Christmas ads on the telly are often the first sign that the holiday season is approaching and their merry scenes of festive cheer always make us excited for the big day. Here are some of our favourites to get you in the mood:
You know it's getting close to Christmas when the Coca-Cola trucks come rolling into town. The advert was retired by Coca-Cola in 2001 but they reinstated it in 2007 due to popular demand. "Holidays are coming" has to be one of the catchiest jingles around - we hope the composer got a nice bonus for coming up with that number.
The Budweiser Clydesdales are almost as much a part of Christmas as the fat man in the red suit. They pull a tree-laden cart through a snowy landscape and Mr Budweiser sends his holiday greetings to us all. The accompanying song is irresistible, and even though are no words you just can't help singing along.
Guinness are renowned for their innovative and clever ads and though this one is more traditional it's up there with the best. The highways and byways of Ireland are all but deserted on Christmas Eve as a blanket of snow descends on the land. This magical ad really makes you want to cosy up to a crackling fire and the ingenious slogan at the end is a real touch of class.
The Penneys ad features another tune that sticks in your head for the rest of the day as soon as you hear it (though there used to be a faster version that was even catchier). In it a cute blonde moppet gets ready for Santa's arrival, though he's all tuckered out come bed time. The little fella is so excited he doesn't seem to realise his backside is sticking out for most of the ad. Pull up your pyjamas, young man!
5. Kellogg's Cornflakes
The classic Cornflakes ad first played on TV back in the 80s but it proved so popular that it's now a Christmas fixture every year. A trio of kids wait up on Christmas Eve to catch a glimpse of old St Nick, and the littlest one is lucky enough to meet the man himself. Small children around Ireland have been asking their parents what the word "unorthodox" means ever since.
6. John Lewis
The recent advertising phenomenon of a slowed down acoustic version of a popular indie song reached its peak with last year's John Lewis effort. An impatient little chap eagerly anticipates Christmas to a cover of The Smiths' Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want, but there's a twist worthy of The Usual Suspects at the end. Mmmf...who's chopping onions in here?!
There's some debate about whether this is a Christmas ad or not. The Dusty Springfield song definitely mentions it, but the family don't seem to have put up any decorations. Maybe they forgot in the excitement of the young fella coming home for the holidays (TV3's very own Alan Hughes). This sentimental classic is fondly remembered throughout the land.
We seem to get plagued with ads from the mobile phone companies around this time of year but last December's O2 effort is one of the better ones. The beautiful Winter Song from Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson soundtracks a "Christmas With Love" scene and everyone's so happy they're rolling around in the snow and literally walking on air.
9. Aer Lingus
OK so there's no snow or Santa in this ad but I absolutely love it so it's going on the list! It does feature loved ones flying back to Ireland in the bosom of Aer Lingus, quite possibly for Christmas, so that's good enough for me. The stunning Gabriel's Oboe from The Mission provides the soundtrack and it ends with a simple "You're home". Classy and heartwarming.
This so-bad-it's-hilarious ad from Quinnsworth gives us a clue into what youngsters wanted for Christmas back in 1982 (a Jedi Speeder Bike and a Fisher Price Activity Centre - 'twas a simpler time). Maurice Pratt gives the rundown to Darth Vader, who seems very easily impressed with Monopoly for a man who blew up planets in his spare time. You can see Maurice being a bit of a diva in the out-takes here.
Words: Peter Boyle