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Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a barrage of tear-jerking adverts guaranteed to make us weep into our mince pies and sherry.

Bringing a touch of normality to proceedings, the big retailers have launched their festive campaigns to get us spending this season.

From famous faces to cute characters and some magical animations, these promos have everything to warm the cockles of our souls – and loosen our purse strings.

But which have brought the most yuletide joy to our living rooms?

Here are the 12 best ads of Christmas, ranked, rated and reviewed.

Coca-Cola's soundtrack is composed by Alex Baranowski
(Image: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yg4Mq5EAEzw)

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COCA-COLA

As a dad says goodbye to his daughter, she gives him a letter for Santa. While sipping his Coca-Cola on an oil rig, he realises he must hand deliver the letter at all costs!

Fortunately her dad is like Bear Grylls, heading out on a dangerous mission through the jungle, over mountains and across snow, battling the odds to reach the North Pole.

When it’s closed (imagine!), Santa on a famous red truck delivers him home. And what did his daughter want? She just wanted her dad.

Soundtrack: The Letter, composed by Alex Baranowski.

Verdict: Hang on, I seem to have dissolved into a puddle of tears. This epic mini-movie held my heart in the palm of its hand. The letter – “Dear Santa, please bring Daddy home for Christmas” – floored me. Then the truck driver turned out to be Santa. I am done.

Weepy rating: 10/1030

Laugh level: 7/10

The letter featured in the Coca-Cola ad
(Image: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yg4Mq5EAEzw)

Tesco serves up a big confessional this year
(Image: Tesco)

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TESCO

Aiming for our funny bones, Tesco serves up a big confessional to the slogan ‘No Naughty List’.

“I gave my sister a really terrible haircut, what if I’m on the naughty list?” asks a little girl. “Relax! After this year, Tesco says there is no naughty list.”

Cut to various people admitting their naughty secrets. From buying too much loo roll or…the shame… not donating to Captain Tom, everyone is forgiven. Even Santa, who has a rather suspicious tan.

Soundtrack: Oops!… I Did It Again, by Britney Spears.

Verdict: YES Tesco, thank you for letting us all off the hook this year and making us laugh out loud. From the grumpy mum who failed at home school (relatable) to the man who didn’t sing Happy Birthday while washing his hands, this poked fun at 2020.

And yes, we DO all deserve treats.

Weepy rating: 3/10

Laugh level: 9/10

McDonald's ‘finding your inner child’ advert
(Image: McDonalds)

MCDONALD’S

This poignant animation proves what we already know – that there’s not much that can’t be fixed with a Big Mac.

A teenager is playing video games and staring at his phone. His mum wants to put up the decorations like the old days but he’s not interested. Well he is on the inside.

The ‘finding your inner child’ advert about the single mum and son reveals he is finally #ReindeerReady after a Maccy D’s softens his poor, conflicted teenage soul.

Soundtrack: Forever Young, by Becky Hill.

Verdict: This ad about kids growing up tugged on the heart strings. When he gives his mum a hug and pulls out the reindeer treats from the Drive Thru, I cried a river. Am I #ReindeerReady? I’m not sure, but I’ll have a McFlurry.

Weepy rating: 8/10

Laugh level: 4/10

John Lewis' Christmas advertising campaign celebrates kindness
(Image: Handout)

JOHN LEWIS

A little boy is mournfully staring up at his ball stuck in a tree. A little girl comes along and helps him with her red, heart-shaped umbrella.

The action turns to animation and so begins a chain of random acts of kindness to strangers as everyone ‘gives a little love’.

A snowman gets a balloon, a tyre is changed, jokes are made, glasses are fixed and pigeons let a hedgehog join their gang.

Soundtrack: A Little Love, by Celeste.

Verdict: In the end, the boy has his ball back, everyone is happy, what’s not to love?

As one by one, sad faces are turned to smiles, it’s impossible not to be cheered by the optimism of this ad. It didn’t make me cry like previous JL ads (I’m still not over Monty the lovesick penguin), but I’ll download the record.

Weepy rating: 6/10

Laugh level: 6/10

The Gravy Song features in one of Sainsbury's ads
(Image: Sainsburys)

SAINSBURY’S

Going for a full-on nostalgia hit this year, the supermarket is releasing three adverts to celebrate food, family and memories.

The stories are told through phone conversations over home video-style footage.

In the first one, there’s even a song – the Gravy Song.

As a dad and daughter talk on the phone about hoping to see each other at Christmas, she’s mortified that he still sings the frankly dreadful Gravy Song.

The heartfelt slogan reads: “Food is home. Home is Christmas”.

Soundtrack: Gravy Song.

Verdict: She wants her mum’s roasties and her dad’s gravy. We all want that, even if it comes with a bad song about a gravy boat. A hard-hitting advert that packed an emotional punch – and made me hungry.

Weepy rating: 5/10

Laugh level: 7/10

Lidl's comedy lyrics pokes fun at “emotional gravy”
(Image: Lidl GB)

Lidl's theme is good food and good prices
(Image: Lidl GB)

LIDL

A little girl befriends a cute robin on a windowsill. Is it the start of a beautiful friendship?
No! A price tag for deluxe mince pies lands on the robin’s face. The theme here is good food, good prices, no sentimentality and no nonsense. “Big on a Christmas you can believe in.”

Comedy lyrics poking fun at “emotional gravy” and “cutesy characters” narrate the animation of a family enjoying their Christmas roast.

We’re told there’s no time to feel sad, this cheese will make you glad… or words to that effect.

Soundtrack: Lidl’s own sarcastic song.

Verdict: Full marks for a Great British sense of humour. This is an affectionate mocking of all the other ads we see every year – although it was probably a bit harsh to stab that carrot with a fork. Hope Kevin’s not watching. A refreshing change that raises a smile.

Weepy rating: 0/10

Laugh level: 9/10

Abracadaisy and Lucy showcases an impressive, glittering magic show in the Argos ad
(Image: Argos)

ARGOS

Two sisters are browsing the Argos catalogue – standard pre-Christmas behaviour. They spot (and of course, circle in biro) a magic trick set.

It’s the perfect gift. An Evening With Abracadaisy And The Incredible Lucy showcases an impressive, glittering magic show as the girls perform for their amazed, and slightly baffled, relatives.

From a magnificent flying machine, to a stretching dog, card tricks and vanishing mince pies – Britain’s Got Talent eat your heart out.

Soundtrack: Incredible, by Gary Barlow.

Verdict: The big standing ovation finale made me long for the theatre. But the overall Book Of Dreams theme was uplifting – even if I do not want my kids to see that catalogue. And if Gary says it’s incredible, who are we to argue?

Weepy rating: 4/10

Laugh level: 7/10

Disney's advert features a little girl called Lola
(Image: Joe Pepler/PinPep)

DISNEY

It’s 1940 and a little girl called Lola gets a Mickey Mouse soft toy for Christmas. She loves it, it’s the bestest gift ever.

Cut to 2005 and she’s passing Mickey on to her granddaughter. Lola and her granddaughter have a special bond, making stars together for Christmas. But as the years go on, Lola fears they are not as close anymore AND… disaster, Mickey has a ripped ear.

The ‘From Our Family To Yours’ ad, which supports Make A Wish, ends with the granddaughter wowing Lola with stars and, of course, a fixed Mickey.

Soundtrack: Love Is A Compass, by Griff.

Verdict: A cheesy but heart-warming story about family and traditions, this will bring a tear to even the coldest of souls and probably make you want to buy a Mickey (available in all good toy stores). No, you’re crying.

Weepy rating: 8/10

Laugh level: 0/10

Shoppers are told to have an ‘ASDA Price Christmas’
(Image: Youtube)

ASDA

Going for practical over poignant, the supermarket’s campaign tells us how to have an ‘ASDA Price Christmas’.

It follows enthusiastic Sunny and his family as they show us how to make the most of the festive season, even though it’s going to be a bit different this year.

“The parties might be smaller, but we can still have great food,” he says. “We can still keep the old traditions.”

In the end, his house is covered in ASDA-themed fairy lights and everyone seems pretty happy.

Soundtrack: What Christmas Means To Me, by Stevie Wonder.

Verdict: This didn’t exactly rock my world, but I do want to buy ASDA’s Brussels Sprout Christmas cake and annoy my neighbours with too many festive lights, so I guess it worked.

Weepy rating: 3/10

Laugh level: 2/10

Kevin the Carrot is back for his fifth Christmas at Aldi
(Image: Aldi)

ALDI

Peel the need – the need for speed! Kevin the Carrot is back for his fifth Christmas adventure – it’s amazing he’s survived so many roast dinners.

This time he’s in a fighter jet, telling his co-pilot, Lieutenant Turkey, to brace himself. Santa rides past on his sleigh with his reindeer.

But then, with Top Gun levels of adrenaline-fuelled action, the idiot turkey opens the window and Kevin plummets to the ground in his parachute. #WhereIsKevin

Soundtrack: Something that sounds eerily like the Top Gun theme.

Verdict: The Twitter hashtag #WhereIsKevin has already been trending. So while I fear Kevin at Christmas may have had his day, there’s clearly a lot of love out there for the plucky vegetable. Low laughter or tear duct impact, but lots of fun.

Weepy rating: 0/10

Laugh level: 5/10

The food is the star in the M&S ad

MARKS & SPENCER

“Cor what a year. Let’s try to make Christmas a little brighter, shall we?” Sure, Olivia, anything you say.

This is just one of a planned nine festive ads from M&S this season (greedy, much?), in which the Queen herself, Olivia Colman goes all Nigella on the food.

“Gin liqueur with edible gold leaf. Gosh, I don’t know whether to drink it or put it on top of the tree,” she gushes. In another ad, Naomie Harris waxes lyrical over a chocolate panettone.

The food is the star, with “fancy pants” beef Yorkshires and chestnut-smoked salmon to make the mouth water.

Soundtrack: Albatross, by Fleetwood Mac.

Verdict: Yes, yes, we all know the drill. This is not just any Christmas food. This is M&S Christmas food. Going back to its winning formula, this advert is nothing new but proves if the ad ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Weepy rating: 2/10

Laugh level: 4/10

WALKERS

Bringing bags full of cheer, Walkers wants to make it a Merry Crispmas with this celeb-packed campaign.

Promoting their sausage roll-flavoured crisps, YouTube star LadBaby (he of the two Christmas No1s) leads the dodgy carol singing.

Watch out for cameos from Carol Smillie (every carol needs a Carol), Aled Jones, East 17’s Tony Mortimer, and Gary Lineker as a disgruntled crisp thief.

The message is about eating crisps AND raising cash for charity.

Soundtrack: A Sausage CaRoll.

Verdict: It made me laugh every time I saw another random celebrity pop up. Who doesn’t want to see Snowman singer Aled singing about sausage rolls? Silly festive fun.

Weepy rating: 0/10

Laugh level: 8/10