This year, the holiday season carries some added sentiment, as December traditions evoke a sense of normalcy and mark the highly anticipated home stretch of 2020. Brands have been candid about the reality of the pandemic in their campaigns, while also embracing the unwavering beauty of the holidays. These are our picks for the best holiday ads so far.
HP’s uplifting spot by Goodby Silverstein & Partners, highlighting the power of Gen Z and technology’s role in the pursuit of social change, is a message of hope for a more inclusive future.
After nonchalantly rapping in the streets while sporting Apple AirPods, rising star Tierra Whack is entertained by a miniature version of herself—as well as a HomePod Mini—in this upbeat ad by TBWAMedia Arts Lab.
Agency Fair Folk enlisted an unusually fit Saint Nick, portrayed by Canadian icon Fashion Santa, to let viewers in on the secret to a muscular physique: breaking a sweat on the Hydrow.
In a series of forgiving Virgin Hotels ads by Joan Creative, Santa assures viewers that we all deserve a spot on the nice list after the year we’ve had—even the woman who faked a Zoom wedding with her boyfriend just for the gifts.
Orange taps into the relatable experience of teaching older relatives how to use social media in its adorable holiday spot. After receiving a filtered photo from his granddaughter, the star of the ad by Publicis Conseil goes to great lengths to precisely recreate the shot, dressing up as an actual unicorn and crafting the perfect background.
This tear-jerking holiday ad by Sid Lee highlights the beauty of sharing through the story of a young girl who brings baked goods to her brother and receives origami that he made during his hospital stay. The spot is part of the supermarket chain’s fundraiser for Fondation Charles-Bruneau, a pediatric cancer institute.
Erste Group reflects on the pain of isolation through the story of an elderly man, Edgar, who lives in a residential care home, in this ad by Jung von Matt Donau and Passion Animation Studio U.K. His caregiver finds his music sheets and plans a surprise for Edgar, who sits down at a piano and is reminded of learning to play as a child with his mother by his side.
An unenthusiastic teenager, less than optimistic about this year’s unconventional Christmas, is encouraged to make the best of the circumstances in this relatable holiday ad by The Distillery Project.
A kid reflects on the worst parts of 2020, from canceled birthday parties to online school and never-ending walks, and begs Santa to save her from the madness in this ad by TBWA/Belgium.
A young boy relentlessly asks his parents whether a mysterious “he,” who is assumed to be Santa Claus, will be coming for Christmas this year. When the boy is overjoyed to see his grandad walk through the door, viewers are reminded of what really matters this Christmas in this ad by TBWA/Dublin.