Top 5 Holiday Food Ads to Get You in the Spirit

It’s been a great year for the food industry. We’ve introduced advanced technologies, made huge strides to evolve our supply chain, overcome outbreaks and major recalls, and made improvements to increase transparency and reduce our impact on the environment. Each week, EHY has enjoyed sharing our perspective on some of these important issues facing food producers and marketers. So, as the countdown to 2019 begins, we want to thank each of you for taking time to follow us, share your thoughts, and help us continue to deliver best-in-class food marketing.

In celebration of the season, we’ve pulled together a special edition of one of our most popular posts. Here’s five recent holiday-themed advertising campaigns from the worlds of commodity, packaged foods, branded produce, grocery, and restaurants sure to put you in the spirit of the season.

Kraft – “Thankful for Mac & Cheese”

Kraft had fun with holiday food traditions while offering a kid-friendly alternative for picky eaters who don’t quite see the appeal of green-bean casseroles and marshmallow-covered yams. By sneaking into the kitchen during grace to heat up some Kraft Mac & Cheese, people could be thankful for not having to deal with a struggle over eating the season’s “weird food.” The spot further encouraged folks to share their thanks for Kraft Mac & Cheese using #ThankfulForMacNCheese on social media. Sounds like a great plan to me. I’d much rather enjoy a side of mac & cheese than have to force down another slice of fruit Jell-O mold.

#ThankfulForMacNCheeseKFC – “Chicken vs. Turkey”

The holidays are a time of year where just about everyone eats turkey instead of chicken. So KFC gave turkey its due in this humorous epic showdown between a live gobbler and its smaller feathered fowl counterpart, set to the score of the western classic “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.” Turkey comes and goes, but chicken’s here to stay, says the tagline. It’s a fun reminder that chicken still rules the roost when it comes to people’s preferred poultry choice.

Another fun holiday promotion from KFC is their 11 Herbs & Spices Firelog, which smells like the chain’s fried chicken when lit. Tongue-in-cheek warnings about the product include “Please don’t put face directly into fire in attempt to smell fried chicken”. Unfortunately, the limited edition firelog, which had been available at, is already sold out.

KFC Food Marketing Ule Log Holiday Advertising EvansHardy+YoungIceland Markets – “Shopping on Ice”

Research shows that 89% of children find holiday food shopping to be boring. U.K. grocery Iceland Markets found a way to make the event more fun for them by installing a synthetic ice surface throughout one of their stores. Parents and kids were able to skate their way through their shopping trips, giving them a way to both enjoy the spirit of the season while accomplishing their holiday food shopping. The activation captured the imagination of customers while garnering significant publicity for Iceland Markets by tying in perfectly with their brand moniker and giving new meaning to “frozen food aisle.”

Iceland Markets Ice Skating Food Marketing Advertising EvansHardy+YoungSainsbury’s – “The Big Night”

Another British supermarket chain, Sainsbury’s, celebrates the season with a commercial depicting an epic children’s Christmas pageant. Directed by the director of “The Greatest Showman,” it features a young “star” overcoming a case of nerves and giving the stage performance of a lifetime. She is supported by a large cast of classmates dressed in variety of holiday motifs, including a drum-playing turkey, as well as elaborate props like a giant glitter-filled gravy boat. The children’s real parents were proudly featured in the audience, helping to give this spot “all the feels.”

Coca-Cola – “Polar Bears”

For 25 years now, Coca-Cola’s beloved polar bears have made an annual holiday appearance. And this holiday season, they’re back in a spot called “Christmas Rules,” which shows the bear family enjoying the holidays in their snowy North Pole home. House rules include: don’t let traditions fade, there’s always room for one more, and Christmas tastes special when we’re all together. It’s a sweet sentiment for a sweet soda, and a nice annual tradition to support Coke’s warm and friendly brand image.

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Kirk Evans VP/Associate Creative Director EvansHardy+Young
Kirk Evans, VP/Assoc Creative Director

Kirk held senior creative positions at McCann-Erickson and Ogilvy in Los Angeles before joining EvansHardy+Young over 20 years ago. He has produced award winning work for multiple EHY Clients including Idaho Potatoes, California Walnuts and several restaurant chains. Previous clients included American Express, Coca-Cola, Columbia Pictures and Post Cereals. Despite being born and bred in New Jersey, Kirk is an enthusiastic surfer.