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Christmas ads are here, full of top stars and sentimental stories

It’s only just November, but the Christmas TV ads are coming thick and fast, bringing a touch of festivity to our screens.

Many of this year’s ads feature top stars, from Michael Bublé and Rick Astley to Sophie Ellis-Bextor.

But the John Lewis ad released on Thursday tells the story of a young boy and the flytrap.

Retail expert Catherine Shuttleworth says: “Hopefully the family values theme will work.”

Charlotte Lock, account director at John Lewis, told the BBC that the retailer “asked for something different from last year and it moved us.”

Christmas ads are here, full of top stars and sentimental stories

John Lewis focuses on family traditions

John Lewis is the latest big name to take its festive message to British families.

“The overall theme of this year’s Christmas campaign is pomp, fame and fun,” added Ms. Shuttleworth. “John Lewis has chosen a vision of a modern family Christmas. Let’s see if it works.”

Set to a song called “Festa” sung by opera legend Andrea Bocelli, the ad shows a young boy, Alfie, planting his own Christmas tree, only to find that it has grown into a carnivorous Venus flytrap called a snapper.

But his family eventually embraced the idea of the new tradition and even sought the help of a snapper to open their presents on Christmas morning.

While last year’s ad was downplayed to reflect the cost-of-living crisis, this year’s ad focuses on family and evolving traditions.

Ms. Rock said, “It’s not the tradition itself that’s important, but how it brings families and loved ones together.”

Other retailers embrace star power

Many other retailers are spending big bucks to hire celebrities to promote their campaigns.

Sascha Darroch-Davies, co-founder of creative music agency DLMDD, says many people follow celebrities “because they have cultural currency.”

“There’s not a lot of risk-taking going on during Christmas. Celebrity is a formula that has worked before,” he told the BBC. “It’s a tough time for retailers. Many are struggling. They know it’s usually a safe bet.”

Marks and Spencer was quick to launch its Christmas food campaign, which featured the return of Dawn French as a festive fairy.

She was joined by Hollywood actors and Wrexham Football Club co-chairmen Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds, who provided the voices of the “finger gloves” in the six-part ad.

The trio dance around the house and end up in the dining room, where a table groans under the weight of Marks & Spencer’s Christmas dinner.

Marks & Spencer also recruited famous faces for its Christmas clothing and home ads, including actors Zawe Ashton and Hannah Waddingham, Pink Man Saves the Day presenter Tan France and singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor. Bextor).

Controversy surrounding Marks & Spencer advert

While John Lewis focuses on changing traditions, the Marks & Spencer (M&S) advert suggests that people should simply do away with Christmas traditions they no longer love.

However, Marks & Spencer was forced to apologize after a clip from the ad – showing red, green and silver hats burning in a fireplace – was criticized by some who said it resembled the colors of the Palestinian flag.

The company deleted the photo, which was posted on Instagram, and said the ad was filmed in August, before the recent conflict between Israel and Gaza began.

Some may argue that the controversy doesn’t matter, and that it does help the company by getting its ads talked about. But Sophie Lewis, chief strategy officer at creative agency M&C Saatchi, disagrees.

“I don’t think it’s wise to be controversial over Christmas,” she told the BBC. “I don’t think Marks & Spencer would have ingratiated themselves with it by pulling and re-editing the ads.”

Ms. Lewis said time would tell if and to what extent the row had affected Marks & Spencer.

Other notable ads

Elsewhere, Bublé has thawed out for Christmas and is the star of this year’s Asda ad.

The singer takes on the role of Asda’s Chief Quality Officer, making big decisions about what food the nation should eat this Christmas.

Comments on social media have been mostly positive, with some expressing surprise that Bublé can both act and sing. But others felt that the advert wasn’t enough following the success of Elf last year.

Not to be outdone, Sainsbury’s invited 1980s icon Rick Astley to explore Santa’s Christmas dinner with real supermarket staff.

Astley has had a big year, making his Glastonbury Festival debut.

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