The holiday season is here and just in case you weren’t already at a heightened emotional level, there are commercials every where to help turn even the biggest of Grinches into a sobbing mess. Why, grocery stores? Why must you make us cry in public?
From Apple to Aldi, here are the best, strangest, and most cry-worthy holiday advertisements for 2018.
French telephone company Bouygues Telecom got us crying early with their November ad featuring a dad who loves to dance and a son who grows increasingly embarrassed of his father. The ad is super cute, but we don’t appreciate having to plead with a commercial to not kill off the fun loving father. It stresses us out.
The most brilliant aspect of Apple’s 2018 holiday ad is that it hooks viewers until the final moments, with the creator of the ad never clear. Maybe it’s Coca-Cola, maybe it’s a grocery chain, but most viewers would likely not put Apple down on the list of guesses. No intricate choreography, no big, booming musical numbers, and barely a glimpse at an Apple product. It feels more like an ad for printers than Apple products, but the warm fuzzies are delivered, nonetheless.
The online retailer went for the theme of uniting, with people from all walks of life receiving packages during the holidays from Amazon. Instead, the singing boxes are giving us the feeling that we’re one step away from the robots taking over.
The U.K.’s John Lewis’ department store is known for their impressive holiday ads that double as short films. Usually casting a young child as the star, this year’s holiday ad also went with a child, but this time a very famous one. Starting in present day and told through “Your Song,” John Lewis traced the incredible career of Elton John all the way back to the Christmas when the singer was gifted with his first piano. Some kids turn into superstars. Others play “Chopsticks.”
Microsoft’s main business is building technology that keeps people inside, so it’s pretty impressive that they were able to create an ad that shows kids playing outside in the snow. They still end up indoors, in this case cheering on Owen, a little boy with Escobar Syndrome, showing that Microsoft helps level the playing field. It also helps to give our hearts a hug.
The Heathrow Airport bears are back for another holiday, this time traveling from sunny Key West, Florida back to their family in the UK. Still cute, but thankfully we cried less this year.
British luxury fashion retailer Barbour paid homage to Raymond Brigg’s classic tale of the snowman who came to life in their 2018 holiday ad. We could believe a snowman becoming human, but we can’t believe any kid who lives in that nice of a house couldn’t afford mitts. Who builds Frosty without mitts?!
Sainsbury has a long history of emotional holiday ads and this year was no different. Featuring the New Radicals’ track “You Get What You Give,” a group of eight-year-olds performed a holiday concert for their real parents. Directed by The Greatest Showman’s Michael Gracey, the ad features the undeniable cute combo of little kids and oversized costumes. We wish all school concerts were this exciting.
Grocery store Aldi seemingly took some inspiration from Seth Rogen’s Sausage Party to make a short film that will ensure children never want to eat their carrots again. There wasn’t any swearing or vulgar topics discussed, but we’re traumatized just the same.
Cosmetics brand Boots used Robbie Williams’ “She’s The One” to pay homage to single moms in their touching commercial about a mom who is encouraged to follow her passion by her daughter. Sometimes a little lipstick can go a long way.
The U.K.’s Cats Protection is a charity dedicated to finding homes for cats. If you’re thinking of adopting a feline friend this Christmas, this ad will cement your decision. Based on a true story, the holiday advert tells the story of a young girl and the unbreakable bond with her cat. We’d be lion if we said it didn’t make us cry.
If dogs are more your thing, PetCo has you covered. When a little boy spots a puppy that no one else wants to adopt, he uses the money he saved for a bike to give the puppy a new home and better life. It’s pretty freaking precious.