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Ebanana Scrooge Ebanana Scrooge

Christmas is a time for fantasy and family experiences — which, in the logic of commercial filmmaking, often means animation.

So it’s no surprise that cg characters are increasingly common in festive ads. But it’s only recently that we’ve noticed just how prevalent they are in supermarket commercials, which are telling ever more elaborate, fanciful stories come Christmas. In some cases, a toy or brand mascot comes alive as a cg element in a live-action environment. In others, the whole ad is animated.

We are showcasing five supermarket ads from this season below. Warning: extreme whimsy ahead. Characters include Ebanana Scrooge, a fruit-shaped cousin of Dickens’s antihero; Robin, the WALL-E-like Christmas drone; and Percy Pig, the candy mascot of British retailer Marks & Spencer, which the ad’s producers optimistically describe as “the nation’s favorite pig” (have they heard of Peppa?).

We’ve also included the names of the agencies, as well as the animation studios and directors, whose contributions to ads are neglected all too often.

IGA (Canada)

Agency: Sid Lee. Studio: Mathematic. Directors: Bertrand Bey, Marie-Julie Dallaire.

Albert Heijn (Netherlands)

Agency: TBWA\Neboko. Studio: Ambassadors. Director: Jelle de Jonge.

Aldi (U.K.)

Agency: McCann UK. Studio: Psyop. Directors: Todd Mueller, Kylie Matulick, Kyle Cassidy.

Migros (Switzerland)

Agency: Wirz. Studio: Bacon X. Director: Martin Werner.

Marks & Spencer (U.K.)

Agency: Grey London. Studio: MPC. Directors: DOM&NIC.