Weeks before Thanksgiving, here come the Christmas ads

‘Tis the season to be jolly. No, really. Thanksgiving, Black Friday and cyber Monday are still more than two weeks away. Yet brands have started trotting out their Christmas ads, perhaps due to the fact that people have begun shopping already.

Every year, the “Christmas Creep” arrives earlier in the calendar year, and most consumers are more likely to groan than rejoice, according to Crimson Hexagon. Its research reveals Kmart received more pushback than praise for coming out with its ad in early September last year, and Target annoyed customers in 2012, releasing its first holiday ad three weeks before Halloween.

Kmart, for its part, hasn’t gotten the memo. Its subdued yet obvious “Not a Christmas” commercial came out months ahead of its competitors — on Sept. 12. Since then, Coca-Cola, Target, Walmart Canada and Marks & Spencer U.K. among others have also followed suit.

Despite any negative consumer sentiment, it may not actually hurt brands to launch holiday campaigns this early.

“As long as the campaign makes the audience happy by providing utility or entertainment, it shouldn’t be a problem,” Dana Griffin, CMO of social media agency Attention, told Digiday. “That is why John Lewis is doing so well, because it is so entertaining.”

The spirit of giving is a common, if predictable, theme throughout most of these ads, which lean heavily on the sentiment. The John Lewis campaign schmaltzed it up with Monty the penguin, and Marks & Spencer’s #FollowtheFairies commercial follows two fairies who spread joy and make people’s wishes come true.

Here, then, are some of the earliest commercials on the block this Christmas:

Kmart

#MerryBirthday. Yeah right, Kmart. You may wryly claim this is not a Christmas commercial, but the audience isn’t dumb. The 4.5 million views are probably because the brand posted this video 104 days before Christmas.

Target

A spin-off of “Alice in the Wonderland” documenting a girl and her quest for marshmallows, this one has only netted around 17,000 views since launching on Nov. 1.

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain

There’s nothing original or exciting about this ad that sets it apart from the scores of other theme-park ads out there — perhaps the reason why this video has gathered only about 2,000 views since being posted on Halloween.

Walmart Canada

All right Walmart Canada, we forgive you. But only because you had your Thanksgiving in October and don’t have Black Friday or Cyber Monday to look forward to.

Burberry

Only one thing explains the 2.8 million views that this commercial has acquired, David and Victoria Beckham’s pre-teen son, Romeo Beckham — who prances around as a young couple falls in love with London as the backdrop.

Topshop


While some are calling this spot cuter than the one with Romeo above, we don’t know if Cara Delevingne playing with glitter and Christmas lights and decorations can compete, but only time will tell. The commercial has amassed nearly 19,000 views since being posted on Nov. 3

Coca-Cola

This heartwarming commercial by Coke is sure to gather more steam, as the message of spreading happiness is pretty standard during the holiday season. Plus, it fits in great with Coke’s catchphrase “Open Happiness.” This commercial has received over 20,000 views since being posted on Nov. 3.

John Lewis

Clearly everyone’s current favorite, this one reached more than 5 million views in just over 24 hours. It shows the heartwarming story of a penguin Monty and his friend Sam, who puts an end to his loneliness by getting him a penguin partner for Christmas.

Marks & Spencer

This ad was launched on Friday in the U.K. and makes us warm and fuzzy inside, making it John Lewis’ closest competitor. It is the digital commercial of a campaign that Marks & Spencer has launched on the side called #FollowtheFairies, and it features two fairies that make people’s wishes come true.

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