Mr P's Round Up of Christmas Adverts - 2017

So it is that time of year again and already our TVs are flooded with different adverts. Over the past few years, I have blogged a number of ways to use some of the more popular adverts in class, which you can read here:

Mr P's round-up of Christmas Adverts 2016
Developing Emotional Literacy through a great Christmas Advert
John Lewis Christmas Advert 2015
John Lewis Christmas Advert 2014
Sainsbury's Christmas Advert 2014

So as Christmas is all about traditions, here are some ideas for this year's adverts.

Before I start I must mention some other resources worth checking out. Firstly, the Christmas Letter ReadWritePerform Pack:

There is also my eBook - The 12 iPad lessons of Christmas which you can download by clicking the picture:

So let's start with the most popular - John Lewis and their Moz the Monster advert:

Now as the advert doesn't have any text, John Lewis has provided a book to work alongside the advert. You can grab a copy here.

You may have also seen in the news this week that the fantastic Chris Riddel has likened the advert to his picture book - Mr Underbed. Read the article here. I would definitely grab a copy of the book and read it to ask my class whether Chris Riddell has a valid point. It would open a fantastic discussion around copyright and link very well to some digital literacy about using images and content online. This would provide opportunity to deconstruct and enjoy a quality text but also develop links by focusing on text to text similarities and difference. You can buy a copy of Mr Underbed here:

So here are some questions to pose when watching the video:

  • Pause at 5 seconds. Ask the children to share clues about the boy and his room - bed sheets, the book he is reading, his animal slippers etc. What can we infer from this about the boy? What words can we use to describe him?
  • Pause at 11 seconds. How is the boy feeling? How do we know? What could the noise be?
  • Pause at 16 seconds. How does the boy feel? How do we know? What about the monster? How does he feel? why do you think this?
  • Pause at 29 seconds. Is the boy happy about having a monster under the bed? How do you know? What has the boy done to try and sleep? Has it worked? Why?
  • Pause at 40 seconds. What has made the monster come out from under the bed? Why did he choose to do that? Who was more scared of each other - the boy or the monster?
  • Pause at 1 minute. How old is the monster? What makes you think this? Why do the boy and monster hide from Dad? What might happen if they get caught?
  • Pause at 1.10. What are the positives of having the monster under the bed? What are the negatives? Would you like a monster under your bed? Why?
  • Pause at 1.22. What does the monster realise? Why do you think? What do you think the monster will do?
  • Pause at 1.45. Why are they having to say goodbye to each other? How do they feel about it? Why do they feel this way?
  • Watch to the end. What did the monster give as a present? Why did he choose this gift? 
  • Do you like the story? Why/why not?
There is also this Bedtime Story of  Moz the Monster read by Sally Phillips:

What I like most about the advert is the song 'Golden Slumbers' by Elbow, which was originally performed by the Beatles. Here are the lyrics:

[Verse 1]
Once there was a way
To get back homeward
Once there was a way
To get back home

Sleep, little darling, do not cry
I will sing a lullaby
Golden slumbers fill your eyes
Smiles awake you when you rise
Sleep, little darling, do not cry
And I will sing a lullaby
And I will sing a lullaby

[Verse 2]
Once there was a way
To get back homeward
Once there was a way
To get back home

Sleep, little darling, do not cry
And I will sing a lullaby

The lyrics were inspired by a poem by Thomas Dekker. Here is a copy of the original poem:

Golden slumbers kiss your eyes,
Smiles awake you when you rise.
Sleep, pretty wantons, do not cry,
And I will sing a lullaby:
Rock them, rock them, lullaby.

Care is heavy, therefore sleep you;
You are care, and care must keep you.
Sleep, pretty wantons, do not cry,
And I will sing a lullaby:
Rock them, rock them, lullaby.

I would use this poem and explore it.

  • After reading the poem ask the children what the poem is about? It is a lullaby designed to send a little baby off to the land of sleep. It is about a parent dealing with all the worries of another so they can be truly relaxed and serene. At this point you may need to clarify a lullaby.
  • What does the phrase Golden Slumber mean? Why has the author use the word golden? Why does he choose the verb kiss?
  • 'Smiles awake when you rise' tells us what about the baby? They are well loved, it shows us that the baby is be watched carefully by loving parents. Once the slumber is over, this baby will be confronted by love and happiness rather than troubles and worries.
  • What do you think the phrase 'pretty wantons' means? 
  • Why does the author repeat the words lullaby and rock them? The repetition of ‘lullaby’ and ‘rock them’ and the gentle rhyme at the end of each line. This is designed to be read softly and be soothing. It is describing the actions of the person singing it – ‘sing a lullaby’, while they ‘rock’ the baby to sleep.
  • In the second verse, the word care is used in three ways, in what ways is the word used? First, ‘care is heavy’ meaning that troubles and worries weigh us down and make life difficult. Then the baby is described as ‘care’ for someone else, as its parents have to watch over and worry about its health and happiness, so the baby is something for them to ‘care’ or worry about, but the baby itself is always kept free from worry.
  • Is this poem a happy or sad one? What makes you think this.
Relating back to the advert, ask the students to consider why this song/poem was chosen.

Aldi - Kevin the Carrot returns!

One cold Christmas Eve on snow-covered ground,
A carrot awoke to a most mysterious sound,
As he departed that magical night,
His heart skipped a beat it was love at first sight.

But a midnight express is no place to be,
Was it a murder? Only carrot could see,
And a turn of events caused a commotion,
A chance for our hero to show his devotion.

"Are you OK?"
"I think I just peed myself!"

So our carrots made tracks through the wind and the snow,
On the lookout for Santa, would they find him? Ho Ho Ho.

  • Why has the author described the weather at the start? How does this set the atmosphere for the story?
  • What does Kevin think the mysterious sound might be?
  • Why has the night been described as magical?
  • Why did Kevin's heart skip a beat? Why has the author made a link to his heart?
  • How do we know Kevin is on a train? What evidence from the text supports this?
  • What does the word commotion mean?
  • What caused the commotion?
  • What does the word devotion mean?
  • Why is Kevin's response funny? Pun on the word peed.
  • What is unusual about the phrase 'made tracks' linked in the video?
  • What might the train be?

Debenhams - #YouShall

After watching the advert, ask the pupils what story this is familiar too and how they know? Ask them to then list the similarities and differences between Cinderella and this advert. 

Manchester City Council Advert

This advert has such a powerful message to discuss what has happened in Manchester this year. After watching the advert, discuss with your pupils how Santa must feel when he struggles to skate and how he overcomes it through the help of others. Use it as an opportunity to make connections to how Manchester came together after the tragedy. The symbol of the bee and everything that represents. 

Other adverts worth exploring:

Marks and Spencer - Paddington

Boots - #ShowThemYouKnowThem

Very - Get More Out of Giving


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