Rise of the Christmas Ad How Important is the Voice-over?

Rise of the Christmas Ad How Important is the Voice-over?

Rise of the Christmas Ad How Important is the Voice-over?


Christmas is fast approaching and with it a wave of cinematic Christmas-themed adverts to rival America’s Super Bowl commercials. The anticipation surrounding Christmas ads in the UK took off after John Lewis’s first Christmas advert in 2007.



Since then, Christmas ads have become a new festive tradition in the UK. Selfridge’s 2009 Christmas ad A Christmas for Modern Times, which features an iconic voice-over, has over 10 million views. The ad’s popularity resulted in a 10% increase in sales at their Oxford street store.



Christmas wouldn’t be a real Christmas without a barrage of tear-jerking adverts guaranteed to make us weep into our mince pies and sherry. But how important is the voice-over for a Christmas ad’s success?


Voice-over Christmas triumphs


This is M&S Christmas Food


Marks & Spencer’s 2020 Christmas ad features a voice-over from Academy Award winner Olivia Coleman. M&S leverages the cheeky and approachable quality of Coleman’s voice to deliver an engrossing ad.

This is M&S Christmas Food includes cinematic close-ups of M&S food, with Coleman’s familiar voice describing what we’re seeing in great detail. The result is a sophisticated ad that is also approachable and reminiscent of your favourite Aunt.



Come Together by H&M


H&M, the retail giant, went above and beyond by enlisting the creative genius of Wes Anderson to impart his distinctive touch to their Christmas commercial. Anderson, renowned for his unique storytelling style, crafted a captivating short film featuring Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody in the role of a conductor overseeing a stranded train on the enchanting night of Christmas Eve.




Christmas ad songs


While voice-overs remain a firm favourite, recent years have seen a pivot to reimagined songs as the main audio in TV adverts.

And I think to myself…


Lego’s 2020 Christmas offering, And I think to myself…, reimagines the Louis Armstrong classic “What a Wonderful World" as a Lego-themed anthem. Lyrics include “My horse is blue, I see them bloom/ This guy goes zoom! / And I think to myself… That’s a pretty cool world”.

Lego has received mixed reviews for the creative interpretation of the classic song. Some audience members love quirky twist while others find it annoying. Considering the royalties involved in using audio under copyright, opting for music over a voice-over to communicate your message is a risky financial undertaking.

D-Double E in action


In this 2019 Christmas campaign Ikea breaks the mold with a very creative collaboration featuring the underground Grime artist 'D Double E.' In a first-ever move for the Swedish furniture giant, this UK Christmas advert brings together the world of home decor and the beats of Grime music. Follow the hillarious journey of a family preparing for Christmas guests, guided by the no-nonsense voice of D Double E embodied by household ornaments. Ikea's savvy choice of an underground artist from a niche music genre showcases their deep understanding of the target audience, resulting in a uniquely entertaining end product that defies the conventions of traditional holiday ads.



Is the Christmas voice-over ad important?


The most memorable ads feature voice-overs that stick with you years after airing. The voice-over sets the tone and humanises your brand. Considering the tough competition and pivot to Christmas songs, using a voice-over will set your Christmas ad apart.

Need more proof? Check out our selection of the best voice-over Christmas ads from across the English-speaking world:

·       Tom's Coming Home For Christmas (Hallmark USA, 1990)



·      Aldi Christmas Ad 2020

·       'Twas The Flight Before Christmas (Air New Zealand, 2020)



·       The Story of Lidl Bear Christmas Ad




Thanks to the growing power of social media we surely know that with every new Christmas ad, some people will like it, some people will like it a little less. And many will voice their opinion about it on social media.


What's your favourite Christmas advert of all time? Let us know in the comments below!






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