They've become a tradition as inescapable as mistletoe and Z-list celebrities turning on the lights. From love-sick penguins to Wes Anderson and war heroes, here are our 10 favourite Christmas adverts of all time. 

10. Yellow Pages, Misteltoe (1992)

It's hard to believe that this iconic advert was first aired nearly 25 years ago. Despite rumours claiming that the little boy in the advert was a young Robbie Williams, it was, in fact, a child actor named Dean Cooke. 

Speaking to The Guardian about his experience creating the ad, Cooke recalled how, "I got teased a bit at school, but it was lighthearted, like, 'Oooh, I saw you kiss a girl on the telly.' I also got a bit of positive attention from the girls, which was nice. I kept a bit of mistletoe in my back pocket that year."

Read more: Are you a good kisser?

 

9. H&M, Come Together (2016)

H&M pulled out the big festive guns for 2016, hiring Hollywood hotshot Wes Anderson to direct their Christmas advert.

Shot in Anderson's distinctive aesthetic, Academy Award winner Adrien Brody stars as a train conductor who springs a surprise Christmas celebration on his passengers when it becomes clear that their delayed journey will mean they won't be home for the big day. 

 

8. Boots, Special Because (2014)

This festive ad celebrates something dear to every Brit's heart: the wonderful workers of the NHS. A very special mum is surprised by her family after a long Christmas Day shift at the hospital. 

 

7. Marks and Spencer, This Isn't Just Christmas (2006)

The advert that launched the iconic 'this isn't just…' strap line. It might not fit into the traditional tear-jerker style, but it does get to the core of one of the most important things about the Christmas season: the food. 

Try to watch this all the way through without your mouth watering, we dare you. 

 

6. Coca-Cola, Holidays are Coming (1995)

For many people, the arrival of the Coca-Cola truck on our television screens is the first sign that Christmas has arrived. It certainly helps that the jingle is impossibly catchy.

Known as 'Christmas caravans', the trucks were first designed in 1995, with the lights and effects created by the same team behind the Star Wars movies.

Each year these Christmas caravans roll out on festive tours, travelling the length of the UK to give out free bottles of coke. 

 

5. Marks and Spencers, Mrs Claus (2016)

Mrs Claus takes centre stage in this touching Marks and Spencer commercial which sees Father Christmas's better half help a young boy get his sister the perfect gift. 

Directed by Tom Hooper (The King's Speech) and starring British actress Janet McTeer, the ad is to be accompanied by 15,000 'random acts of kindness' carried out by store assistants across the country. 

 

4. Irn Bru, Phenomenal Christmas (2007)

Scotland's greatest Christmas advert is a genius send-up of Raymond Briggs's magical animation, The Snowman.

In this version, the snowman is outraged when the little boy won't share his Irn Bru with him and promptly steals the can and lets go of his hand. 

The ad sees the pair fly over many of Scotland's greatest landmarks, including the Falkirk Wheel, the Forth Bridge, the Loch Ness monster and Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall.

 

3. John Lewis, Monty the Penguin (2014)

John Lewis is the master of the Christmas advert, and every year the release of their festive commercial is anticipated across the country. This commercial from 2014 might be their most popular ever, with nearly 27 million views on YouTube alone. 

You'd have to have a heart of stone not to be moved by the plight of a penguin named Monty and the little boy who loves him. Tissues at the ready. 

Read more: 10 Facts that prove penguins are the world’s cutest animals

 

2. Allegro, English for Beginners (2016)

Nothing says Christmas quite like family, and Polish auction site Allegro's emotional advert is a surprise winner, tugging on the heartstrings with their story of a grandfather learning English in order to communicate with his young grandchild. 

 

1. Sainsbury's, 1914 (2014)

Made in partnership with The Royal British Legion and inspired by the real events that took place exactly 100 years before its creation, this advert from Sainsbury's did far more than advertise a supermarket. 

A simple narrative that evokes the well-known story of the day the combatants of the First World War laid down their weapons to unite in a game of football touched the nation.

 

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