FOTW Christmas ad review 2021

Dec 13, 2021 / Industry Insights / FOTW

This article was written by Zoë Bishop, Creative @ FOTW

Ahhhhhh Christmas!!…a time for top-notch celebration, consuming of every kind and of course, a sprinkle of Covid chaos.

So, grab a mince pie and buckle up – it’s officially time for the annual vote of FOTW’s Favourite Festive Advert. (Controversial confession to start, as John Lewis didn’t even make the top five!)


We have a joint result for third, fourth and fifth place this year – so let’s start with one of my personal favourites of the year, McDonalds! This had absolutely nothing to do with burgers or nuggets but who could deny Imaginary Iggy’s adorable curb appeal. Resembling the lovechild of Sully from Monsters Inc– he’s totally adorable. I did find myself shouting ‘Nobody puts Iggy in the wardrobe!’ when he was abandoned thanks to the protagonist “growing up” … but luckily, she came to her senses – realising in McDonald’s that being an adult is overrated and goes home to reunite with her loyal companion, who’s waiting faithfully in her wardrobe (screenshot below, brace for tears). McDonald’s also did a cute rebrand of their carrot sticks to reindeer treats, which nicely embodied the childhood capacity for imagination. Kevin the Carrot eat your heart out mate!

Leo Burnett have created a beautiful, sentimental ad which fully captures the joy of childhood, with zero relevance to fast food but so emotive and lovable, I don’t even care! And with a new version of ‘Time After Time’ what’s not to love. So much more than food – it’s a feeling! Heart strings 100% pulled.



Next on the joint third, fourth and fifth winners list is…Lidl, no less! Their ‘Big on a Christmas you can ALWAYS believe in’ was definitely a chance to humour us from the future, with a telepathic vegan dog and a laser cut turkey. Not to mention this jumper of epic brand landing proportion! (see below) This ad by agency Karmarama embodies the Groundhog Day vibe of ‘same shit different year’ – but we all love it really!

‘Coca Cola’

And our last ad to come joint with McDonald’s and Lidl is none other than the iconic Coca Cola, and their festive homage to all those children without chimneys. Tapping into the magic of Christmas a young boy uses cardboard boxes to create one which leads to his elderly neighbours flat (generous plot twist, after all ‘tis the season for giving). This really captures the essence of coming together at Christmas – something we perhaps took for granted pre-lockdown, but not anymore!


In second place on the FOTW Festive advert of the year is…Marks & Spencer! And who wouldn’t vote for this quintessentially British ad, with Dawn French as the fairy on top of the Christmas tree, who accidentally brings Percy Pig to life in an M&S store. Percy proceeds to wreak havoc experiencing all the delicious findings in an M&S store for the first time. Luckily, he didn’t come across himself mass-produced in a row of plastic bags… I can imagine that would’ve been quite a haunting turn of events. Created by the one and only Grey London, Dawn French’s natural humour matched with a much-loved sweet bought to life and trapped in a store out of hours – well, it’s the perfect Christmas combination to highlight M&S’s delicious festive food with a new spin on their irresistible offerings.


And this year first place on the FOTW Festive Ad vote goes to…none other than our staple supermarket – Tesco! Made with real life in mind (and quite frankly, the shit show that was last Christmas), this year nothing will stop us! Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me now’ fully embraces the determined mood of this year’s festivities in a way which makes you smile, grab a cracker and say hell yeah! I loved that Santa had his Covid vaccine passport at the ready so nothing could stop him from delivering! Also, a clever move by Tesco to get the anti-vaxers out of their stores (which I personally think is low key genius).

We’re also now fully inclined to make aubergines become the new carrot on snowmen – a hilarious way to make light of the stock shortages we’ve recently faced in the shops and, I must say, rather iconic.

This Christmas ad by the brilliant BBH oozes pre-Omicron optimism, English wit and a no surrender attitude, which is why we just can’t get enough! Here’s to making the best of it and having a damn good time regardless.

Thanks for reading our top Festive adverts for 2021 and Merry Christmas from all of us at FOTW!

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