The Holiday Season’s Ten Most-Viewed Ads

The holiday season is in full swing, which means it’s time to deck the halls and load your stocking up with this year’s ten most popular festive ads. Running the gamut from conventional to downright avant-garde, these ads stood out from the rest of a crowded pack by embodying the holiday spirit while driving consumers to engage with the brands being advertised.

10. Kmart: “Not A Christmas Commercial”: 4,650,742 views





Honda’s Honda Days promotion, by now a modern-day Christmas marketing tradition, made a play for nostalgia this time around with a social campaign that saw Skeletor take over their Twitter feed as well as an ad featuring throwback toys like Stretch Armstrong. The campaign was a hit with consumers and marketers alike, earning Honda positive buzz from social media and industry publications.


8. Stella Artois: “Give Beautifully”: 4,981,509 views


Stella Artois made waves this year by becoming the first beer brand to buy advertisements on Instagram, indicating a desire to focus on the underserved millennial market. They made good on that promise with their Give Beautifully campaign, combining a run of food photos on Instagram with traditional commercials centered on one’s appreciation of the finer things in life.


7. Microsoft: “Winter Wonderland”: 5,724,855 views


Microsoft has pulled down double time with their marketing efforts this holiday season, experimenting with a wide variety of strategies to push the Xbox One to an ultimately successful Black Friday performance. Winter Wonderland is Microsoft’s attempt at bottling that magic up and using it for the benefit of their Surface line of tablets as they look to go toe-to-toe with Apple and Samsung.


6. Target: “Holiday 2014”: 6,264,542 views


Don’t let the unimaginative name fool you: this was no ordinary holiday season for Target. Determined to cut into Walmart’s longstanding market share lead amongst big-box stores, the Minneapolis, Minnesota-based chain launched an aggressive campaign headlined by a fun-to-play shopping game for mobile devices.


5. Poo-Pourri: “Even Santa Poops”: 10,344,783 views


Yes, Virginia, there really is a pooping Santa Claus, and he wants you to buy Poo-Pourri bathroom spray. Poo-Pourri’s unconventional product called for an off-kilter holiday ad campaign, and the company delivered to the tune of off-the-charts positive engagement on social channels.


4. Band Aid 30: “Do They Know It’s Christmas”: 15,063,530 views


Bob Geldof’s philanthropic Band Aid music collective came together thirty years following their benefit single for the 1983-85 Ethiopian famine, returning with a new stable of contemporary artists including Ed Sheeran and Rita Ora to fight western Africa’s Ebola crisis. Heavy promotion on major social channels pushed Do They Know It’s Christmas onto the charts in seventeen countries and spawned a German-language version.


3. Sainsbury’s: “Christmas 2014”: 16,420,630 views


British supermarket Sainsbury’s recalled a historic Christmas moment in 20th-century global affairs with their holiday ad campaign, depicting World War I’s “Christmas truce” of 1914 in which a large contingent of British and German soldiers left their trenches to lay down their arms and fraternize in No Man’s Land. Though the campaign — described by Sainsbury’s as a meditation on the importance of sharing — garnered mixed reactions online, it was still one of the most popular ads of the holiday season.


2. Samsung: “Home for the Holidays”:  21,013,232 views


Never ones to shy away from a golden opportunity, mobile leader Samsung brought Veronica Mars star Kristen Bell and husband Dax Shepard together for a humorous holiday ad about life made simpler with the help of Samsung’s gadgets and gizmos. A smart social campaign blasted Samsung into the stratosphere with 21,013,232 views, good for second on the season.


1.  John Lewis: “Monty the Penguin”: 31,140,574 views


When we thought John Lewis’s marketing strategy was the real deal just after Monty the Penguin’s launch, we weren’t lying: this little guy has it all. The British luxury retailer pulled out all the stops for this heartwarming ad about a boy and his penguin in need of a companion, crafting a sentimental narrative sure to tug at hardened heartstrings and cause rivals to wish they’d thought of something similar first. Smart timing and a top-notch YouTube rollout propelled Monty the Penguin to over 31 million views, good for a far-and-away first place.

Surprised by the rankings Have a particular favorite Share your thoughts in our comments section below or on Twitter at @alistdaily.