Here are 10 of the best Christmas commercials of all time
Dec 23, 2020, 5:00 AM | Updated: Dec 20, 2021, 10:25 am
Each year, the rush of Christmas-themed commercials is one of the earliest indications that the holiday season has arrived.
Everyone from ad agencies to department stores and toy companies uses the months at the end of the year to put out their best work with the goal of helping us feel a little holiday spirit, (and, of course, convincing us to buy their products.) The result is that you probably have at least one or two fond memories of the commercials from Christmases past.
We’ve rounded up our favorite Christmas commercials — the ones that have stuck with us through the years, and despite being only a few minutes long, immediately fill our hearts with Christmas joy — to help you get in the holiday mood. Whether silly and fun, or heartwarming and serious, here are some of the best holiday commercials of all time.
Hershey’s “Holiday Bells”
A classic if there ever was one, you’ve probably seen this delightful treat at least 100 times. This commercial, with the red and green Hershey’s kisses bouncing to the tune of “Jingle Bells,” has aired for decades since its original debut in 1989. It’s simple, memorable and timeless.
Apple “Frankie’s Holiday”
This ad is just a few years old, but it’s already one of the more memorable Apple commercials. In a scene that will tug extra hard at your heartstrings, a Christmas-loving Frankenstein prepares a song on his iPhone 7 to perform for the local villagers. The ad, with the theme “Open your heart to everyone,” is beautifully shot and could unite iPhone and Android users everywhere with its message of acceptance.
Folgers “Peter Comes Home”
Another classic you may remember from years long gone, Folgers’ “Peter Comes Home” ad first aired in 1986. Peter gets home, drops the presents off under the tree and proceeds to make a pot of fresh Folgers coffee to wake up the rest of the family.
Though the quality of any version you’ll find online is predictably grainy, this commercial will still help you feel just as excited to wake up on Christmas morning as it did the first time you saw it.
M&M’s “Meeting Santa”
Everyone’s favorite M&M’s meet Santa for the first time in this commercial you might remember from the ’90s. But unlike many commercials where the stars meet Santa, this one comes with a surprising and fun twist: Santa is just as surprised to see the M&M’s as they are to see him.
John Lewis “Man on the Moon”
The marketing people over at John Lewis, a department store in the United Kingdom, have mastered the art of the Christmas commercial. Their ads are some of the most watched Christmas commercials on YouTube, and the day each one is released could be considered a holiday all on its own for Christmas lovers.
Though the emotional and tear-jerking “Man on the Moon” ad from 2015 may be considered their most successful and well-loved, YouTube is full of John Lewis Christmas ads if you’re looking for more beautiful stories to watch after this.
Another one coming out of the British Isles, supermarket chain Sainsbury’s “1914” commercial depicts the events of Christmas Eve during World War I. As British and German soldiers fought on either side of the trenches, the sounds of “Silent Night” started rising through the air and the two armies met for a brief Christmas celebration. It’s a remarkably well-done ad that manages to teach us a little about history and inspire us to think more about sharing while also being an advertisement for chocolate bars. If you’d like to hear more about the events behind the true story, Sainsbury’s also released a short video.
Coke commercials and Christmas go hand-in-hand, and among their most-loved ads are the ones featuring polar bears. For decades, the polar bears have been enjoying wintry scenes with a cold bottle of Coca-Cola and getting us in the mood for Christmas at the same time.
Campbell’s Soup “Snowman”
Before we had the summer-loving “Olaf” from Disney’s “Frozen,” we had the Campbell’s Soup snowman who just wanted something warm to enjoy during the holidays. The poor snowman melts away, but that Campbell’s sure is “M’m! M’m! Good!”
This German commercial for supermarket Edeka is also not old but is already one of the most-watched Christmas commercials we could find on YouTube. The ad, called “Homecoming,” tells a sad story with a happy ending and went viral after being released in 2016. If you’ve never seen it, grab a tissue or two before you watch this tearjerker.
Hallmark “Tom’s coming for Christmas”
With a message all about family togetherness during the holidays, this Hallmark commercial is another one that seems sad until the surprise ending. Everything about this commercial, from the house and clothes, to the voiceover and music will take you right back to your favorite Christmas memories.