Cannes’ Quirky Christmas Collection Is a Cavalcade of Creative Curiosities

By Doug Zanger 

It was another banner year of some superb holiday creativity that ranged from epic (hello, John Lewis) to even more epic (hello, Apple ad). There were also a few surprises, including a Nordic retailer that took a page from The English Patient (kind of) and a Home Alone reboot with now 38-year-old Macaulay Culkin.

But you’ve had your fill, right? Au contraire.

The good folks at Cannes Lions have put together a fabulous list from The Work (a veritable Candyland of creativity with over 200,000 winners going back to 2001 so far) that includes some strange and wonderful standouts from holiday years past. What makes this list a fun watch is the fact that you may not have seen most of the ads—as they are mainly from countries other than the good ’ol U.S.A.

Air New Zealand and Host Sydney created a funky “Summer Wonderland.”

Publicis and Oral B celebrated the many flaws of the holiday season.

Jung von Matt had two in the collection, including a Grand Prix-winning campaign that was very well-earned.

J. Walter Thompson (soon to be Wunderman Thompson) San Juan created more verses for “Feliz Navidad.”

Proximity Melbourne and Lego made the toys the brand was up against.

Adam&eveDDB had a duo of delectable humor that all of us can relate to.

“The creative approach has been applied to sell products or, with respect of Jung von Matt for Edeka, executed to remind people what Christmas is really about, said Clare Hill, Cannes Lions’ vp of marketing and brand. “What is consistent across all of these campaigns is that they demonstrate innovative and creative ways to reach audiences.”

Indeed, this was some fine work and one last creative gasp before we all break for the holidays.