presents or big get-togethers; it’s about the little moments shared with the ones you love. Scroll down to see some of our favorites.
This ad for Dutch mail-order pharmacy Doc Morris has gone viral, and for good reason: A grandfather’s weightlifting regimen isn’t just a vanity project, as the final moments of this ad reveals, and it might just move you to tears. (Translated from German, the tagline at the end reads, “So that you can take care of what really matters in life.”)
Amazon’s “The Show Must Go On”
When a young ballerina’s star-making performance is canceled due to COVID, her little sister ensures that with the help of neighbors the dancer can put on a (socially distanced) performance. Oh, and also with the help of some Amazon purchases, of course.
Xfinity’s “The Greatest Gift”
In this comedic, and moving, ad, the North Pole elves convince Santa — played by The Office’s Steve Carell — to “rethink their whole approach” to Christmas this year (unsaid reason: the pandemic) to find inventive ways to spread the holiday spirit. From Santa team Zoom calls to the bottling of things such as grandpa's old stories, the elves find a way. "This year has been harder than ever," Santa tells them and, really, he's telling us, "and yet, you all found a way to pull this off."
Erste’s “Edgar’s Christmas”
In this animated commercial from Erste, which you likely don't know is a Central and Eastern European financial services company, the elderly, and unhappy, Edgar seemingly prefers to spend time alone in his room, until a loving caretaker finds a way to bring his past into the present. What does it have to do with financial services? Beats us, but that that doesn't detract from its lovely melancholic vibe.
Coca-Cola’s “Christmas 2020”
A father forgets to mail his daughter’s letter to Santa Claus, so he sets off on an epic journey to hand deliver the letter to the North Pole, only to realize that his daughter wants something only he can give.
Kohl’s “Give With All Your Heart”
Speaking of kids with heartwarming wish lists, the young girl in this ad just wants to see a neighbor she befriended via handheld signs help up the their windows, but who suddenly disappears. But the woman comes back again on Christmas, hospital bracelet around her wrist, and smiles all around.
Capital One’s “Late Night”
And now for something completely different: Capital One spokesperson Samuel L. Jackson reunites with Pulp Fiction costar John Travolta in this ad, with Travolta playing a Jolly St. Nick who puts Sam on the naughty list for all of his “naughty words.”
Disney UK’s “From Our Family to Yours”
The starry-eyed granddaughter in this emotional animated short proves it’s never too late connect with loved ones — or to put old traditions in a new light.
Waitrose & John Lewis’ “Give a Little Love”
The U.K.'s Waitrose supermarket chain (formerly John Lewis) is well known for pulling out the grand gestures for its Christmas ads. This year, though, it focuses on small moments — a chain of random acts of kindness that spreads holiday cheer. As always, though, the ad, which blends live action with hand-drawn, stop-motion, and computer-generated animation, is beautifully produced.