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Holidays are coming: ‘Tis the season for the best Christmas ads ever


The time is officially here. We’ve passed the start of December and the festive initiation is now complete, so without any further ado (or shame), we can wholeheartedly blast out those Christmas favourites again. 

In fact, we’re surrounded by seasonal tunes. Whether it’s fresh to the radar Christmas songs, or coming in strong with the iconic tracks, the eagerly anticipated brand adverts are in full swing with the accompanying sounds to bring the cheer. 

Over the years, a selection of adverts have gone majorly viral, partly thanks to the narrative, but mostly because of the chosen song. So, we’ve donned our research hats and delved deeper to discover which have hit the mark, showcasing some of the best Christmas TV adverts and the songs that made them explode. Basically, we’re taking you on a musical trip, down Christmas ad memory lane. Let the nostalgia and merriment commence. 

  1. Gabrielle Aplin – ‘Power of Love’ featured in the John Lewis Christmas advert from 2012

Kicking off with an ad from John Lewis (no big surprise there then), our number one is recorded by British singer-songwriter, Gabrielle Aplin, for John Lewis’ 2012 Christmas ad. This was a Frankie Goes to Hollywood cover, first issued in 1984, and the story takes us on a journey with a devoted snowman, who travels across the country to find the perfect gift for his wife, Mrs Snowman. 

2.     Melanie Thornton – ‘Wonderful Dreams’ is the original Christmas advert song from Coca Cola

Probably the most famous Christmas advert out there, annually spotting the red Coca Cola truck for the first time, marks for many, the official start of the festive season. The song was recorded by Melanie Thornton, for the German advert in 2001, and is much-loved for good reason. A total classic.

3.     Lily Allen – ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ featured in 2013 for a John Lewis Christmas ad (once again)

Yep, we’re already back with another ad from John Lewis, but this time it’s the story of a bear hibernating before Christmas, before being woken up by a friendly hare who wants the bear to join in with the Christmas festivities. Lily Allen’s cover of Keane’s song is definitely a favourite for many – including us.

4.     Mog’s Christmas Calamity – Sainsbury’s 2015 Christmas advert

Using Oscar-winning composer, Rachel Portman, to create the original score that would touch people’s hearts, Sainsbury’s believe Christmas is for sharing, and they certainly portrayed the sentiment in their Christmas ad. Mog’s feline adventures result in families coming together over Christmas, after one family’s house is almost burned down. Not our usual pick, but a heart-warmer that couldn’t be left out.

5.     Howard Blake – ‘Walking in the Air’ featured in Irn-Bru’s 2006 Christmas advert

The fragment from ‘Walking in the Air’ is best-known for featuring in the 1982, animated film The Snowman and its cover in 1985 by Welsh choirboy, Aled Jones, for a Toys “R” Us ad campaign.

However, most people will remember this witty parody of the classic from the Irn-Bru advert, that’s all about a boy who doesn’t want to share his drink with the snowman.

6.     Carter Burwell – ‘The Wicked Flee’ from the movie True Grit, featured in Sainsbury’s 2014 Christmas advert