As we're getting closer and closer to Christmas, more Christmas adverts are appearing on our screens. Originally, it was the appearance of the red Coca Cola trucks that started getting people excited for Christmas, but now some people don't feel like it's nearly Christmas until the John Lewis advert arrives. Because of the increasing popularity of so many adverts, we wanted to see what the most viewed Christmas adverts were and what makes them so special in modern marketing.
* Videos and stats updated 08/11/2017 *
Source: Coca Cola
We created our list from the most viewed Christmas adverts on Youtube. Online video consumption is rapidly growing in popularity (which is awesome for video marketers). There are over a billion users on Youtube and on average people are watching 40 minutes of online videos on their mobile. As Christmas adverts are becoming more popular, people are turning to Youtube to instantly watch the new ads. So, we thought Youtube was the best judge to decide which are the most viewed Christmas ads of all time.
15. The Argos Christmas Yetis Ad 2016 - #JustCantWait
Starting with the 15th most viewed Christmas adverts, we begin with Argos' fun, furry and fast yetis, ice skating to Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas song, What's this?. A little random but definitely loveable, these wacky yetis captured people's hearts with their ice skating abilities.
The advert was designed to advertise Arogos' vast selection of merchandise that they offer, as well as their fast track, same day delivery and in-store collection delivery options.
14. M&S Christmas TV Ad 2015 -#TheArtOfChristmas
Dancing and rocking out to the music of Bruno Mars' Uptown Funk, M&S takes the chance to show off their merchandise with a powerful statement "The Art of Christmas - Only M&S."
This one does lack a story element compared to some of the strong contenders in this list but the uptown beat and festive style makes it memorable.
13. Very.co.uk Christmas Advert 2016 - Get More Out of Giving
Very's 2016 Christmas ad does a great job at conveying Christmas' gift giving philosophy.
It focusses on a big-hearted woman as she makes her Christmas journey home from work, giving gifts to those who she meets along the way. With each gift, her heart grows bigger. Once home, she wakes up to a present from her daughter; she has the same love of giving as her Mum.
It really tugs on the ol' heart strings!
12. M&S Inspiration: Christmas Magic & Sparkle Advert 2014 #FollowTheFairies
Using the hashtag #FollowtheFairies, M&S's fairies Magic and Sparkle makes wishes come true this Christmas across the UK. The two minute advert shows off many of their clothing and accessories with a dash of sentimental feeling.
11. Waitrose Christmas TV ad 2016 - #HomeForChristmas
This ad by Waitrose focuses solely on warming the heart. You follow a brave robin as he ventures on an epic journey home to Britain, where a girl is waiting on his annual return with the reward of a mince pie. Using the hashtag #HomeForChristmas, this ad spreads the feel good feeling for the holidays.
10. John Lewis Christmas Advert 2012 - The Journey #snowmanjourney
An epic of a Christmas advert, a snowman goes on an adventure to get the perfect gift for his loved one. Showing the power of love, one courageous snowman shows how important it is to 'give a little more love this Christmas.
9. John Lewis Christmas Advert 2011 - The long wait
2011 marked the beginning of John Lewis' anticipated Christmas adverts. Centered on a young boy who can't wait to give his gift to his parents.
8. M&S 2016 Christmas Ad: Christmas with love from Mrs Claus
Marks and Spencer's 2016 advert conveys a modern twist on the much-loved character, Mrs Claus, which has obviously gone down a treat with the number of views!
7. John Lewis Christmas Advert 2013 - The Bear & The Hare #bearandhare
This is a tear jerker. Using computer animation and traditional hand drawing, John Lewis releases another creative story where a bear misses Christmas every year because he has to hibernate. So, his friend, the hare, has an idea. With a message of "Give someone a Christmas they'll never forget," this ad deserves to be a few places higher.
6. The Greatest Gift - Sainsbury's Ad - Christmas 2016
In 2016, Sainsbury's created a Christmas musical made with stop frame animation. It tells the story of a hard-working Dad who realises that the greatest gift he can give people this Christmas is his time.
Why do these Christmas Adverts win?
Before we show you the top five Christmas adverts of all time, we wanted to discuss what made these ads so successful.
An obvious feature is there sentimental storylines. If an advert emotionally engages with a viewer, it's likely they would tell someone else about it and encourage them to watch.
Another common feature in all these high ranking adverts on Youtube is the use of hashtags. This smart method of marketing encourages viewers to get involved and mention the hashtag on social media so others will see it and get involved in the discussion.
These Christmas adverts became viral hits, their storylines and tone of voice made them more engaging to consumers. Of course, the adverts were platforms for advertising new merchandise but on social media, John Lewis and M&S were regarded more than just businesses, they were storytellers and entertainers. They became more approachable online.
Are you ready to see the top five? I won't drag out the suspense any longer (promise!). Here we go.
5. Sainsbury's Christmas Advert 2014 - Christmas is for sharing
Taking us back a hundred years, Sainsbury's revisits the battlefield in World War One and despite the warzone, the supermarket echoes the meaning of Christmas - Christmas is for sharing.
4. John Lewis Christmas Advert 2016 - #BusterTheBoxer
3. John Lewis Christmas Advert 2014 #MontyThePenguin
Connecting with our inner child, we see through the eyes of a boy as he wants to make his toy penguin, Monty, happy this Christmas. This ad's heartfelt and cute story telling can make any ice heart melt.
2. John Lewis Christmas Advert 2015 - #ManOnTheMoon
In 2015, John Lewis shows that even if a person is half the world away, you can still show them you're thinking about them this Christmas. Beautiful!
1. Sainsbury's Christmas Advert 2015 - Mog's Christmas Calamity - #ChristmasIsForSharing
Using a much loved children's character as the main protagonist, Mog is the victim of unfortunate events that almost sees Christmas ruined for the family. Using Sainsbury's popular message, Christmas is for sharing, Mog's antics result in families coming together over Christmas.
Sainsbury's has done extremely well to stand out from John Lewis' crowd of adverts that have reigned supreme, with six of their Christmas adverts being the most viewed.
Sainsbury's emotional story line engages with viewers, and hits close to home with the meaning of Christmas (#ChristmasIsForSharing).
Who will win the 2017 Christmas Advert Championships? It might not be a popular choice, but I'm putting my money on Marks and Spencer's Christmas ad, Paddington & The Christmas Visitor, #LoveTheBear.
Video can be an important part of an inbound marketing process. What is inbound marketing? Download our FREE eBook to find out how inbound marketing is helping businesses engage with their customers.
What do you think of our list of most viewed Christmas adverts? Which are your favourites? For me, #snowmanjourney and #ChristmasIsForSharing are the best!