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The magic behind a christmas advert

Dec 2021

2 min read

Over the years Christmas adverts have become more and more important, signifying the start of the festive season. Whilst most of us wait in great anticipation to see what has been created, creatives are racing behind the scenes to get their advert out on time! 


This year, TLM had the pleasure of working in collaboration with CIB to release an animated Christmas advert for Alpha Boilers; ‘Feels Like Home’. But what went on behind the scenes? We delve into the fundamentals of creating a magical and heart-warming Christmas advert


A well-thought-out narrative is essential in the creation of a great Christmas advert. What was the process for coming up with the narrative?

The narrative was crafted in collaboration with CIB, intending to pull on the heartstrings and relate to the audience. Christmas is a time for loved ones, giving and celebration, so it was important that the narrative related to these key pillars.


The narrative was assembled in the storyboarding stage – check out our blog on all things storyboarding to learn more about this process. The approach at this stage was collaborative with lots of iterations to get the story right. As the animation had no voice over, the narrative needed to be told through the scene, characters, emotion, colour and sound. To achieve this each frame was carefully stitched together to create the final compelling story.


Emotions are often heightened during the festive season, when values revolve around bringing people together. How did we capture the emotion in this advert? 

Colour was used as a key driver of emotion. Muted, cold tones kick off the story conveying sadness, which is then turned around at the peak where warm, vibrant colours express bliss and joy. 


The soundtrack is another iconic element of a Christmas advert. Whilst CIB wrote and commissioned a bespoke audio track for ‘Feels Like Home’, how did we use the song to enhance the animation?

Yes, whenever you think of the big Christmas adverts, you immediately know the song which often reaches number one in the charts.

Having a track that was written for the advert, meant that the messages of the song aligned with the messages shown on screen. This was especially important in our advert as there was no voice over.

We also made sure that highlights in the track matched the key moments in the animation so that it really enhanced the feel and impact of the overall message.


Getting your advert out early enough in the lead up to Christmas is essential. How did we cope with the strict deadline and make sure the animation was on track?

Being organised, from the very start is key. Working backwards from your deadline can show what needs to be done by when, and leaving a few days grace is a good idea to account for any unforeseen difficulties. Then, it’s important that your team are aware of these milestones and know what they need to do to reach them.


You may find that in order to reach the milestones, you will have to start working on your Christmas advert quite early on in the year. This certainly feels strange, but it will ensure a smooth runup to the crucial deadline.

Final Thoughts

Whilst there is a lot of competition when it comes to Christmas adverts, they all contain the same elements; organisation and hard work. If you are planning to release a Christmas advert for 2022, use our key components above and get planning now!

Check out the full ‘Feels Like Home’ Christmas advert here!

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