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DNA’s Definitive Guide To The Best Christmas Ads So Far

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This year, anticipation for Christmas ads have paralleled excitement for the big day itself. 

With a little over forty days before we huddle with friends and family to celebrate the festive season, the battle between big name brands for the most inspiring, big-production ad has well and truly begun. 

A burgeoning theme of dogs, woodland animals and other creatures feature prominently in this year’s ads, as evident in John Lewis, Waitress and Argos adverts. 

The UK ad market is expected to spend £5.6bn on marketing during the Christmas period, the most ever spent in the last quarter and £300m more than 2015, according to new figures from the AdvertisingAssociation/Warc.

DNA takes a look at the top Christmas ads so far, and weigh in on their favourites. 

John Lewis' #Bustertheboxer


John Lewis is renowned for making some of the most iconic ads over the years, and no doubt this 2016 advert was hotly anticipated. 

The advert, considered by many to launch the Christmas shopping season in the UK, features a family boxer named Buster and his desire to jump. 

A cover of Randy Crawford’s 1980 jazz hit “One Day I’ll Fly Away” by London electronic group Vaults plays throughout, and fully coveys the canine’s trampoline dreams. 

Lisa G’s favourite.

“In a cultural landscape of negativity and bewilderment, this is a great ad just for a giggle.”

Marks & Spencer

Mrs Claus plays a familiar character close to all of our hearts - a loving, selfless woman who works hard behind-the-scenes, expecting nothing in return. 

After Santa leaves to undertake his annual journey, she finds a lost letter from a little boy with a Christmas wish. Mrs Claus takes it upon herself to help the little boy and goes about her travels - in a seemingly more advanced mode of transportation than Santa himself, snowmobile, helicopter and all! 

The note came from an English boy named Jake who wanted to make amends with his sister, with whom he constantly fought with. He owed his sister a new pair of sneakers. 

Sure enough, Mrs Claus saves the day, delivers the parcel by crossing through the Arctic - all in a a festively killer monochrome red outfit - and comes back home before an unsuspecting Santa. 

Now, we wonder how much of Christmas magic is actually due to Mrs. Claus?

Sarah's pick - “My favourite is M&S, I think it interacts with adults and children alike.” - 
Lisa's pick -  "Love Mrs Claus as a Christmas icon – for anyone that has siblings this hits you right in the feels." 


Released during an X factor ad break, the Waitrose advert is thought to be better than John Lewis and Marks & Spencer. 

Going for a woodland animal and “going home” theme this year, it details a Scandinavian robin’s epic journey to his winter home, along with the adversities he must brave in his travels. 

Upon his arrival to a UK garden, the robin is greeted by a little girl with a Waitress minced pie, which he eats with his newfound love. 

Ali's pick - “I love the thinking around it. It already stands as a premium brand in the retail space, and has reached further heightened levels.”


What’s a Christmas ad without a celebrity cameo? 

This year, the supermarket giant tapped karaoke king James Corden to feature on their festive advert - and together perhaps win the title for the most annoying Christmas advert ever?

Dave’s pick - “Just saw this last night, loving the stop motion!"


The Christmas ad season was launched by the Knightsbridge department store and British luxury giant with the theme a “A Very British Fairytale”. 

The  85-second advert to compliment the department store’s 29-window display, all laden with flying cards, floating bathtubs and secret passageways. 

The collaboration also features an exclusive ready-to-wear, accessories and gifting collection available in the Knightsbridge store. 

No doubt one of the biggest productions in the bunch, the campaign, which was nine months in the making, has taken our Christmas luxury dreams to new heights. 

House of Fraser

The House of Fraser campaign entices with upbeat choreography, abounds in perfectly wrapped presents and ends with a strange and sinister twist.

The advert features the song “Ready or Not” by award-winning Birmingham singer Laura Mvula – originally written and recorded by The Delfonics. 


A star-studded cast including Jennifer Saunders, Ewan McGregor and Billie Piper make an appearance for the department store’s smooth-talking Christmas campaign, and are used as voice overs to various Christmas gifts, adding personality and humour to the advert. 

Debenhams has carried on its “Found It” theme for the third year in a row. 


Hard working, selfless women take centre stage in this year’s Boots Christmas campaign. 

The pharmacy and beauty giant dedicated the advert to the half a million women who sacrifice their Christmas Day to support their communities, and gave some of them an early Christmas present. 


Argos employs ice-skating, colourful yetis to star in their campaign for customers who “can’t wait for Christmas”. 

Semi-professional skaters were shot on a purpose-built skating track in the centre of Warsaw in Poland. The skaters include Peter Hallam, in orange - a twice British figure skating champion and winner of five international gold medals.

Heathrow Airport 

This is the first time the international airport Heathrow has released a Christmas campaign, and they capture the iconic experience of going home during the festive season.  

In this clip, two home-bound elderly teddy bears arriving at London’s busiest airport are the main stars of this Heathrow ad. Cuteness overload!

Did you get the “Love Actually” vibes?