Estimated Read Time: 4 Minutes

The holidays are for family, friends, delicious food, festive drinks… and holiday ads! We’ve pulled together the five ads that stole our hearts this season. From mini films to poop how-to’s, find out which ads successfully accomplished the three strategic elements of creativity, functionality and relatability.

1. Bring Back the Holidays

This holiday season, TJX announced all TJX stores would not be open Thanksgiving Day because they value family time. TJX (the parent company of U.S. brands Marshalls, HomeGoods, TJ Maxx and Sierra Trading Post) launched a commercial, “Bring Back the Holidays,” as a way of reintroducing the meaning of Thanksgiving and the value in spending time with family.

By illustrating a world where people don’t leave their families and homes to go shopping after “being thankful for what we already have,” the commercial, in a way, discredited businesses that opened early on Thanksgiving for Black Friday shopping.

The commercial embodied TJX’s mission in caring for families (the target audience) and encouraging customers to trust the company that takes the time to look out for them and their family’s best interests.

2. Mini Film or Holiday Ad?

After first being mistaken as a movie trailer, Burberry’s holiday ad, “The Tale of Thomas Burberry,” portrays the life story of the brand’s originator. The recognizable and respectable brand is known for its products’ durable property, as depicted in the ad as protective war clothing and adventurous wear.

Viewers develop a connection to the brand through the man who started it all. The brand has become humanized through Thomas Burberry and his life story by showing what the brand has been through with deadly war, heart-throbbing love, treacherous expeditions, persistence and diligence.

3. Coming Home is the Best Gift of All

The draining efforts to navigate an airport during the holidays after a long trip can be familiar to consumers on multiple levels. In their quest to make holiday traveling worthwhile, Heathrow Airport aired a holiday ad, “Coming Home for Christmas,” that displayed the airport as a place that reunites families.

The two teddy bears are a playful element that represents an older couple who maneuver their way through Heathrow Airport, UK to meet their grandchildren at the pick-up line.

Viewers develop an emotional connection to the ad’s characters and see the brand through a trustworthy lens; the ad holds Heathrow Airport accountable for safe traveling and accommodating services while representing a means of bringing families together.

4. How-To Poop (During the Holidays)

Everyone poops… even Santa! Poo~Pourri comically perfected the marriage of a holiday figure with bathroom commonalities this holiday season with their ad, “Even Santa Poops.” The relatable standpoint for viewers is the familiar feeling of getting caught in the bathroom by relatives or friends.

In reaction to catching Santa, Poo~Pourri poses the simple solution of spritzing the bowl before you go… so not everyone has to know! This solution, as explained by the three young ladies in the ad, gives the ad a functional aspect by describing the product’s features and benefits.

The ad’s comical element makes the message relatable while tying in Santa and humanizing him in the sense that he, too, poops.

5. All I Want for Christmas Is You

Hard-working, busy and devoted parents in the UK and US can associate with the main character in Sainsbury’s holiday ad, “The Greatest Gift.” The ad tells the tale of a father who is struggling to make himself available to his family during the holidays.

When the father feels he cannot get everything he needs to done AND find presents at the same time, he realizes that the perfect gift he can give to his family is himself and his time because “Christmas is for sharing.”

This message of sharing yourself and your time helps humanize the Sainsbury brand. The ad works to appease to its target customers as well as showcase their partnership with Great Ormond Street Hospital to help bring families together during difficult times.

With animated characters and funny details, the ad succeeds in showing that the holidays aren’t about tangible gifts but instead they are about spending time with your family and those you love.