2014 was a year of emotionally charged holiday ads that broke records while tugging heartstrings. We’ve rounded up the most viewed and shared ads across social during the 2014 holiday season for a look back at which brands got everyone talking last year.
5. Apple “The Song”
In 2013, Apple’s “Misunderstood” made customers think twice about how they used their iPhones at the holidays. This year’s “The Song” did the same thing for Garage Band and MacBook Air by following a young girl as she turned an old recording of her grandmother singing into a duet for a touching Christmas gift—a song made to be played on her grandmother’s iPod. The video currently has over 3.1 million YouTube views.
4. WestJet “Spirit of Giving”
Canadian airline WestJet’s online video showcasing employees bringing Christmas—complete with snow, Santa, and gifts—to an impoverished village in the Dominican Republic created brand awareness without appearing pushy. The video received over 3 million views along with 1,152,866 Facebook views and 41,682 shares.
3. Sainsbury’s “Christmas is for Sharing”
The British grocery chain caused quite a controversy with its nearly four-minute long holiday ad depicting the 1914 WWI Christmas Truce. Journalists and customers alike took Sainsbury’s to task for imposing the chain’s logo above the battle ground, but Sainsbury’s stood by its ad, releasing a statement to the AP saying, “This year, we wanted to tell this story of sharing. Working with The Royal British Legion, we have chosen to do this through the lens of one of the most extraordinary moments in modern history, when on Christmas Day 1914, British and German soldiers laid down their arms and came together to share a game of football.” The controversy paid off because the ad has been viewed 16,598,964 times on YouTube.
2. John Lewis “Monty the Penguin”
British department store John Lewis is known for its whimsical holiday ads, and this year’s tale of a boy and his pet penguin was the company’s biggest hit yet, earning a combined total of over 28 million YouTube and Facebook views, trouncing last year’s record of 14,984,618 views.
1. UPS “Driver for a Day”
This Christmas, UPS made one little boy’s dream come true when they helped him to become a real UPS driver, delivering packages to neighbors in a customized miniature UPS truck. Susan Rosenberg, director of public relations for UPS, says the campaign capitalized on customers’ natural affinity for the brand at the holidays. “[Customers] see our drivers in familiar brown trucks in their neighborhoods more at the holidays and I think there’s a natural affinity at this time of year for our drivers because they are shipping holiday gifts,” Rosenberg says. The popularity of UPS’s holiday video has probably helped to create even more brand affinity. “Driver for a Day” has 44,110,073 Facebook views and over 1.2 million shares.
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