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The Best Holiday Commercials For 2020

October 20, 2020 Sarah Cavill

Shutterstock_519972937 Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Mom and daughter decorate the Christmas tree indoors. The morning before Xmas. Portrait loving family close up.

As we head into the holidays and start to get excited about shopping, cooking and decorating, our feelings of joy are likely to be coupled with a little melancholy about all the ways that this holiday season may be different. Advertising strategies, including commercials from brands and retailers, are likely to reflect the realities of the holidays without big gatherings and group hugs. But, many inspirational and innovative holiday commercials from years past are already pandemic friendly. Featuring iconic Hershey’s Kisses and touching family stories, classic holiday campaigns are sure to once again bring a smile and offer a reminder that happiness is always there to be discovered. 

Here are six classic, clever, heartwarming holiday commercials that bring joy, nostalgia and social distancing.

Luxury Brand Christian Louboutin Channels The Nutcracker In Fanciful Spot

In this fantastical little commercial from high-end brand Christian Louboutin, stylish ornaments come alive and dance around the tree in a manner reminiscent of The Nutcracker. The ornaments open the elegantly gift-wrapped shoes under the tree, in awe and admiration. At the sound of the key in the door, all the ornaments jump into action adorning the tree with the gifts, to the surprise and delight of the homeowner. Smartly, the spot ends with a clear shot of the classic red-soled black Christian Louboutin stilettos. The commercial skillfully embraces whimsy and the fun of getting gifts, universal joys any year.

French Telecom Company Bouyges Gets To The Heart Of The Holidays With Father/Son Dancing Spot

Holiday commercials from tech companies often get high marks during the holidays, reminding everyone of the power of connection, which has never been more needed than in 2020. Facetime, phone calls, supportive texts and social media connections have been hugely important during this difficult year. The funny and heartfelt spot from French telecom company Bouyges taps into the universal dad pastime of dancing badly. In this ad, the father and son share a special song that always gets “Papa” up and dancing. And years into the future, the son phones his dad to share a dance with him and his new grandson. It’s a simple, sweet, very effective commercial about remembering the people you love at the holidays.

The Chiming Hershey’s Kisses Are An Iconic Reminder That Christmas Has Arrived

The sound of the chiming Hershey’s Kisses bells can only mean one thing — it’s go time. Time to start ordering presents, planning a menu, writing out holiday cards and getting in the spirit of the season. A staple since 1992, this sweet little spot taps right into the nostalgia that is such a big part of the holidays. And although the Hershey’s Kisses aren’t socially distanced, they are wearing masks, or, wrappers.

‘The Surprise’ From Apple Reminds Families That Even Small Gatherings Can Be Meaningful

“The Surprise” from Apple is a little sad. But, for many people, the holidays can be a tricky mix of joy and melancholy. In this touching spot, a family goes to visit their dad/grandpa who is grieving and a little cranky. (And, many families will relate to the “kids under foot” chaos of the holidays that often necessitates a technology intervention.) Ultimately the kids break through their grandpa’s shell with a sweet video of his memories — on the iPad, of course. Holiday gatherings will be smaller this year, and many people may not be at their best, but remembering the love and happy times can do a lot to brighten spirits.

Paddington Saves Christmas And Changes Hearts In A Charming Spot

Paddington is the epitome of effortless charm, going through life with his signature coat and hat, bringing his open heart to everyone he meets. In this funny and sweet holiday ad, a tie-in with the release of Paddington 2 in 2017, Paddington mistakes a burglar for Santa. The two set out to return the stolen presents, with the burglar discovering the joys of giving along the way. Naturally, Paddington inadvertently becomes the bear who helped Santa bring joy at Christmas. It’s a lovely reminder that goodness is inside of everyone, all it takes is belief and the chance to serve.

This Memorable Spot From The USPS Spotlights Hardworking Postal Workers

Between the election and the boom in ecommerce this year, the USPS is going to be very, very busy. This funny USPS spot from 2013 features real postal workers singing about all the bad weather, strange encounters and happy customers they meet when delivering during the holidays. Remembering the hard work of the many people who have worked throughout the pandemic to keep Americans safe is a message that never goes out of style.

This year is likely to have its own creative mix of joyful, funny, touching, silly holiday commercials and advertising campaigns, with brands and retailers eager to hit the right notes and connect with consumers. The creative inspiration that older commercials can offer, or simply the joy and nostalgia they bring, is a fun way to usher in the holiday season.

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Senior Marketing Communications Writer, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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