Christmas is around the corner. In the run-up to Christmas, businesses and brands release their very best ads, typically tearjerkers, to catch consumers off-guard and lure them to shop till they drop. I’m well aware of their persuasion strategies, of course. And yet, every year I find myself having a look at British Christmas ads, as they tend to be longer, and usually tell a story, which will allow me to exploit them in the classroom even further than ordinary ads. This is a selection of the ones I liked the most this year:
a rendition of Queen’s ‘Somebody to Love’ by real shopkeepers struggling to survive in the high street.
Alternative version- shopkeepers singing All I Want for Xmas is you
Sainsbury’s– Nicholas the Sweep
Set in Dickensian London, it showcases the story of a waif-an orphan child and chimney sweep, unfairly accused of stealing.
Resources: the ad is set in Victorian England/Dickensian London. Some related vocabulary may be useful to start with:
- What do you mean when you say that somebody is ‘rotten to the core’?
- The story is told by a 3rd-person narrator. How would you narrate the story using 1st-person narrative…
- a. from Mrs Sainsbury’s point of view?
- b. from Nicholas the sweep’s point of view?
- Imagine the story were to be published as a book. How would you retell it?
John Lewis & Waitrose– Excitable Edgar
Resources to use the ad in the classroom:
Fortnum and Mason– What’s in a Fortnum and Mason hamper? (list of traditional Christmas foods and elements in Britain)
Watch the ad and write down as many foods, gifts and Christmas traditions as you can.
Aldi-Kevin the Carrot #4 (Let Me Entertain You):
Resources to use the ad in the classroom: The Literacy Shed
Sky– ET came home for Christmas
Joules– Wallace and Gromit
Iceland supermarkets– Frozen II
M&S Christmas Food (Christmas market)
Smyths toys– If I Were a Toy
Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day– You may want to take part in this…
- Using ads for teaching /learning English
- Videos para el aula de inglés sobre Navidades
- How to have a British Christmas
- Spotify playlist- Christmas
- Sia- Everyday is Christmas
- Remembering the Great War and the Christmas truce- Sainsbury’s Christmas ad (2014)- good for History
- Mog’s Christmas calamity (good for literacy, storytelling)
- Xmas ads in the classroom (2016)
- Greenpeace-Iceland supermarkets banned ad (2018)
- Ten of the most well-known British Christmas ads (Anglotopia)