Heathrow Christmas Commercials 2023

TV Commercial Review

Heart or Humor


Heart-warming ads

Heathrow, the UK’s largest airport, has launched its festive campaign for 2023 with three heart-warming ads that showcase the airport’s departure experience and the special memories that travelers make with their loved ones. The Heathrow Christmas commercials 2023, created by St Luke’s, avoid the traditional Christmas cliches and focus on intimate moments between different groups of travelers, each with a touching twist and a tagline that says, “Heathrow. The best memories start here”.

The three ads were directed by Ed Morris through RiffRaff Films and were shot on location in Terminal 5, which remained open during filming. The ads feature realistic scenarios, authentic emotions, and some familiar faces from previous Heathrow campaigns. One of the ads, “Love,” features two real-life couples, adding to the story’s emotional impact.

The ads are set to the soundtrack of “I’m Going Back” by Chas & Dave, a song that evokes nostalgia and a sense of homecoming. Curved Arrow, the music agency that handled the campaign, chose the song. The song lyrics also reflect the theme of the campaign, as they say, “I’m going back to the ones that I know / With whom I can be what I want to be / Just one week for the feeling to grow / I’m going back to the ones I love”.

The Heathrow Christmas ads have become a tradition and a highlight of the festive season, as they have been running since 2016. The first ad introduced the lovable bears Doris and Edward Bair, who have since appeared in several other ads, including the 2023 campaign. The bears represent the joy of reuniting with family and friends at the airport and symbolize Heathrow’s brand identity and values.

The Heathrow Christmas ads have also been praised for their effectiveness and memorability, as they have consistently scored high ratings in various surveys and rankings. For example, in 2018, Heathrow’s “Bears Return” ad was the only one to achieve a four-star rating out of five, according to data from System1, a company that measures the long-term brand impact of ads. According to data from Unruly, a video ad-tech company, the ad also topped the list of the most shared Christmas ads on social media. Our DailyCommercials website gives a rare 9.6/10 for the The Heathrow Bears Return advert.

The 2023 campaign is no exception, as it has received positive feedback and reactions from viewers and critics alike. The ads have been described as “heartfelt,” “moving,” “relatable,” and “beautiful” by various media outlets and online commentators. The ads have also been applauded for their diversity and inclusivity, featuring travelers of different ages, ethnicities, backgrounds, and orientations.

Heathrow Christmas commercial 2023
The first film, ‘Love’, features a young man and woman strolling through World Duty-Free. The woman mentions they traveled abroad five years ago to meet the young man’s family. They spy an older couple across the shop, and the young woman says they will be like that one day, spending their days in the sunshine. The young man agrees and surreptitiously looks down at a box in his right hand while kissing her forehead, concealing a diamond engagement ring.
Heathrow Christmas commercial 2023
The second film, ‘Arrival’, sees a young couple in a multi-generational family about to take a trip. Amidst the hubbub of them preparing to order a pre-fight meal at Gordon Ramsay Plane Food, the family matriarch asks the couple what they will have, to which they reply, “A baby”. They are met with emotional celebration around the table as the campaign tagline ‘Heathrow: The Best Memories Start Here’ appears on the screen.
Heathrow Christmas commercial 2023
The final film, ‘Keepsake’, shows a father and daughter sitting at Terminal 5’s famous Fortnum & Mason bar. The father opens his phone, and an ‘on this day’ photo memory flashes up, reminding him that it has been three years since they went on a family trip to Boston with Grandad, who is no longer with them. The young woman gets tearful until the man passes her a handkerchief that belonged to her grandad. She then reveals that she is wearing her grandad’s lucky coin around her neck. They raise a toast: “Grandad – always with us.”

Memorable 90/100: The campaign is memorable because it tells engaging and emotional stories that resonate with the viewers and reflect their experiences and aspirations. The campaign also uses a catchy and relevant song that reinforces the ads’ message and mood.

Effective 85/100: The campaign is effective because it showcases the airport’s departure experience and the benefits and features it offers travelers, such as the variety of shops, restaurants, and bars, the spacious and modern terminal, and the friendly and helpful staff. The campaign also reinforces the airport’s brand identity and values, such as being customer-focused, inclusive, and innovative.

Style 80/100: The campaign has a simple and elegant style that matches the ads’ tone and theme. The campaign uses a warm and natural color palette, a smooth and fluid camera movement, and a realistic and subtle animation. The campaign also avoids using flashy or gimmicky effects that distract from the stories and emotions.

Heart/Humor 95/100: The campaign has a lot of heart and humor, depicting relatable and touching situations that make the viewers smile and feel. The campaign also balances the sentimental and the humorous aspects, as it shows both the joys and the challenges of traveling and spending time with loved ones. The campaign also uses clever and witty details, such as the engagement ring box, the baby announcement, and the lucky coin.

Execution 90/100: The campaign is executed with a high level of skill and professionalism, demonstrating the quality and expertise of the creative team behind it. The campaign is well-directed, well-written, well-acted, well-edited, well-animated and well-soundtracked. The campaign also manages to overcome the difficulties and limitations of filming in a busy and operational airport.

  • The campaign is emotionally engaging and relatable, showing realistic and touching scenarios many travelers can identify with and empathize with.
  • The campaign is well-produced and well-executed, demonstrating the high quality and professionalism of the creative team and the actors involved.
  • The campaign is effective and memorable, showcasing the airport’s departure experience and the benefits and features it offers travelers and reinforcing its brand identity and values.
  • The campaign is somewhat predictable and cliched, as it uses a familiar and formulaic structure and theme used by many other Christmas ads in the past.
  • The campaign is potentially divisive and controversial, as it may not appeal to or represent travelers’ diverse and varied experiences and preferences, especially those who do not celebrate or enjoy Christmas or traveling during the festive season.
  • The campaign is somewhat unrealistic and idealized, as it glosses over the possible difficulties and challenges travelers may face at the airport or during their journeys, such as delays, cancellations, security checks, baggage issues, or health risks.

The Heathrow Christmas commercials 2023 are a well-crafted and well-executed campaign that captures the essence of the festive season and the airport’s role in facilitating meaningful connections and experiences. The campaign is a testament to Heathrow’s commitment to delivering a high-quality and customer-centric service and its vision of being “the world’s most connected airport.”



The campaign is executed with a high level of skill and professionalism

Heart or Humor9.5
Reader Rating: ( 1 vote ) 4.8

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