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The 7 best Christmas ads of 2014

04. John Lewis: MontyThePenguin

David Prideaux

David Prideaux

Monty (and the soon to be Mrs Monty) have stolen the nation's hearts and anyone who sighs “Yet another John Lewis tearjerker” doesn't realize just what an achievement that is.

Every pixel of the film is precision-crafted. The VAM that surrounds it enriches the experience for all ages, from the clever use of Shazam to the Google Cardboard. And unlike all the brands who've jumped on their bandwagon, they've resisted making any kind of sell.

In fact, thanks to John Lewis, the real winners this year are the Soho production companies who must now look forward to Christmas with more excitement than the average six-year-old.

05. Aldi: Everyone's coming to us this Christmas

  • Chosen by: Rik Moore, head of creative strategy, Havas Media

Rik Moore

Rik Moore

Aldi continue their ascent into the nation's consciousness with this nice spot of Christmassy cheer.

All manner of friends, family and colleagues gatherings tuck into a tracking shot of a festive feast, showcasing the Santa-appropriate smorgasbord that the discount supermarket chain have on offer.

Light, seasonal, and bookended with a spot of Jools Holland Hootenannnying, as any good festive period should be. It's fun, inclusive and social proofs the idea of Aldi as your Christmas food shopping destination. The fact it left me hankering after a mince pie makes it pretty effective in my book.

06. Boots: #SpecialBecause

  • Chosen by: Tim Jones, head of creative communications, RPM

Tim Jones

Tim Jones

Boots tugs at the heart strings in this charming we-can-do-Christmas-emotion-too-John-Lewis advert. When playing in this space it can be hard to find your unique angle and cut through. To do something unexpected.

What's best about this spot is that Boots use a powerful and honest insight to do it (the best insights are brutally honest). The fact that actually, Christmas can be hard work. It's not perfect and it's not smooth, but when someone is special to you, you put in that effort.

As opposed to many of the other festive ads this isn't in your face or extravagant. The tale does the talking. Simple production and a slightly down beat song leave this ad perfectly reflecting Christmas in post-recession Britain, reminding us all of what's important at this time of year.

An understated, heart-warming masterpiece.

07. M&S: #FollowTheFairies

  • Chosen by: Sean Kinmont, founding partner – creative, 23red

Sean Kinmont

Sean Kinmont

This year's Marks & Spencer's Christmas ad reprises the 2013 theme of 'Believe in Magic and Sparkle' but has ditched the celebs and is better for it.

This Christmas Magic & Sparkle are two hardworking fairies, embodying the essence of their names, and whose mission it is to spread festive kindness and evoke magic and sparkle across the nation.

Unburdened from the pressures of celeb casting, the ad feels lighter, fresher and better catches the spirit of Christmas. This approach also sets Marks & Spencer apart from the more worthy Christmas efforts of its competitors.

Christmas truly is better with Magic & Sparkle.

Which Christmas commercial did our experts miss? Let us know in the comments below!