It’s that time of year again, when the grocery retailers and brands that you love go the extra mile in their efforts to encourage you to visit their stores, buy their products, and, in the process, serve you a generous helping of that warm and tingly festive feeling.
Whether it’s a supermarket enchanting us with the tale of a rogue vegetable or a financial services company encouraging us to shop locally while setting our feet tapping in time to a classic anthem, it’s clear that advertisements around the holiday season resonate with us more powerfully than at any other time of year.
Without further ado, Checkout presents its top Christmas ads for 2022.
‘Finding Christmas,’ SPAR
Revisiting the spirit of the 2012 classic, SPAR picks up its original theme of ‘Finding Trees’, but cleverly reinterprets it in a modern way, which is more fitting with Ireland and its people ten years on.
The advert continues with the warm message from SPAR’s 2012 advert, that ‘wherever you find the tree, we hope you like what’s under it,’ reflecting SPAR’s famous ‘under the tree’ tagline.
Reflecting SPAR’s connectedness with its local community, the retailer has augmented the cast of the new advert with a number of non-actors, gathered through street-casting from the various communities filmed across Ireland.
These included two of the original cast members from the 2012 SPAR advert, featured originally as two young primary school pupils, but now ten years older and senior secondary-school students in the sequel.
Kevin The Carrot, ALDI
The nation’s favourite carrot has returned to our screens to fend for himself, as he is left behind by his family. This year’s ALDI Ireland Christmas ad opens with Katie, Baby, Jasper and Chantenay hurrying through a busy airport, as they race to catch a flight to Paris.
Once they are sitting happily on the plane, Katie notices that someone is missing – it’s … ‘KEVIN!’ Separated from his family, the scene cuts to Kevin, who is all alone at home. He is watching the big game on TV when he hears the heavy footsteps of an unknown intruder on the roof. ‘Quaking in his roots,’ he devises a plan to ward off the uninvited guest.
What follows is a series of fun, incident-packed exchanges between Kevin and the intruder, culminating in a finale where the identity of the intruder is finally revealed.
‘Don’t Forget To Put The Lights Out,’ Guinness
The Guinness Christmas commercial first aired on 1 December 2004, and since then it has become an essential part of Christmas TV viewing. The iconic ad turned a Co. Meath bar from a local favourite to a pub recognised around the world.
O’Connell’s in Skryne has become a fixture of Christmas ads since, thanks to its appearance in the beloved Guinness advert.
‘Holidays Are Coming,’ Coca-Cola
A perennial favourite, Christmas truly wouldn’t be the same without Coca-Cola’s iconic ‘Holidays are Coming’ advertisement. The original 1995 advert follows the arrival of a festive parade of twinkling Coca-Cola trucks into a snow-covered town.
Residents rush out to see the vehicles, and we are privy to a glimpse of Old St Nick himself during the ad’s denouement. The classic advert has been repeated many times since, with slight adjustments to keep it fresh.
This year’s iteration features a modernised version of its well-known jingle, ‘Wonderful Dream (Holidays are Coming).’
‘The Christmas Party,’ Tesco
The Tesco Christmas advert for 2022 acknowledges the cost-of-living crisis, but pledges to help customers celebrate in style, no matter their budget.
Shot on the iconic Cliffs of Moher, the ‘Christmas Party’ voiceover confirms that Tesco is standing up for Christmas joy.
As the Christmas Party moves through the streets and visits families, we catch a glimpse of some of the best festive food moments: delicious desserts, Brussels sprouts, mince pies, cheese boards, party food, and the traditional mains and trimmings (and the St Stephen’s Day leftovers), to name a few.
A highlight of the Tesco Ireland Christmas ad for 2022 is the sea swimmers captured at the famous Forty Foot in Dublin. These scenes feature Bill Halliden, a colleague of Tesco for over ten years.
Born in nearby Monkstown, Bill fished and swam at the synonymous swimming spot as a young boy, and he still swims there to this day. Another local and familiar face to all the Forty Foot daily swimming crew is Siobhán Bean, who played a special part in the ad this year – complete with the staple post-swim cup of hot chocolate!
‘Shine Bright,’ Dunnes Stores
The weather is looking nasty for Santa’s arrival – this is Ireland, after all – so some enterprising children take things into their own hands to ensure a safe passage from the North Pole.
Dunnes’ Christmas TV ad is a heart-warming tale of how a bunch of children come together to make sure that Santa can’t miss their town.
Shot over four days on location in Blessington, Kildare, and Inistioge, Kilkenny, this was a big production, using a local crew of up to 70 people and involved a cast of 450 children across Ireland..
‘Fairy & Duckie,’ M&S
M&S has reunited two British icons – Dawn French, the fairy from last year’s award-winning campaign, is joined by Jennifer Saunders as her new sidekick, Duckie, a well-worn chew toy. The advert starts with Fairy leaving her perch at the top of the tree to find a “new very special friend” with whom to celebrate Christmas.
She spots Duckie and brings her to life, and Duckie is then immediately chased around the room by an excitable dog (played by a very adorable pooch called Wylie).