Battle of the Christmas advert: Does John Lewis or Coca Cola advert win for you?

As the festive season fast approaches, everyone has their own way of knowing when it’s officially ‘nearly Christmas’ – whether it’s the first day of December, once the Christmas tree is up, or as soon as Halloween finishes, we all have our own indicator. 

But a popular contender is the classic Christmas advert – be it John Lewis’ heart-warming (or is that sickening) tear-y winter tale or Coca Cola’s iconic red trucks pulling into town heralded by the choral chants of ‘holidays are coming’.

Which wins the battle of the Christmas ads? MM took to the streets to find out:

What signals the start of Christmas for you, the John Lewis or Coca Cola ads?

Option Result
John Lewis ad 43%
Coca Cola  21%
Neither  36%


Kathy, a Biology student at Manchester Metropolitan University, went for the timeless Coke van.

“It’s the traditional one, isn’t it?” said the 20-year-old, “The John Lewis one is just a bit too much for me, it’s too cutesy.”

Steven Parnell from Wilmslow disagreed. The 35-year-old said: “I like all the stuff in John Lewis’! It’s so cheerful – too much money for the penguins, though.”

However, some didn’t feel the Christmas spirit from either advert.

“I don’t like Christmas,” said Ben Spedding, a student from Fallowfield, “so it doesn’t really impact me either way.”

Tracie Richardson, a trainee teacher from Eccles, felt the innocent nature of John Lewis’ penguin love story won out.

“You feel all good about things after seeing something like that – it’s hopeful, and that’s what Christmas is about.”

Joe from St Anne’s didn’t favour either advert. He said: “I haven’t seen either of them this year! I’ve heard big things, though.”

The railway manager continued: “I suppose I am aware of them, but they’re not that important for me.”

Filip, a Polish technician, appreciated the festivity of both, but ultimately agreed with Tracie.

“They’re both very good, very Christmas-y,” said the 46-year-old, “but the John Lewis adverts are so happy, they definitely put me in the mood for Christmas.”

Pam Thompson, from Wigan, didn’t get a festive feeling after seeing the red van or Monty the penguin. The 44-year-old said: “I’m not really very interested in them, to be honest.”

The £95 Monty the Penguin also didn’t go down well with Pam, who said: “It’s ridiculous, I said this on Twitter – I would never pay it!”

Claudine Williams, a QCF Assessment Officer at Wythenshawe Hospital, went for the classic Coke van.

“I like the lights, and the Santa, and everything,” the Cheadle resident said, “it’s proper Christmas!”

Retired pharmacist Anita Berry was shocked at the thought of having to pay so much to take home her own Monty the Penguin, but ultimately picked John Lewis as her festive favourite.

“The problem is that children will see them and want them,” the 68-year-old said, “and then it’s the parents – or grandparents – who have to shell out almost £100 for a teddy.”

Mike, from Manchester, was deprived of seeing either advert.

“I haven’t seen them – I don’t have a TV,” said the Cornerhouse employee. “I don’t start feeling Christmas-y yet; I like to leave Christmas until as late as possible.”

Images courtesy of John Lewis and Coca Cola via YouTube, with thanks.

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