And it has been since early November. When the first festive ads of the year hatched like Easter eggs on Boxing Day. So before any more clichés get mangled, let’s get into it…
Currys PC World has gone for a Dickensian vibe. Perhaps it’s a glimpse into the future – Christmas post-Brexit. Finally, we’ll be free of elites, technocrats and experts (bloody experts, ruining everything). Life will be in glorious black and white. Gluttonous portions of turkey, Quality Streets and mince pies replaced with thin gruel, to be eaten strictly by candlelight. Christmas Day will be the only day off all year. Scrooge would be proud. Maybe they should have brought back Jeff Goldblum.
Moving on, who’s turn is it this year to ski down a mountain? Ah yes, Argos has passed the baton (ski pole) to Asda. There’s obviously an alphabetical order to this idea.
Talking of brands beginning with ‘A’, Amazon’s effort looks like the sort of thing that gets dubbed into 14 European languages but manages to speak to no one. I give it an ‘A’ for blandness. Don’t feel too sorry for them, they’ll do just fine. As millennials the world over forget their generation’s default ‘purpose driven’ setting. Wilfully ignoring the welfare standards of the people fulfilling their order to enjoy low prices and one-click convenience. As though they’re the kind of things that actually drive consumer behaviour.
Lidl has customers upgrading their Christmas to the extreme. Yet still manages to come across as exciting as an educational wooden toy to a teenager expecting something with a glowing Apple logo. While Aldi’s Kevin the carrot has stolen the Coke Christmas truck. Only to end up dangling over a cliff. It’s as if the German’s are trying to tell us something.
More economic anxiety has caused M&S to ditch a big, cinematic production in favour of focusing on products and far greater frequency of air time. As their director of marketing says, “The most important thing is people remember the product and come out and shop.” Which sadly these days is about as outdated a view of advertising as you’re likely to find. Under a tree or not. They clearly didn’t get the memo about blindly targeting millennials through a digital first strategy built solely on personal experience and misrepresented data.
Then there’s Iceland. Who cares if we’ve all fallen for a PR wheeze that’s made Clearcast the pantomime villain – boo-hiss they banned the rang-tan ad. It’s an important message that deserves a wider audience and hopefully action as a result. It’s also a brilliant use of the Streisand effect.
For a deeper and entirely more serious look at the nation’s reactions to the biggest Christmas ads, follow the action on our Xmas Adverts Adorescore.