Christmas Advertising 2023: A Roundup of the Best Campaigns so Far

What’s your favorite Christmas tradition? Baking Christmas cookies, handpicking your Christmas tree, secret Santa gift exchange, or perhaps just catching up on some classic holiday movies? Well, if you are a marketer, then there’s perhaps one extra thing on your list – catching up on all the Christmas ads of the year – to stay in the loop with the latest trends in Christmas advertising. 

If that’s a yes we hear then you’re in the right place! We have just the warm and fuzzy roundup you might like! Examples of Christmas advertising from big brands making spirits bright this season! Ready for a dose of inspiration? Let’s go! 

But First, a Quick Overview of the Significance of Christmas Advertising!

Christmas comes every year. So is it really worth your time to come up with something creative and heartwarming for the festival every single year? Short answer: yes. Here are a few good reasons to justify this: 

  • The holiday sales in the U.S. have consistently grown over the past decade indicating that Christmas time is a good opportunity for brands to work on boosting their sales. A creative campaign that convinces users and gives them plenty of reasons to shop from you can help in this. 
  • Nearly 63% of Americans shop online for the holidays. So, a well-executed Christmas commercial can boost your brand’s reach and visibility by reaching the right audience at the right time. 
  • Christmas is a time when emotions run high. Naturally, this makes a wonderful opportunity for brands to create emotionally resonant Christmas ads and foster emotional connections with their customers. 
  • A well-thought-out Christmas advertising campaign can give your brand a competitive edge. 
  • According to Google, nearly 70% of shoppers have some shopping to complete even in the last week before Christmas. Which means that even last-minute campaigns can have a big impact, when you have the right idea and find the right platform to reach your audience. 

So yes, Christmas advertising is totally worth your time! Now let’s quickly look at some of the inspirational Christmas advertising examples from this year – commercials and campaigns on diverse platforms. 

Christmas Advertising – Unwrapping the Best Commercials From 2023 

1. Apple – Fuzzy Feelings

Apple is known for its heart-warming Christmas ads and so we’re starting our list of the best Christmas advertising examples with this year’s ad from the brand. 

A good ad is built on a strong narrative combined with great visuals and a lavish sprinkle of emotions. The 2023 holiday ad from Apple has them all and hence it is winning hearts! 

The ad features an Ebenezer Scrooge-like grumpy boss, which is pretty common, and perhaps perceived to be a relatable idea for several people. But what makes the ad memorable is that it does not stop with portraying the boss as a grumpy one making the employee’s life miserable but goes on to tell the story behind his attitude. And a heartwarming solution to it. 

It is this positive note that has won hearts. Because after all, who would say “no” to a dose of positivity this festive season? 

KIMP Tip: To make the most of your Christmas advertising efforts, be well aware of the trends this season. TikTok has popularized the stop-motion trend. Therefore, Apple’s decision to combine this trend with its conventional live-action format is a great one. It shows how to hop on trends without losing your brand’s identity. 

2. Lidl’s Magical Christmas advert 

A hint of surrealism can be the much-needed secret ingredient to uplift a Christmas advertising idea. This year Lidl decided to capitalize on this with its heartwarming tale of a raccoon who saved the day! 

The ad shines because of the story in it – not just any story but a surreal one about joy finding its way to families through the most unexpected channels, like the raccoon who quietly delivers the child’s Christmas gift that was lost on the way back home! 

Moreover, the ad also celebrates the joy of gifting and ends with a message communicating the cause that Lidl stands for – requesting consumers to gift a toy to Lidl’s Toybank, the brand’s toy donation drive. 

The ad beautifully delivers the brand’s message while also celebrating the holiday spirit! 

3. Coca-Cola – The World Needs More Santas

In the world of Christmas advertising, Coca-Cola and Santa Claus share a special bond. This year, the brand chose to give a creative twist to the Santa imagery with its campaign that emphasizes that “anyone can be Santa”. 

There are two things that stand out: 

  • By focusing on simple acts of kindness, the ad makes an instant emotional connection with the audience. 
  • By featuring real people and real-life scenes, the brand keeps things real and easily relatable. 

Both these factors humanize the brand and embrace the spirit of Santa, of Christmas, in the truest sense. Moreover, there is also the commendable inclusive representation that the brand has chosen! On the whole, a beautiful Christmas ad indeed. 

4. Heathrow – Festive Travel Stories 2023

Heathrow Airport’s Christmas advertising is all about capturing the warmth in the hustle and bustle of holiday travel. The brand came up with a series of videos featuring customer stories. The videos, like the one featured below, capture the nostalgia, excitement, and tenderness that spring in the rush that prevails during holiday travel. 

For this Christmas campaign, the brand leverages universal emotions of love and family bonding to capture beauty in simple moments. 

KIMP Tip: Customer stories resonate well with the audience and help build brand authenticity. In a competitive time like Christmas when all your competitors are spinning beautiful narratives too, sharing customer stories might be that little nudge your brand needs to stand out. The best way to share them will be in a video format – like the one used by Heathrow. A carousel of static images that capture customer experiences will be another great idea to explore. 

5. Hobby Lobby’s Christmas ad 

The below ad is from the popular American art & crafts brand Hobby Lobby. The touching ad shows the struggles of a mother and the efforts a son makes to make it up to her. The ad ends with the core message “Christmas is what you make it”. 

This is yet another example of Christmas advertising celebrating the everyday moments of joy and the little things we can do to make someone’s Christmas better. Simple and relatable ideas like this one are easier to grasp and memorable too! 

KIMP Tip: The ad plugs in the promotion of “50% off” subtly at the end of the ad. With a crisp and warm ad like this one, people often stick around and therefore adding a clear CTA at the end makes a big difference! But yes, the rest of the ad does not carry a promotional tone and that’s a good reminder to focus on the message rather than the promotional component when it comes to Christmas advertising. 

6. IKEA – Take a Holiday from the Holidays 

While most brands focus on the fun and festivities and the traditions surrounding Christmas, there are a few who take the path less taken and talk about the real side that often goes unnoticed. IKEA came up with one such ad that embraces the reality behind the festival for many.

Not the usual Christmas ad you see everywhere! But the honesty that the ad captures and the brave move to talk about the things that most people do not talk about make this ad special. So, if you are someone feeling bogged down by all the rush and stress that come with holiday preparations, you might resonate with this ad. 

Keeping it real strikes all the right chords after all! 

KIMP Tip: Notice IKEA’s intuitive product integration in the video. This aligns with IKEA’s signature style of portraying real-life scenes in its ads to maintain brand consistency. While doing this, the ad also subtly tells you how IKEA has just the right products that help you unwind and relax after all the holiday stress! 

7. Aldi – Kevin and the Christmas Factory 

Kevin the Carrot has been an integral part of Aldi’s Christmas advertising ever since its hit commercial in 2019. Kevin makes an entrance this year too but in a different theme – in the Christmas Factory. 

Inspired by the story of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, this commercial is a visual delight. Additionally, the vibrancy of the visuals and the brilliance of the copy go well together to create the perfect Christmas ad. 

To stay true to the theme, the ad incorporates various visual cues along with the finishing touch of “the cheese to the factory” like “the keys to the factory” in the original story. On the whole, from consistently preserving the character of Kevin the Carrot to adding a hint of humor to keep the ad light-hearted, Aldi has done a fantastic job with this commercial. 

KIMP Tip: Aldi’s choice of theme is brilliant considering the recent release and the popularity of the movie Wonka. In other words, moment marketing, or leveraging topical ideas and popular discussions is one way to give your Christmas ads a fresh twist. 

8. Walmart gives a festive twist to the tale of the Grinch 

If you are a Dr. Seuss fan, you’ll love this Walmart ad. By partnering with a brand built on a popular fictional character with a cult following Walmart appeals to a niche audience segment. 

By choosing a story that most people are familiar with Walmart ensures that the message is clear. Moreover, the visuals entirely stay on theme and accurately capture the holiday spirit. 

KIMP Tip: As can be seen, the signature blue Walmart boxes are enough to imprint the brand in the ad. This shows the power of consistent branding and the purposeful use of brand colors. Similarly, find creative ways to infuse your brand color seamlessly into your marketing designs for maximum impact. 

Need help creating static ads or simple animated ones? Get a KIMP Graphics + Video subscription. 

Cheerful Christmas Advertising Beyond the Digital Channels

Having spoken about some of the most popular Christmas commercials from brands, let’s also look at some campaigns that went beyond the digital channels. 

1. eBay’s Influencer-driven experiential campaign 

Stepping out of the digital landscape and making tactile real-life connections with your customers can have a huge impact on your brand image. Hence eBay chose to engage in casual conversations with people on the street in the below campaign. For the eBay elf campaign, the brand collaborated with influencer Ari Serrano and asked people about their “ideal holiday gift”. 

The campaign does not just leverage influencer marketing intuitively but also serves as a way for the brand to understand its target audience better – by understanding what they are actually looking for. Additionally, experiential campaigns like this one are a timeless strategy to show customers that their voice matters! 

2. Hershey’s Grinch packaging for Christmas 

Creating custom packaging for the holidays is a fool-proof way to ring in the festive spirit and that’s what Hershey’s did this year! 

While everyone’s celebrating Santa and featuring Santa imagery on their packaging, Hershey’s chose to do something unique – by featuring the Grinch on its packaging. 

Need help customizing your packaging design? Get a KIMP Graphics subscription! 

3. Home Depot stores get a Christmas makeover 

Dressing up your physical stores for the holiday season is one way to capitalize on the excitement that surrounds Christmas. This also subtly announces to your customers that your Christmas promotions are live. 

The below post shows Home Depot’s store setup for the holiday. Small changes like this make a big impact, especially in local marketing. Moreover, it creates a personal touch helping customers feel closer to your brand. 

KIMP Tip: There are many ways to create Christmas vibes in your store like: 

  • Adding Christmas aesthetics to your store signage.
  • Huge store banners announcing Christmas sales. 
  • A huge Christmas tree or oversized ornaments adorning the aisles. 
  • Gingerbread house display like the one you see in the Home Depot post. 
  • Wreaths near the billing counters and store entrance. 
  • Fairy lights. 
  • A Christmas-themed selfie booth to bridge offline and online channels. 
4. Cadbury’s Secret Santa Postal Service 

This outdoor campaign by Cadbury shows how a touch of innovation can make your Christmas advertising campaigns memorable. 

For the campaign, Cadbury placed outdoor ads with QR codes for customers to scan in order to send free chocolates to their loved ones. This is a creative take on the Secret Santa tradition. 

Ring in Marketing Success: Elevate Your Visuals with KIMP This Holiday Season 

In conclusion, irrespective of the channel you choose for Christmas advertising, you need strong visuals to carry your message to your audience effectively. And your visuals can also make or break the Christmas spirit of the campaign. So, working with a team of professional designers can make it easier to craft Christmas-ready campaigns effortlessly. Have a bulk of Christmas ads to design? Do not want these designs to mess with your regular marketing design workflow? Then a design subscription is just what you need. Unlimited designs, unlimited revisions, unlimited brands – all at a flat monthly fee. 

Register now for a free 7-day trial!