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Every Sad Christmas Advert From 2021 Ranked From "Oh Deer" To "Elfin Spectacular"

Not all Christmas ads are created equal.

Is it just us, or are there a heck of a lot of "emotional Christmas ads" going around this year? We're talking about those big budget adverts with slowed-down covers and storylines designed to make us well up and... buy stuff.

This year, however, it feels like we've been bombarded with heartwarming Christmas ads about present-giving and finding your inner child, each designed to pull at our heartstrings and get us talking at the proverbial water-cooler!

Well, since there are so many this year, we thought it behoved us as BuzzFeed writers to rank every single 2021 Christmas ad from epic fail to total tearjerker.

Note: We've only included Christmas ads that fit the John Lewis mould and which air in the UK.

8. John Lewis – 14/30

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John Lewis/Adam&EveDDB / Via youtube.com

Sam: I'm not feeling this if I'm honest. The song is fine, but I'm not rooting for these two as a couple... probably because it's weird that they even have a "love story" in the first place. Technically impressive, but a bit of a miss. 5/10

Josie: This just didn't hit the spot for me this year and I'm not sure why – I think all of the separate elements are fine/good/great even, but together it just didn't do it for me. 5/10

Ben: I was wondering why I wasn’t feeling that Christmassy this year, and then it hit me – the John Lewis advert just wasn't quite it. I didn’t really get the message – do we feel sorry for the alien because it has no one to spend Christmas with? Or do we feel sorry for the boy for being made to wear such an awful Christmas jumper? 4/10


7. Boots – 20/30

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Boots/The Pharm / Via youtube.com

Sam: I guess it's fun that her bag is bigger on the inside, and Jenna Coleman is a former Doctor Who assistant. It's a testament to Jenna and her acting that this advert is pretty compelling, but it's also a little bit too contrived for me. 6/10

Josie: Where can I get myself one of these magic bags? Will my local Boots be stocking them? I have to say, I wasn't so sure about this ad at the start, but a heartfelt moment with a grandparent is sure to get me tearing up. 7/10

Ben: What is this? A Christmas advert with a fairly upbeat song?! Count me in. The Hermione Granger bag works, and the ad still manages to squeeze in a bit of emotional family present-giving. I'm not so sure a pile of hard plastic boxes would be the best thing to jump on and roll around in though. 7/10


6. Celebrations – 21/30

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Mars, Incorporated/Taylor Herring/St Marks Studios / Via youtube.com

Sam: I can't lie, I think this is a really clever and very sweet. I can't relate because I love Bountys, but I enjoyed it all the same. 8/10

Josie: I love that this isn't a slick big budget production like the rest of the ads. The Bounty costume is hilarious, and the returns scheme is a cute idea as Bountys truly are the worst chocolates in the Celebrations tins. 7/10

Ben: I don’t know if this was meant to look like it was made for a school media project, but if it was they nailed it. If I'm honest though, it just didn't make me feel very Christmassy. 6/10


5. Amazon – 21/30

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Amazon/Lucky Generals / Via youtube.com

Sam: I love the focus on mental health in this one, as well as the notion of doing kind and unexpected things for other people. I think Amazon have been really clever here because the brand integration is super subtle! Also, the performances are really understated and, I mean, the song choice is so smart! 8/10

Josie: And I'm crying once again. A lot of people have struggled in the last couple of years with their mental health, and the message in this rings so true – it's sometimes the smallest of gestures that can help someone. Throw in a soulful Adele song and you've got me hook, line, and sinker! 8/10

Ben: Hmm, it's hard to place this one. The message is good, and the song is emotional AF, but it's maybe too sad? I mean, I'd love a bird feeder, and looking out for strangers is great, but the whole thing is a bit too glum. 5/10


4. Coca Cola – 22/30

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The Coca-Cola Company/DentsuMB UK / Via youtube.com

Sam: Yeah, this is pretty great, isn't it? It's got strong concept, a cinematic aesthetic, and the music is fab too! The only thing is that it's quite long, so even though the payoff is good, I can see people switching over. 7/10

Josie: I'm showing my age here, but I was utterly distracted by the thought of how inefficient it would be to heat your house with all of those windows open! Ignoring that thought, this was a very cute advert. 7/10

Ben: As someone who never misses the opportunity to make a cardboard fort, I can really relate to this one. This ad ticked all the right boxes (get it?), and it did get me quite excited for Christmas! 8/10

3. McDonald's – 23/30

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McDonald's/Leo Burnett / Via youtube.com

Sam: Ugh, stunning – my favourite Christmas ad this year by far! As a person who loved his toys when he was younger this hits different, and the song choice is excellent. It's jokes that it's for Maccies, but I can't fault the execution. 9/10

Josie: I have two questions – since when have McDonald's done Christmas ads? And are they the new John Lewis? This is adorable! I may have teared up this morning while watching and then promptly had to talk myself down from making a lunchtime order of some Chicken Selects. 8/10

Ben: In fairness, the song really does work well. But the ad mainly just made me feel guilty about keeping all my old toys somewhere in the attic, and I don’t need any more of that after Toy Story 3. And on the subject of Pixar, if you’re telling me that's not a lowkey rip-off of Sully from Monsters Inc., then I’m not having it. 6/10

2. Aldi – 23/30

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Aldi/McCann UK / Via youtube.com

Sam: This is pretty good, let's face it. A suitable spin on a classic tale, this ad has lots of fun little details in it and a sick voice over from the one and only Jim Broadbent. It loses a couple of points for lack of originality, but otherwise it's a solid Christmas ad. 8/10

Josie: They had me at "Ebanana Scrooge" – the person who wrote this deserves a raise. 8/10 

Ben: I'm here for "Marcus Radishford"! I think Christmas is the time for terrible puns and they went all in. It's short and sweet, and doesn’t try and get you all emotional (which we know is a risky game). 7/10


1. Disney – 26/30

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Disney/Flux Animation Studios / Via youtube.com

Sam: This has a super cute storyline, and I love that the characters are all people of colour, but I have to say I wasn't sure about the song – although it's so well sung! It's a very beautiful message, but a tad generic for me. 8/10

Josie: I was in floods of tears at the end of this! The integration of classic Disney characters, the hints to different Pixar and Marvel films, and of course, the heartwarming tale of a family finding their feet together really struck me to my core. 9/10

Ben: You can always count on Disney to put together an emotional and heartwarming short, and you can always count on me to fall for them (see Bao). Considering their animation and storytelling prowess, this almost feels like cheating! That sure is one ~powerful~ song too – props to them, they smashed it. 9/10


Let us know if you agree with us or not in the comments, and vote for your personal favourite in the poll below!

  1. Who made the best Christmas ad this year?

    Who made the best Christmas ad this year?

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Who made the best Christmas ad this year?
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    John Lewis
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    Boots
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    Celebrations
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    Amazon
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    Coca Cola
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    McDonald's
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    Aldi
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    Disney
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    Someone else