Jingle sells! Take a look at our pick of this year's festive adverts

Jingle sells! It’s still 44 days away but leading stores have already launched their seasonal blizzard of Christmas adverts. Take a look at our pick of this year’s festive commercials…

WALKERS CRISPS

What price Mariah Carey’s dignity? The American popstar is said to have temporarily replaced Gary Lineker as the ‘face’ of Britain’s biggest crisp brand for a mouth-watering £9 million.

For this, the diva belts out a few bars of her hit All I Want For Christmas before telling us how much she enjoys seasonal kitsch. She then becomes involved in a tug-of-war with a man dressed as an elf over a bag of pigs-in-blankets crisps.

As funny as a cracker joke.

SCHMALTZ FACTOR: 6/10

Mariah Carey is said to have temporarily replaced Gary Lineker as the ‘face’ of Britain’s biggest crisp brand for a mouth-watering £9 million

LIDL

Unfortunately, you can’t offer famously low prices if you’re spending a fortune on costly TV adverts.

I presume this is why Lidl’s festive advert seems to be a terribly low-budget affair featuring a suburban family being invaded by an army of paper elves, after one falls into a Lidl catalogue during the weekly shop. 

Lidl’s festive advert seems to be a terribly low-budget affair featuring a suburban family being invaded by an army of paper elves

The elves’ vocabulary appears to extend to: ‘Happy Christmas!’ I don’t think this will be the one to give the John Lewis ad (out this week) a run for its money.

SCHMALTZ FACTOR: 2/10 

TK MAXX 

‘Gift different,’ the big-brand discount store urges viewers, by treating friends and family to a wide range of clothes, jewellery, ornaments and toys.

‘Gift different,’ TK Maxx urges viewers, by treating friends and family to a wide range of clothes, jewellery, ornaments and toys

Making this point is an Evel Knievel-style stuntman who skis down a mountain tossing assorted weird and wonderful gifts to delighted onlookers, before hurtling into a log cabin.

Other Alpine cliches on show in the advert include a St Bernard dog, a ski lift and a man ice-fishing.

SCHMALTZ FACTOR: 7/10

ALDI 

Kevin the carrot is being held hostage by an angry mob of Brussels sprouts.

With the help of a friendly tomato, he escapes and legs it into a circus tent full of Christmas treats singing a version of the Robbie Williams hit Let Me Entertain You. 

It’s surreal but it would certainly take a heart of stone not to be won over by this unashamedly silly entreaty to ‘Put on a show this Christmas’

It’s surreal. But it would certainly take a heart of stone not to be won over by this unashamedly silly entreaty to ‘Put on a show this Christmas’.

The script contains a series of extravagant puns which, like sprouts, will divide opinion.

SCHMALTZ FACTOR: 5/10 

ASDA

Asda’s tinsel-wrapped, cliche-stuffed epic is chock-full of snowmen, sleigh bells, gingerbread houses and shooting stars

This tinsel-wrapped, cliche-stuffed epic is chock-full of snowmen, sleigh bells, gingerbread houses and shooting stars. 

The plot sees two wide-eyed schoolkids pop through the roof of their grandfather’s attic with a home-made fishing rod to capture a portion of the Northern Lights in a jam jar. 

Next, they walk the streets chucking handfuls of the stuff around, with magical consequences.

What this has to do with supermarket shopping is, frankly, anyone’s guess.

SCHMALTZ FACTOR: 10/10

BOOTS

Known in the trade as a ‘concept’ advert, this is designed to introduce shoppers to a new innovation called ‘Bootiques’

Known in the trade as a ‘concept’ advert, this is designed to introduce shoppers to a new innovation called ‘Bootiques’.

These are ‘little shops’ in larger Boots stores that contain gifts aimed at various modish demographics such as the ‘Tweenager’, the ‘Beauty Kween’ and, inevitably, the ‘Vegan’. You can also find these Bootiques online.

Apparently, they will make ‘gifting’ to hard-to-buy folk less ‘problematic’.

But it’s not all that Christmassy.

SCHMALTZ FACTOR: 5/10

MARKS & SPENCER

‘Go Jumpers For Christmas’ revolves around the premise that unless your guests wear a gaudy novelty sweater, your festive party won’t go with a fizz

Times are hard at M&S, which recently crashed out of the FTSE 100, but it refuses to be outshone as the nation’s top purveyor of ultra-reliable knitwear.

‘Go Jumpers For Christmas’ revolves around the premise that unless your guests wear a gaudy novelty sweater, your festive party won’t go with a fizz.

To that end, photogenic dancers and a barking Jack Russell terrier body-pop to the Eighties hip-hop classic Jump Around by House Of Pain. How very jolly.

SCHMALTZ FACTOR: 8/10 

ICELAND

The Magic Of Frozen, stars favourites Elsa, Anna and the comical snowman Olaf from the film, along with a table groaning under what it calls a ‘perfect Christmas dinner’

In years gone by, the store hoped to dazzle prospective customers with the star wattage of pop-singer-turned-reality-TV-star Kerry Katona.

But now it is aiming for Hollywood, having signed with Disney, which is shortly to release a sequel to the movie Frozen. The resulting advert, The Magic Of Frozen, stars favourites Elsa, Anna and the comical snowman Olaf from the film, along with a table groaning under what it calls a ‘perfect Christmas dinner’.

SCHMALTZ FACTOR: 7/10

IKEA

In Ikea’s hilarious Christmas ad, toys, chinaware and cuckoo clocks berate a couple about their drab, un-Swedish home via rap

Toys, chinaware and cuckoo clocks berate a couple about their drab, un-Swedish home via rap. 

Stung into action by this annoyingly catchy, funny ditty (sample lyrics: ‘This place is a mess! / You don’t deserve no guests!’), and decorative snails who tell them ‘If you’re house was a car, it would get pulled over’, they jazz things up the Ikea way: with a new rug, cushions and a £299 kitchen table with a tricky Nordic name. 

Abracadabra. Even the Christmas tree seems perkier. 

SCHMALTZ FACTOR: 8/10

ARGOS

The soundtrack of Argos’ ad is good — Simple Minds’ Don’t You (Forget About Me) — but at two and a half minutes, it’s too long

Its Christmas catalogue has been renamed The Book Of Dreams on the basis, presumably, that the toys, gizmos and household devices will make even the most hard-hearted consumer’s dreams come true. 

Proof of this are a jolly father and his cute daughter who, thanks to a toy drum kit, are transformed into stadium rockers. 

The soundtrack is good — Simple Minds’ Don’t You (Forget About Me) — but at two and a half minutes, it’s too long. 

SCHMALTZ FACTOR: 6/10

AMAZON

This ad appears to have been filmed in America and dubbed into British English for a UK audience. 

Feel-good party scenes, bright-eyed children, handsome young couples falling in love, older couples kissing (above) and crowds singing in snow-covered streets feature in Amazon’s ad

But look past the ‘British’ delivery drivers using the right-hand side of the road, before rocking up to New York apartment blocks, and you’ll find feel-good party scenes, bright-eyed children, handsome young couples falling in love, older couples kissing (above) and crowds singing in snow-covered streets. 

SCHMALTZ FACTOR: 9/10

VISA 

Visa’s ad encourages people to support the High Street, but it comes across as oddly unfestive

To the tune of Queen’s smash hit Somebody To Love, Visa is encouraging us to support our local High Streets. 

A collection of local shop owners belt out the lyrics ‘I work till I ache in my bones’ so I can ‘take home my hard-earned pay’. 

‘Show your High Street Some Love’ runs the tagline — and not, presumably, the faceless chain stores and giant warehouses of online retailers such as Amazon. Oddly un-festive. 

SCHMALTZ FACTOR: 4/10 

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