MediaRadar Blog

MediaRadar’s 12 Ads of Christmas: 12 Engines Humming

MediaRadar’s 12 Ads of Christmas: 12 Engines Humming

TV Trend Report CTA

It’s nearing that time of year again!

Christmas brings together loved ones to exchange gifts and share great food. But, for MediaRadar, singing the praise of the season’s latest and greatest ads is what Christmas is really all about.

Have you seen our previous 12 Ads of Christmas from last year? Well, this holiday, we’re continuing the tradition.

Beginning today, and continuing everyday until Christmas, we’ll be posting the best holiday ads across multiple industries, in the styling of the classic, “12 Days of Christmas.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me,
 Twelve Drummers Drumming,
 Eleven Pipers Piping,
 Ten Lords a-Leaping,
 Nine Ladies Dancing,
 Eight Maids a-milking,
 Seven Swans a-swimming,
 Six Geese a-Laying,
 Five Gold Rings,
 Four Calling Birds,
 Three French Hens,
 Two Turtle Doves,
 And a Partridge in a Pear Tree!

Join us on our journey of innovation and creativity.

We’ll be unwrapping each post in subsequent order, starting from the top, where the original song speaks of 12 drummers drumming.

On the twelfth day of this content Christmas, however, your true love (MediaRadar) will start off by sending (little drummer boy drumroll please)… Twelve Engines Humming!

Here are MediaRadar’s 12 favorite Christmas-themed automotive ads from a year not-entirely-gone by:

1. Lexus – “Celebrations”

This ad plays to viewers’ emotions, highlighting celebratory moments in a family’s life from one month to another, including a daughter’s birthday in May, July 4th fireworks, and the start of a son’s football season in September. “It all starts with a December to remember,” says the commercial.

The car company shows how a Lexus can play a crucial and wonderful role in people’s lives. As a reliable constant involved in many wonderful family moments, “It’s the gift that keeps on giving.”

Last year, Lexus spent over $120 million on TV advertising during the holiday season (October to December 2017, also known as their fourth quarter).

2. Lincoln – “Olivia’s Wish List”

For another year, Lincoln ran its “Olivia’s Wish List” ad. Last year, the car company spent nearly $85 million of its ad dollars on TV during the holiday season.

The commercial plays on every child’s dream – to hold the entire world in their hands.

The young girl sits in the backseat of the car, watching how shaking her snow globe turns the crowded city street into a harmonious holiday orchestral affair.

3. Subaru – “Dinner Date”

Christmas is all about being more thoughtful and giving people, who spend quality time with their loved ones and give back to their communities.

Subaru focuses in on this idea with its “Share the Love” campaign.

Over the course of many “Share the Love” ads, Subaru introduced us to different people sharing heartfelt experiences they’ve had with organizations like Make-A-WishMeals on Wheels, and the National Park Foundation.

Our favorite of these ads was “Dinner Date.” An older gentleman sits anxiously on his bed. Only when he looks out his window and sees a car pulling up does he smile. He greets another, younger man at the door, who is holding a Meals on Wheels dinner. By playing a game of Dominoes with the older gentleman and kindly bringing him a gift of food, the younger man brings such joy with him.

Between October and November of last year, Subaru spent approximately $45 million on TV advertising. During the same time period this year, the company dished out around 45% more of its ad dollars, spending over $65 million during those two months.

4. Mercedes-Benz – “Pit Stop”

Santa’s on his way to deliver presents to all the little good boys and girls. Instead of his usual sleigh and reindeer, however, Santa’s means of transportation this year is a Mercedes-Benz. Saint Nick has only one magical night to make all his deliveries, so he won’t stop for just anyone. But, even Santa can’t say no when the adorable puppy next to him just needs a quick “pit stop.”

During its fourth quarter (Q4) last year, Mercedes-Benz spent over $40 million on TV advertising between October and December.

5. Kia – “Light Up the Holidays”

This commercial has the most fitting title; Kia literally lights up its dealership, illuminating the not-so-silent night with a holiday-themed show backed by an orchestra.

During the holiday season last year, this car company spent over $120 million on advertising on television.

6. Audi – “The Night Before Christmas 2.0”

Santa Clause is coming to town and he knows if you’ve been bad or good this year. If you want to make his “Nice List” (he checks it twice!), be good for goodness sake, just like the people in this commercial.

To the tune of “Twas The Night Before Christmas,” Audi describes the “chefs, bakers, and food order takers, doctors and surgeons and all the life-savers” that are featured in its ad. The car manufacturer believes that, “those who give their best, deserve the best.” And, in this case, the best is a new Audi!

Audi spent around 30% more on TV advertising during this year’s fourth quarter. Between October 2018 and November 2018, the car company spent over $30 million, as opposed to only about $23 million last year.

7. Buick – “Score this best gift of the season with Buick

For the 2017 and 2018 holiday seasons, Buick has been running ads sporting its very own “shopping tips.” Each one shows a man sitting in a chair, in front of a fireplace, in a bit of a new-school yule log style.

This specific commercial is for that special person in your life who loves football. “What do you get the person that loves to tailgate?,” asks the man. “How bout a new tailgate?,” he answers, as he opens the trunk of a shiny, white Buick.

During last year’s holiday season, Buick spent almost $45 million on TV advertising.

8. Honda – “Happy Honda Days with the Care Bears”

Honda’s “Happy Honda Days” ads can be seen in many forms – on TV, on YouTube, and as display ads.

This particular commercial reminds us of the joy and excitement we felt as children, unwrapping a special Christmas gift like Grumpy Bear or Cheer Bear. The narrator ensures us that we can “Get that feeling again with Honda CRV.”

For its Q4 last year, this car company spent over $130 million on TV advertising. Honda is on track to spend roughly the same amount this year.

9. Ford – “Tree Cutting”

Trees laden with colorful lights and ornaments bring Christmas cheer. Everyone deserves one.

Buying a little spruce at a nearby tree lot is nice, but cutting down a towering tree fresh from the woods is even better. This commercial’s slogan, “Built for the Holidays. Built Ford Proud,” is empowering, just like the Ford Escape with four-wheel drive and the two strong female characters portrayed in the ad. The mom chopped down their own tree for Christmas.

Ford spent over $225 million on TV advertising during last year’s holiday season. This year, it is on page to spend roughly the same.

10. Acura – “Season of Performance Event”

In this ad, “Up On The House Top” plays in the background, as the car manufacturer relates its Acura employees to Santa’s elves, its factory to Santa’s workshop, its cars to gifts from Saint Nick, and its cars racing down winding, snowy roads to unwrapping presents. Acura‘s season of performance is like the Christmas season for Santa and his elves.

Acura is on track to spend over $40 million on TV advertising this holiday season, roughly the exact amount it spent during the same time frame last year.

11. Volvo – “Sweden’s Greetings”

Everyone deserves a Christmas gift that’s perfect for them.

For the holidays, Volvo wants to celebrate that idea. To fit everyone’s life – an opera singer’s, a runner’s, a weightlifter’s, and an artist’s – the car company manufactured three types of custom SUVs.

While Volvo spent almost $35 million during its fourth quarter last year, the car company is expected to spend slightly less on TV advertising in Q4 2018.

12. General Motors – “I Love It!”

General Motors has been in the news a lot lately, following the announcement that it’s poised to close five plants across Michigan, Ohio, Maryland, and Canada and cut 15% of their employees there.

While the company may be downsizing, that doesn’t mean that they’re going to stop advertising. In the spirit of Black Friday discounts and Christmas present exchanges, General Motors ran a 30-second commercial. A woman gifts her husband an extra pair of sunglasses and he gives her an extra GMC Terrain SLE.

General Motors spent over $350 million on TV advertising last year during Q4. It’s on track to spend about 5% more this year during Q4.

We here at MediaRadar hope you and your loved ones have a safe and merry holiday season. Check back tomorrow for more fun holiday ads, and to find out what this year’s “eleven pipers piping” equates to in the advertising world!

*All Q4 2018 predictions are made by comparing October/November spend YoY