Then and now: Christmas 2018 Vs Christmas 2019

If you are a regular reader of my posts you may remember my post about the most talked-about Christmas Adverts of 2018. This year rather than just repeating the same format I thought I would see what the same brands/companies have done this year.

John Lewis

From Elton John to Excitable Edgar. John Lewis is always a big name around Christmas time and they have got to keep their game up. Last year they gave us a nice little video biopic of Elton John just ahead of the Rocketman’s release. Just in case you forgot how powerful the video was, here is a little reminder.

This year as you may have seen from my last post John Lewis has introduced Excitable Edgar. The story of an outsider just wanting to be apart of Christmas but constantly ruining it for everyone else. Well until a persistent young girl finds a good use for his excitable bursts of fire.

With 2018 giving the message of the importance of one present this year John Lewis’ message seems to be the importance of including everyone. Each year as a society we seem to have become more aware of how lonely people can get this time of year so this is truly a lovely message. John Lewis isn’t losing their Christmas status anytime soon.


Last year Cadbury’s brought the sneaky fun of Secret Santa to our screens. Reminding us of the joy of giving, warming our hearts and spurring those stressed-out Christmas shoppers on.

2019 has seen the repeat of Secret Santa acts on our screens. This could be for a number of reasons, some may say lack of imagination for their next great idea or getting everything they can out of this campaign. Call me an optimist but I believe otherwise. I believe instead they invested in one of my Christmas favourites to have around the house and that is Cadbury’s Heroes. A few posts ago I talked about their Families Reunited campaign and what a wonderful message it holds in the come up to Christmas. Did you manage to watch both episodes yet?


I must say I think Sainsbury’s has to be one of the most underrated brands out there. They are constantly entertaining us in a variety of ways. Last year The Big Night gave us one of the most extravagant and entertaining school Christmas performances. I doubt there wasn’t a single person who didn’t at least crack a smile at this advert.

This year we are given an origin story to our old St Nicholas with Nicholas The Sweep. We are taken back to 1869 this year to the first-ever Sainsbury’s store. Here we see the young chimney sweeps in awe of the clementines on display. When young Nicholas the chimney sweeper is wrongly accused of stealing a clementine and banished he is helped by Mrs Sainsbury’s with a bag of clementines. Nicholas doesn’t just enjoy the clementines to himself though, he pays his fellow chimney sweepers a visit. Thus starting the Christmas tradition of clementines for those who are nice and coal for those who are bad.

If the name and gestures don’t hint to Santa enough ending on Nicholas fashioning a red coat and hat should be the cherry on the reference.

It’s a little hard to compare the two adverts. Both, in my opinion, are just brilliant. I couldn’t say one is majorly better than the other all I can say is Sainsbury’s is really keeping up the good work!


Last year Iceland took a controversial stand by using Greenpeace’s video, Say Hello to Rang-tan. The advert was banned causing Iceland to receive a lot of free publicity.

This year it looks like Iceland is taking a branch off John Lewis’ Christmas tree as they use their advert to promote the latest Frozen film.

Iceland gives us a mix of animation and live-action as a family start a game of charades that the characters of Frozen continue. The creation of a Frozen dinner set up leads back to the live-action showing us what most of us to believe to be the best part of Christmas day. The Christmas dinner with the family. Definitely not as controversial as last year but this may annoy some parents who just can’t get away from Frozen now.

Has Iceland played it too safe this year or are they just giving people what they want? In my opinion they are playing it too safe. If I wasn’t comparing adverts I spoke about last year they wouldn’t have made it into this post. I know that may sound a little harsh but there are so many other great ads out there.


Last Christmas’s No 1 in the charts Ladbaby have us an unusual alternative but was this a one-off. I’m not sure if it’s just been on my Facebook feed but I’ve seen less of Ladbaby this year.

I’ve done a quick search to see what they are up to these days and see if there is anything to say the Christmas No 1 isn’t just a one-off. So far there is no sign of them in the charts but last year they became Christmas No 1 as newcomers to the charts so we may see the same again, only time will tell. Good luck Ladbaby!


Last year Aldi brought Kevin the Carrot to our screens in a variety of ways. 2018 continued Kevin’s story by showing the family he now has with the girl he met back in 2017. As well as the continuation of his life story Kevin also joined John Lewis with promoting Elton John’s upcoming biopic Rocketman as he took to the stage. This year we see more of Kevin’s life continue with a close call and an extravagant Christmas Celebration.

Aldi launched into Christmas with an advert full of parodies starting with the Leafy Blinders led by Russell Sprout who have captured Kevin. If you didn’t guess already they were parodying Peaky Blinders. This doesn’t last long though as Kevin is soon saved by the next parody from the Charles Dicken’s classic A Christmas Carol, or like me you might know it better as The Muppet Christmas Carol. Tiny Tom (aka Tiny Tim) chews Kevin free for him to run to the Circus tent to join his family. The parodies don’t stop here though as the circus and final text are clearly drawn from The Greatest Showman.

Personally I think all the references although each subtle are overdone in quantity. Saying this the advert still flows so I can’t fault it too much. My only question is where does Kevin’s story go from here. Is his time as the star of Christmas almost up? Do the Leafy Blinders take the reins next? He did originally take the spot from the Parsnip don’t forget. I suppose we will have to keep our eyes peeled.


Last year Tesco celebrated our differences with their #EveryonesWelcome campaign showing us how we all do our Christmas dinners slightly different but they cater for all. At the end of the advert, we see a Tesco delivery woman discussing a customers Christmas light display. This year Tesco highlight their delivery service a bit more with #DeliveringChristmas where we see a delivery driver’s last shift before Christmas become a little more eventful than expected.

After a Christmas light incident, perfectly linking to the end of last years advert, the delivery driver is sent back in time in a very Back to the Futuresque way. The journey starts in Dicken’s times progressing back to present day with a series of historic events from Winston Churchill being in power to past speeches from the Queen. All scenes feature a Tesco delivery with customers amazed and excited by the food on offer. It all comes to an end when the delivery driver makes it back home to his children ready to start Christmas with a feast which will no doubt be from Tesco.

Both adverts are brilliant in their own right and I love the fact that last years advert ended with a nod to this years. It would have been nice for it to have been the same delivery driver but that may have been a little too much I guess. I feel like Tesco have upped the Christmas feeling a little this year still somehow. Each scene throughout time is fun and filled with togetherness. I wouldn’t have said last years was particularly lacking but the stress of Christmas dinner was shown a lot taking some of the fun out of it.

Google Home

From Home Alone to well this.

It’s the closest to a Christmas advert from google I could find this year. Like Iceland, it’s used the latest Frozen film but let’s face it Iceland did this one better.

I hope you have enjoyed my brief comparison of some of the Christmas adverts from last year to this year. As always, I would love to see your comments below and I’m always up for a discussion on any of my blog topics if you want to drop me a message via LinkedIn or Instagram. What do you think of this year’s adverts compared to last? Do you think any did better last year?

Featured image courtesy of YouTube/John Lewis & Partners.


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