Each year, big companies work to bring you “all the feels” over the holiday season in hopes you’ll experience good vibes about their brands and products. And you know what? It works!
Have 10 free minutes? Here are a few ads sure you make your eyes well up.
“Imaginary Iggy,” McDonald’s, 2021
McDonald’s 2021 holiday offering is my favorite Christmas ad of the season. From the music to the emotion it conveys, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better advertisement. In the spirit of “Toy Story,” the spot beautifully captures the innocence of childhood and the change that comes with growing up.
The ending will absolutely get you!
If you love this version of “Time After Time,” it’s available for download. The performer is Swedish singer Mabel. And yes, I may already have it on my phone.
“From Our Family to Yours,” Disney, 2020
This ad is simply fantastic — which is why I put it near the top. It captures the emotion of family traditions while highlighting the challenges of growing older. Here’s how Disney describes it:
While times change and people grow, beloved family traditions make lifelong memories that cross generations and hold us together, especially over the festive period. Lola and her granddaughter share a love of Disney and Christmas crafting, but over time their yearly ritual of making star lanterns begins to fade away. Looking back into Lola’s past and seeing her grandmother’s much-loved Mickey Mouse inspires her granddaughter to create a festive surprise that lights up her Christmas morning and renews their special bond.
If you’re like me, you love the song that’s used in the ad. It’s “Love is a Compass” by Griff.
“The Host,” Wayfair, 2021
While some of the other ads have minutes to tell their story, Wayfair does an incredible job moving viewers in just 30 seconds. If you’ve ever watched a parent or grandparent lose their spouse, this ad will absolutely hit home.
In this spot, “The Host” vows to keep the holiday spirit — and memory of his wife — alive.
Can someone pass the kleenex?
“Take Care of Yourself,” Doc Morris, 2020
This may be one of the best holiday ads ever produced. Doc Morris tells the story of an older man who feels like he’s past his prime but finds motivation in a picture. He goes from sitting around feeling sorry for himself to trying to recapture his glory days.
As the ad comes to an end, we learn his motivation for getting himself back in shape — and it’s absolutely perfect. I wouldn’t spoil it here. This one is must watch!
“A Child’s Love,” Littlewoods, 2021
This ad is sure to make any parent’s heart melt. In this spot from Littlewoods, we see a mother’s sacrifices to make her daughter happy. Although the little girl doesn’t have any money to get her mother a present, she finds a way to pay her back — and it’s just beautiful.
Have you started crying yet?
“The Stepdad,” Disney, 2021
Until I read the description on YouTube, I had no idea! Disney’s 2021 follow-up advert features the granddaughter from last year’s ad. She’s now grown up with a family of her own.
The spot follows Mike moving into the home as their new stepdad. The ad chronicles the challenges of bonding with his step children as the months go by. Eventually, Mike is able to capture the magic of connection and break through with the kiddos.
Disney notes: “We hope you enjoy this special Christmas ad, celebrating the joy that the stepdads of the world bring us.”
The song in this ad is “Love Runs Deeper” by Gregory Porter.
Which of these ads is your favorite? Is there another spot you’ve seen that I’ve missed? Post about it in the comments below!