Cartoons capture the magic of Christmas like nothing else can, which is probably why so many advertisers animate their Christmas commercials. From brief adventures with nostalgic holiday characters to new experiments in storytelling, here are some of our favorite 2019 animated Christmas Commercials from around the world. Grab some hot chocolate and watch with us.
Wallace and Gromit Christmas – Jules
The UK’s favorite claymation pals are getting holiday ready in this animated Christmas commercial for British homeware and clothing company, Jules.
Created by Wallace and Gromit originators, Aardman Animations, this 40-second Christmas ad captures much of the charm of the full-length movies in a much smaller package.
Aside from the iconic characters, what makes this ad so successful is the attention to detail. We love that the claymation figures are wearing tiny versions of real Jules merchandise. Every time you watch it you’ll notice something new. For example: did you read the name on the boxers over the fireplace?
Excitable Edgar – John Lewis
In this Christmas ad from high-end UK department store, John Lewis, Edgar the Dragon has a problem. He’s very excitable, and that leads to accidents. Edgar almost destroys the Christmas celebrations, until his friend, Ava, gives him the gift of acceptance.
The seamless blending of the animated Edgar and the live action people and settings make this holiday ad feel more like a Hollywood movie than a commercial. That’s quite a feet, considering the long-version runs just two minutes and thirty seconds.
The only thing making this ad somewhat less than festive is the continued controversy over the similarities between John Lewis Christmas ads and the work of various children’s authors. This year, it’s author Jen Campbell and her book Franklin’s Flying Bookshop.
The Time Shop – Chick-fil-A
Without animation, Chick-fil-A couldn’t have told their story of a little girl named Sam who gives her family a powerful gift. The 3D style is reminiscent of Pixar classics like Toy Story and Monsters Inc.
The animators give just the right balance of visual cues to engage you in the story, while at the same time, making you feel like you’re peeking in on a fully-formed world. That illusion is only extended by the ask at the end of the commercial, when viewers are invited to go to Chick-fil-A.com to create their own “gift of time” that can be mailed to a person of their choice.
Inseparables – IGA
Grab the tissues before you press play on this one. This commercial from grocery store chain IGA tells the story of best friends who are separated by circumstances but still find a way to connect at Christmas with a little help from Santa.
Like “The Time Shop,” this 3D animation tells a movie’s worth of story in just two minutes. Most impressively, it does so with no dialogue at all. The animation and music bear the full burden of telling this heart-warming tale.
Kevin the Carrot – Aldi
Okay, enough of those tear-jerker stories. Here’s a playful take on holiday celebrations from Aldi grocery stores. First introduced in 2016, our now-familiar friend Kevin the Carrot is in a rough situation. With the help of Tiny Tom the Tomato he escapes just in time for a musical number worthy of the follies.
Viewers in the UK have embraced Kevin the Carrot in a big way. One customer tweeted: “This is not a drill, there are people in Aldi’s fighting over Kevin the carrot toys!”, The Guardian reported. And it’s not just Kevin, shoppers were equally excited to get their hands on supporting characters like the sprouts and Tiny Tom. Is Aldi experiencing a Christmas miracle? Or is the magic of animation at work here? We don’t know, but we do know that the discount grocery store chain has a hit on their hands.
Iceland Tourism Commercial – Nation of Iceland
Speaking of familiar characters, the country of Iceland is capitalizing on the popularity of the Frozen animated movie franchise to drum up some tourism. The story of Frozen characters playing charades is neatly bookended by a real-life family spending Christmas together.
Although this ad doesn’t have a particularly strong storyline, it does create a powerful connection between a popular movie and a somewhat less popular tourist destination in the minds of viewers. It will be interesting to see if this Disney-Iceland tie-in delivers ROI for the Nordic island nation.
A Dog is for Life, Not Just for Christmas – Dog’s Trust
In this ad from Dog’s Trust, a British animal welfare and humane society, a tiny canine capers around, getting into holiday mischief. Then things go horribly wrong for the poor little pet.
Yes, they could have just animated an adorable cartoon dog to make viewers say “aww.” Instead, the Dog’s Trust turned holiday trash into man’s best friend. Which makes the punch at the end all the more powerful, and this 2019 animated Christmas commercial just a little more memorable.
Reindeer Ready – McDonald’s
McDonald’s continues their “Reindeer Ready” campaign for the third year in a row with the story of a little girl who uses her imagination to get her whole family in tune with the magic of Christmas.
Fading from animation to live-action helps McDonald’s connect the little girl’s fantasy world with what’s actually happening in her life. By inviting us into the fantasy, McDonald’s makes Christmas, and their ad, a little more magical.
We hope these 2019 animated Christmas commercials leave you full of holiday cheer. Merry Christmas from IdeaRocket.