In a festive season marked by extravagant Christmas advertisements, Iceland, the prominent supermarket chain, has taken an extraordinary step this year by cancelling its highly anticipated Christmas ad campaign. 

Iceland’s managing director, lauding it as a ‘no-brainer’ decision, has made this remarkable move to stand by its customers in these economically challenging times. 

Surprisingly, in a world driven by holiday commercialism, this unexpected shift has captured the essence of the true Christmas spirit.

Breaking with Tradition

It comes as no surprise that when it comes to major supermarkets, Christmas advertising is a tradition as deeply rooted as the holiday itself. Every year, these giants pour millions into crafting memorable Christmas campaigns

However, Iceland has broken from this tradition, redirecting its resources to where they believe it’s needed the most: supporting their customers in the face of a mounting cost of living crisis.

Remembering Last Year’s Spectacle

To fully grasp the significance of Iceland’s decision, it’s essential to revisit their 2022 Christmas advert. 

The supermarket pulled out all the stops with a World Cup-themed campaign featuring iconic figures, such as Noddy Holder and Brian Blessed

The ad was a spectacle in itself, showcasing the lengths brands are willing to go to capture the essence of the festive season.

An Unprecedented Christmas Ad Spend

This year’s festive season is projected to witness an unparalleled spending frenzy in the advertising world. 

According to the Advertising Association and the World Advertising Research Centre, advertisers are set to splurge an astonishing £9.5 billion on Christmas campaigns. 

This marks a 4.8% increase from last year’s already record-breaking spend of £9 billion. The battle for the most compelling message and the starriest lineup has never been more intense.

A Star-Studded Spectacle

As you may have seen, celebrities are gracing our screens in abundance this Christmas season. Comedian Dawn French is featured in the M&S Food advert, and Wrexham FC owners, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, make an appearance in another M&S Food ad. 

Whereas, Michael Bublé lends his star power to Asda‘s festive offering, Rick Astley surprises viewers in Sainsbury’s festive video, and Graham Norton takes the spotlight in Waitrose‘s holiday ad. The overwhelming dazzle of celebrities this season is certainly undeniable.

Consumer Sentiments: Navigating the Cost of Living

Despite the economic challenges, research commissioned by Deloitte suggests that consumers are planning to spend more this Christmas compared to last year. 

The study indicates that 29% of respondents plan to spend less than in previous years, a decrease from the 39% recorded the previous year. 

Interestingly, this shows that, while many are feeling the pinch of rising costs, the holiday spirit still remains resilient as ever. 


Iceland’s decision to forgo its Christmas advert and, instead, invest in supporting its customers during the cost of living crisis is a remarkable deviation from the norm in the world of holiday advertising

In an era when Christmas campaigns are defined by grandeur and star-studded lineups, Iceland’s ‘no-brainer’ choice to prioritise their customers serves as a testament to their commitment to community and empathy for their clientele. 

As record-breaking Christmas ad spending ensues and celebrities grace our screens, Iceland’s bold move reminds us that, at the heart of the festive season, it’s the people that truly matter, and their gesture stands as a beacon of hope and solidarity in these uncertain times.