And the winner of the 2020 RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge is …

Discussion
Sources: (Clockwise from upper left) Macy’s, Lidl, DocMorris, John Lewis, Myer, Tesco, Co-op, Smiths City
Dec 23, 2020
George Anderson

It’s frequently been said this year that COVID-19 pushed many retailers to accelerate their digital initiatives and make adjustments in other areas of their businesses.

No doubt, it forced many to push up their 2020 promotional plans for the Christmas selling period, many going live with their seasonal commercials as soon as Halloween was in the books. We reflected this new reality in this year’s RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge, kicking off our annual competition earlier than ever before (Nov. 3).

The competition, as usual, was spirited with retailers from the U.S. and around the globe offering their individual takes on what it would take to move and connect with consumers in a time of great uncertainty. We put up eighteen spots in all for our BrainTrust panel of industry experts and members of the community to critique and vote on. The following are the winners from those head-to-head contests based on poll results. Be sure to vote for your overall favorite as we crown a champion for 2020.

DISCUSSION QUESTION: Which were your favorite spots from the 2020 RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge and why?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"DocMorris triumphs with grandpa getting ripped. Its message of healthy habits, persistence and serving others reflects the resilience we strive for in 2020."

Join the Discussion!

20 Comments on "And the winner of the 2020 RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge is …"


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
David Naumann
BrainTrust

This is a tough choice with so many commercials that communicate very emotion-evoking messages. My choice is the DocMorris commercial where the grandfather exercised relentlessly to prepare for lifting his granddaughter to put an ornament on top of the Christmas tree. It was very emotional and memorable.

Richard Hernandez
BrainTrust

For me, it was between the Doc Morris commercial and the Woodie’s commercial. I knew what they were about (what business they were in) and both evoked emotion in me when I saw them but I will have to give it to Woodie’s this year.

Neil Saunders
BrainTrust

There were so many creative ads this year, and it was very interesting to see how retailers responded to various pandemic themes. However, my winner is DocMorris. It’s a lovely little story with a poignant message. For me, it captured the true spirit of Christmas.

Georganne Bender
BrainTrust

Hands down, it’s DocMorris for the win. That commercial captured what Christmas is truly all about.

Dick Seesel
BrainTrust

2020 was a challenge like no other recent year for all of us — including retailers who had to settle on an appropriate marketing message. Do they acknowledge the pandemic? If so, what tone should they take? Do they try to weave in a product message at the same time?

I appreciate the cheekiness of the Tesco ad, and admire several other highlighted commercials like Woodie’s, but I’m voting for Meijer. At least in this spot, the retailer faced the impact of COVID-19 on “average families” head-on, didn’t try to sell anything, and ended with a touching example of the holiday spirit. Well done, Meijer.

Lisa Goller
BrainTrust

Hafod Hardware’s precocious boy and Smiths City’s young couple and durable goods excel for their humorous relationship vignettes. Yet DocMorris triumphs with grandpa getting ripped. Its message of healthy habits, persistence and serving others reflects the resilience we strive for in 2020.

Dr. Stephen Needel
BrainTrust

Smiths City for me, although DocMorris was very close. Smiths told a great story with humor and emotion while still pitching their store. DocMorris was a great story, and wellness certainly ties in with their store, but I don’t think they drove the selling point home.

Brandon Rael
BrainTrust

The emotional and sentimental DocMorris takes the win from my perspective. It captures what the holidays are all about. In a year where we need some more inspiration, these kinds of sentiments remind us never to take our family, health, or even the time we have together for granted.

Happy holidays everyone.

Dave Bruno
BrainTrust

I think it’s DocMorris for me. The storytelling is strong, the payoff is lovely, and the message is universal.

Ricardo Belmar
BrainTrust

DocMorris and Woodie’s are the top choices for me, with DocMorris just edging out Woodie’s for delivering on the true spirit of the season with a message about dedication to what matters most in your life. Both give us something everyone needed after a difficult 2020, but I give the overall win to DocMorris.

Patricia Vekich Waldron
Staff

I liked Tesco (no naughty list) DocMorris (grandpa gets fit) and Smiths (not just whiteware) because they reflected the brand and its products, were entertaining and put a smile on one’s face!

Craig Sundstrom
Guest

What?!?! The best was the very first. 🙁 I’ve waited seven weeks to up-vote it, and I demand “write-in’s” be allowed, or I’ll take this fraudulent election on high (I think their calendar has an opening). While we’re waiting for the docket to open, I’ll cast my vote for Woodies … for the SECOND best ad. Short, sweet and product-relevant.

George Anderson
Staff

What spot would get your write-in vote if you had one?

Craig Sundstrom
Guest

The one linked: Hobby Lobby.

Ananda Chakravarty
BrainTrust

DocMorris. Generationally inspiring. Now where did my kettlebell go…?

Richard J. George, Ph.D.
BrainTrust

While I enjoyed the DocMorris spot, it was almost 3 minutes long. A much shorter, but equally impactful spot was Woodie’s. Also Kudos to Whiteware and Tesco for their similar messages that it’s okay to celebrate during these challenging times.

Harley Feldman
BrainTrust

My favorite ad was from Smiths City. It had a heartwarming story and showed the viewer the kinds of gifts that Smiths City sells. Also liked Kohl’s for the heart warming story and personal thoughts message. I also liked the Etsy’s ad for the personal story related to the kinds of handcrafted things you would buy on Etsy and the Woodies ad for the kindness shown and the connection to Woodies hardware products. Another good collection of commercials.

Rachelle King
BrainTrust

Outstanding work by all of the creative teams! It’s curious that, at the end of the day, the final list (for the most part) does not show the impact of Covid (mask) as much as it makes you feel the impact of Covid (human heart). For me, the top two are the ones that tug the heart strings, Meijer and DocMorris. Next two would be Kohl’s and Woodies. All four rising to the top for insightful depiction of the human heart with a generous sprinkle of holiday inspiration. It’s true what they say, people will always remember how you made them feel.

W. Frank Dell II
BrainTrust

I liked Macy’s, Meijer and Tesco as above average. My 2 two are DocMorris and Smith. DocMorris is a great commercial, but lacks sponsor tie-in. Smith was so good, I sent copies to friends. Thus my number 1 is Smith.

James Tenser
BrainTrust

Well this has certainly been a year of sentimentality in the RW Christmas Commercial Challenge. The DocMorris mini-movie still tops my list, but there are a batch of close contenders here. I like the Woodies story too, for its message of generosity to strangers. Appropriately absent from this year’s top list are the portrayals of giddy consumption and partying crowds, that we have enjoyed without guilt in past seasons.

I must say, re-watching this sequence today brought up a bit of melancholy. That’s appropriate, I suppose, as it has been a hard year for so many. There will be time later to consider whether commercial messages like these make a genuine contribution to the healing process, but it seems possible this is the hope of many of the creators represented.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"DocMorris triumphs with grandpa getting ripped. Its message of healthy habits, persistence and serving others reflects the resilience we strive for in 2020."

Take Our Instant Poll

Which retailer from the following list presented had the best Christmas commercial in 2020?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...