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.

coca cola advertSource: 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.

10. Three - Dancing Pony Christmas Advert 2013 #DancePonyDance

Views: 1,760,623

Starting with the 10th most viewed Christmas adverts, we begin with Three's dancing pony. Random and loveable this wacky shetland captured people's hearts with his smooth dance moves. I wish I could look that cool!

The advert was designed to sell the Pony Gifter app which gave you the chance to send a mini personalised video of a dancing pony.

9. M&S Christmas TV Ad 2015 - #TheArtOfChristmas

Views: 1,897,706

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.  

8. M&S Inspiration: Christmas Magic & Sparkle Advert 2014 #FollowTheFairies

Views: 3,197,115

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. 

7. John Lewis Christmas Advert 2012 - The Journey #snowmanjourney

Views: 6,049,047

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.'

6. John Lewis Christmas Advert 2011 - For gifts you can't wait to give

Views: 7,475,522

2011 marked the beginning of John Lewis' anticipated Christmas adverts. Centred on a young boy who can't wait to give his gift to his parents. 

5. Sainsbury's Christmas Advert 2015 - Mog's Christmas Calamity #ChristmasIsForSharing

Views: 12,262,254

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.

4. John Lewis Christmas Advert 2015 - #ManOnTheMoon

Views: 13,937,393

After years of releasing incredible Christmas adverts, John Lewis had high expectations to beat this year and so far it looks like Man on the Moon is doing well. John Lewis shows even if a person is half the world away, you can still show them you're thinking about them this Christmas.

Why do these Christmas Adverts win?

Before we show you the top three 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 emotional engaged 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.

  • #ManOnTheMoon
  • #ChristmasIsForSharing
  • #snowmanjourney
  • #ArtOfChristmas
  • #FollowTheFairies
  • #DancePonyDance

This year #ManOnTheMoon was trending on Twitter and Facebook. The sentimental storyline of the Man on the Moon also encouraged people to engage more with John Lewis.

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, M&S, Three and Sainsbury's were regarded more than just businesses, they were storytellers and entertainers. They became more approachable online.

Are you ready to see the top three? I won't drag out the suspense any longer (promise!). Here we go.

3. John Lewis Christmas Advert 2013 - The Bear & The Hare #bearandhare

Views: 15,759,127

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 its high position.

2. Sainsbury's Christmas Advert 2014 - Christmas is for sharing

Views: 17,572,381

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.  

1. John Lewis Christmas Advert 2014 #MontyThePenguin

Views: 25,238,986

Connecting with our inner child, we see through the eyes of a child as he wants to make his toy penguin Monty happy this Christmas. This ad deserves to win with its heartfelt and cute story telling that can make any ice heart melt. 

Looking at the list of top ten, John Lewis reigns supreme with five of their Christmas adverts being the most viewed.

In the case of John Lewis, their emotional storylines engages with viewers. The Monty the Penguin advert connects with our child self when we created loving and unconditional bonds with our favourite toys. The Bear and The Hare shows a bear who always misses Christmas and the hare's emotional ambition to make sure the bear doesn't miss Christmas plays with the heart strings. 

As we can see in the rise of Christmas adverts over the years, businesses are using digital media to share their ads and capture the top spot. Last year's Monty is still winning on Youtube but there is still time for another advert to take the winning place. Will Man on the Moon or Mog's Christmas Calamity be the 2015 winner?

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.

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What do you think of our list of most viewed Christmas adverts? Which are your favourite? For me #snowmanjourney and #DancePonyDance are the best! 

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