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The holidays mean a time for joy, love, celebrating, and commercials that make us openly weep in public. We’ve collected the most inspiring and heartfelt ads from around the world this year, as well as some homegrown favourites to make us ugly cry. Grab the tissues and get ready to call someone you love, it’s time for holiday commercials.
Director Wes Anderson likes trains and he likes working with Adrien Brody, so he combined both for his new holiday ad for H&M. Brody plays a train conductor that has to inform his passengers they’re going to miss arriving at their destination in time for Christmas. To help boost spirits, Brody and his assistant manage to arrange for a tree and construction paper to be delivered at precisely the right moment, ensuring that the passengers, including one little boy traveling alone, will still have a Christmas to remember.
Air New Zealand
British pop singer Ronan Keating teamed up with Air New Zealand to write a holiday track that was more in line with the weather New Zealander’s experience during Christmas. A lot less snow, a lot more sand and sweating. Now we’re crying just from looking outside our own windows. Remember the sun? Neither do we.
— Air New Zealand (@FlyAirNZ) November 30, 2016
Marks and Spencer
We know that Santa Claus has lots of help every year from his elves, but what about Mrs. Claus? According to British department store Marks & Spencer, Mrs. Claus has a few tricks up her sleeve, a sleeve that is very chic and fitted and not at all frumpy and dowdy. Throw in a little boy trying to make his sister happy on Christmas and we’re feeling both empowered and sappy at the same time. We didn’t even know that was possible.
Actor Brad Garrett stars as Frankenstein, a kind-hearted monster who wants to sing for the townspeople during the holidays. Thanks to his iPhone and the help of a young girl, he’s able to bring people together and make us cry.
With an all-star cast of Domhnall Gleeson, Sienna Miller, Dominic West and Lily James, Burberry’s 2016 holiday ad tells the incredible story of its company founder, Thomas Burberry. Our only question now is, when can we see the actual movie?
German supermarket chain Edeka tugs at our heartstrings with their ad showing how kids feel during the holidays when their parents ignore them, versus spending quality time with them. It’s like putting “Cats In The Cradle” and Christmas together. All the sobs.
This year’s annual Christmas ad from British supermarket chain Sainsbury is an animated short about a busy dad who finds a way to give his family the greatest gift, which is more time together. Annnnnnd sob. If the voice singing the catchy song throughout the ad sounds familiar, that’s because it’s Late Late Show host James Corden!
What’s more endearing than an elderly couple in love after decades of marriage? An elderly stuffed bear couple in love after decades of marriage. Heathrow Airport did their best to turn up the waterworks for their 2016 ad, set to “I’m Going Back” by Chas & Davis. Filmed over three days at Heathrow Airport, the ad is essentially the beginning and ending of Love Actually, but with bears. How do the British maintain a stiff upper lip with ads like this?
Canadian air travel company WestJet has become known for their emotional and touching annual holiday ads that feature the company and its employees pulling off seemingly impossible feats of charity. The Alberta-based company decided that this year’s ‘Christmas Miracle’ should go to the residents of Fort McMurray, who were victims of the devastating wildfires in May that left thousands homeless. Rather than gift people with tangible goods as they have in the past, WestJet gave 1,000 Fort McMurray residents vouchers to fly with their airline. Pass the tissues, please.
In a new ad from Polish online auction company Allegro (think eBay), an elderly man receives items that help him learn English. Of course, we can guess pretty early on that the reason he’s learning English will leave us in tears. We totally saw that coming. It was obvious. We still cried.
In past years, UK department store chain John Lewis has brought a little boy’s penguin to life and connected a little girl with an elderly man on the moon. This year the company is giving our tear ducts some reprieve, but we’re still so happy for Buster the dog and his new trampoline.